“Our hearts go out to Ron and families and friends on both sides of the marriage for the tragic loss of his wife Janelle,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “This is a devastating loss for everyone involved in our program. Our players and staff are grieving for Ron and our top priority is to give him our support.”
A team tribute and funeral plans are in the works and will be announced later. The team will hold meetings and watch film of its MSU game today as planned, although as Whittingham said, “All of our thoughts and prayers are with Ron, and it’s very difficult to concentrate on anything else.”
Tongaonevai, a junior defensive lineman from West Valley City, and Janelle were married in the summer of 2010.