After a long battle with kidney disease, Brian DeLunas, a former bullpen coach and director of pitching strategy with the Mariners, passed away Sunday evening at age 46.

The University of Missouri, where DeLunas was serving in his second stint as pitching coach, released a statement Monday announcing his passing. He is survived by his wife, Johannah, son Rory and stepdaughter Maren. His nephew, Austin Cheely, is currently a pitcher for the Tigers.

“Words cannot describe how heartbroken we are in the loss of our friend, Brian DeLunas,” Tigers baseball coach Steve Bieser said in a statement. “In the months since his return to Mizzou, he has made an indelible impact on our team through his love of the game and his players along with his inspirational courage off the field. Brian was a tremendous husband, father, brother and coach, and our hearts go out to Johannah, Rory, Maren and the entire DeLunas family as we ask everyone to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

DeLunas was hired by the Mariners before the 2018 season to serve as bullpen coach despite never having played professional baseball or coached for an MLB organization. He served as the Mariners’ director pitching strategy in 2019 and returned to the bullpen coaching role in 2020, but was forced to do so remotely due to his health conditions.

The Mariners released the following statement:

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of former Mariners coach Brian DeLunas. We extend our condolences to Brian’s wife Johannah, son Rory, stepdaughter Maren, family, friends and all those impacted around the baseball community.”

Seattle didn’t renew his contract after 2020 and he worked as a special projects coordinator for the Mets in 2021. He returned to Missouri for a second stint as a coach, having previously served as an assistant and pitching coach for the Tigers from 2007 to 2009.

A native of St. Louis, DeLunas pitched for Oakbrook High School and played collegiately at Missouri Baptist. In 2014, he co-founded Premier Pitching and Performance (P3) in St. Louis, which attracted several college and professional players to work with him in the offseason.