Panthers coach Ron Rivera’s older brother, Mickey, passed away Tuesday after a two-year fight with pancreatic cancer, Rivera announced on his Twitter account Tuesday evening.
Mickey Rivera, who was three years older than his 53-year-old coaching brother, lived in Reno, Nev., with his wife and children. He and his wife owned three pizza stores in Reno and watched every Panthers game on TV after his younger brother got the job in 2011.
Ron Rivera gave his brother the game ball from the Panthers’ playoff win against the Cardinals in January.
In an interview with the Observer the following week, Mickey Rivera said he was humbled by the gesture by his younger brother while remaining upbeat about his disease.
“You can’t live your life like you’re dying every day,” Mickey Rivera said. “Then you have no quality of life at all. Things are going to work out one way or the other, and you enjoy your life.”