Former Lobo, Cleveland High standout Romell Jordan dies

PHOTO COURTESY UNM ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS: Former Lobo football player Romell Jordan, right, died unexpectedly on Wednesday.

By Greg Archuleta
Enchantment Sports Assistant Editor

Romell Jordan, former Cleveland High School and University of New Mexico football student-athlete, died Wednesday morning, multiple media outlets reported and UNM confirmed.

Jordan was 23.

No information regarding Jordan’s death has been released.

Both USA Today and Yahoo Sports reported Jordan’s death in connection with his relationship with Boston Red Sox catcher and former Cleveland standout Blake Swihart. During his last two years at Cleveland, Jordan lived with Swihart’s family, and he listed Swihart as his brother on his Lobo football bio.

“We are saddened to confirm the passing of Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart’s 23-year-old brother, Romell Jordan,” the Red Sox said in a statement. “The entire Red Sox organization sends its deepest condolences to the Swihart family for their loss. The family is asking for privacy at this difficult time.”

Also according to his Lobo bio, Jordan rushed for nearly 3,000 yards during his junior and senior seasons (2011-2012) for the Storm, scoring a total of 52 touchdowns during those two seasons. He was part of the Storm’s 2011 Class 6A state championship football team.

Jordan was a 2013 Lobo football recruit. He rushed for 551 yards and five touchdowns during his career, which was hampered by a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered on the final day of spring practice in 2016 to miss the entire season.

Then in September of that same year, Jordan’s mother, Tamela Denise Cade-Manning, died at age 50.

“The news of Romell Jordan’s sudden passing is heartbreaking,” Lobo football coach Bob Davie said in a statement released through UNM. “Romell was one of our first recruits from Cleveland High School, and he was a great young man. Romell went through many hardships, from a devastating knee injury to his mother’s passing, while with our team. He was a great teammate and friend, and his successful career at UNM was a huge source of pride for him, his family and this community. We will all miss Romell’s positive attitude, and his spirit. The entire Lobo Football family will have the Jordan and Swihart families in their thoughts and prayers through this very difficult time.”

UNM athletic director Eddie Nuñez also released the following statement through the school: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Romell Jordan. He was a wonderful ambassador for our football program who overcame tremendous adversity in his life to not only play football but to earn his degree. Our hearts go out to the Jordan and Swihart families at this very difficult time.”

Greg Archuleta is the assistant editor at Enchantment Sports. He was the New Mexico Lobo football beat writer for the Albuquerque Journal for 12 years and worked as a professional journalist for more than two decades. You can reach him at 

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