FSU's Cofer to remain home after father's death

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State forward Phil Cofer is home with family mourning the recent loss of his father and will not travel to the next round of the NCAA tournament, coach Leonard Hamilton told ESPN on Monday.

Hamilton and assistant coach Charlton Young traveled with Cofer to his home in Georgia on Sunday, a day after the Seminoles clinched a second straight Sweet 16 appearance. Cofer learned his father, Michael, passed away right after Florida State beat Vermont in the first round of the NCAA tournament last Thursday.

He stayed with the team for its second-round win over Murray State and initially wanted to travel to Anaheim, California, where the fourth-seeded Seminoles play No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Thursday night. But he changed his mind once he returned home.

Hamilton said after the win over Murray State that the team has dedicated the remainder of their season to Cofer and his father.

Michael Cofer's funeral is scheduled for Saturday. If Florida State advances past Gonzaga, the Seminoles would play an Elite Eight game that day without Phil Cofer.

"We were going to support whatever decision he had to make," Hamilton said. "It's best for him and his family to get through this period. Now it gives us more of a reason to want to fight our butts off to get to the Final Four so he can have an opportunity to finish his career off."

Michael Cofer died after a long battle with amyloidosis, a rare disease that keeps the kidneys and other organs from functioning properly. He lived with the disease for over a decade and was not well enough in recent years to travel to watch his son play.

Michael Cofer played football at Tennessee and went on to have a 10-year career with the Detroit Lions.

Phil Cofer has averaged 7.4 points in 26.1 minutes per game in a season marred by injuries. He missed Florida State's first-round game win over Vermont with a right foot injury. Last season, he led the Seminoles in scoring with 12.8 points per game.