Sad, terrible, and awful news for the Indiana Hoosier community tonight.
Charles Keating, who left Indiana's cross-country and track teams after two seasons to enlist in the active military, was killed yesterday on a Navy SEAL advise-and-assist mission in Iraq. NBCNews has information available on the incident that led to Keating's death here.
Keating -- who followed in his father's athletic footsteps at Indiana -- was engaged, and his fiance was reportedly set to pick out her wedding dress this week.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of former student-athlete Charles Keating, a U.S. Navy SEAL who was killed Tuesday morning on a mission in Iraq. Keating, who came to IU from Paradise Valley, Ariz., was a student and a track and field and cross country runner at IU from 2004 to 2006. He was a member of the 2004-05 track team that finished as a Big Ten runner-up in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Keating competed in the mile run. "When Charlie left IU to enlist and try to become a SEAL, I don't think it really surprised any of us," said Robert Chapman, professor of kinesiology at IU Bloomington, who served as IU's men's cross country coach from 1998 until 2007. "You could tell he was a guy who wanted to be the best and find out what he was made of, and serving as special operations forces for his country embodied that." Head track and field coach Ron Helmer issued the following statement on Keating. "From all accounts, Charles Keating was a great kid and a privilege to coach. On behalf of Indiana Track and Field, my condolences go out to the entire Keating family. He paid the ultimate sacrifice defending his country, and for that we are eternally grateful." Keating is the son of former swimming great and IU alumnus Charles H. Keating III ('74-'77), who was a three-time All-American for the Hoosiers in the breaststroke and a four-time Big Ten Champion. Keating III finished fifth in the breaststroke at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Indiana head swimming and diving coach Ray Looze remembers the Keating family and offered his condolences. "Charlie Keating was a valuable member of the Indiana Athletics community. His father was a decorated All-American and Olympian for the Hoosiers, and their family gave me one of my first coaching jobs in Phoenix. On behalf of the IU Swimming community, we express our deepest condolences." The entire IU community extends its heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family, friends and loved ones of this heroic fallen Hoosier and brave American.
CQ is deeply saddened by the Keating's tragic death. Here's hoping that Indiana athletics finds a way to honor and commemorate his life and bravery appropriately.