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Medical examiner: Marion Barber III death 'accidental' due to heat stroke

The former Wayzata and Gopher football star was found dead in Frisco, Texas in June.

FRISCO, Texas — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above originally aired on June 22.

A Texas medical examiner says former Wayzata High School and University of Minnesota football star Marion Barber III died from heat stroke.

In an emailed statement, the Frisco, Texas Police Department said the Collin County Medical Examiner also ruled that Barber's manner of death was "accidental."

Barber's body was found on June 1 at an apartment in the Dallas suburb after police were called to do a welfare check.

Police and the medical examiner did not provide any other details.

Barber grew up in Plymouth and was a standout running back and defensive back for Wayzata High School, culminating in a trip to the Class AAAAA state tournament in 2000. He went on to star for the Gophers, amassing 3,276 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns. He's currently fifth in school history in career rushing yards. 

Barber was a fourth-round pick for the Dallas Cowboys in 2005, where he spent six seasons before going to Chicago in 2011. He retired after the 2011 season, rounding out his NFL career with 4,780 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns. 

"What I remember more is the kid, the smile," said former Gophers coach Glen Mason recalled at a public memorial service for Barber at Huntington Bank Stadium in late June. Mason recruited and coached Barber following his standout high school career. "That smile on Marion Barber, that's what I have (memories of). That's what I saw each and every day."

Laurence Maroney, who broke records with Barber during their time sharing running back duties at the U of M, was among several former teammates who said they were heartbroken to hear of his death.

"To the family... I just want to say sorry to you guys," Maroney said at the memorial. "The reason I'm saying sorry is because, even though I did all that he allowed me to do for him, I can't shake the feeling of there is something more that I should have done."

According to reports from the Associated Press, Barber had issues with mental health after his NFL career ended.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Marion S. Barber III Scholarship fund at the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development. According to family, the fund will provide scholarships for undergraduates with financial needs and will give preference to students "who support the University’s mission of creating a diverse and inclusive student body, including those with underrepresented identities or who have overcome obstacles and challenges to achieve their educational goals."

Donations can be made online or by mailing a check to the UM Foundation, PO Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266.

Watch the tributes to Barber at a memorial service held at Huntington Bank Stadium last month:

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