Navy SEAL candidate and New Jersey native Kyle Mullen dies after ‘Hell Week’ training in San Diego – CBS New York

MANALAPAN, NJ (CBS New York) — Kyle Mullen, a 24-year-old Navy SEAL candidate from New Jersey, tragically died hours after completing a grueling training program in San Diego.

Mullen was from Manalapan.

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Governor Phil Murphy called Mullen a “legend”. That’s how his former coaches and teachers remember him, too, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported Monday.

The US Navy flag on the Manalapan Veterans Monument flew at half-staff.

The neighbors felt the loss of Mullen as if he were their own son.

“I feel so bad about it, that he’s so young and that his career is so promising,” Martha Mansicalco said.

Another neighbor said the former Yale University football player and his older brother always help shovel snow. He spoke with Mullen’s mother in December.

“She mentioned what he was aiming for and that made her a little nervous. But she was behind him because he wanted to do something,” Kevin O’Donnell said.

The Navy said Mullen died in a California hospital on Feb. 4 and is investigating the cause. Mullen’s death did not occur during a training session.

Hours before his death, Mullen completed “Hell Week,” an intense program used to select Navy SEALS that involves survival and combat tactics, which only about 25 percent of applicants go through.

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Governor Murphy spoke with Mullen’s family on Monday morning.

“He represented the best of our state and our country. He was a guy my family knew from a reputational distance,” Murphy said. “He was a legend, in athletics and in all areas.”

Mullen’s football coach at Manalapan High School shared a video of him catching a touchdown pass that helped the school win its first state championship.

Another video showed Mullen mentoring young people at his alma mater.

“Exceptional young man. He was an exceptional student. He had a 4.4 GPA, he was a member of the National Honor Society,” coach Ed Gurrieri said.

After attending Yale for three years, Mullen transferred to Monmouth University to play football and study psychology.

“He was such a nice boy,” said Dr Janice Stapley, Mullen’s adviser and professor of psychology at Monmouth. “He was truly an amazing student and an insightful person in understanding other people’s emotions and leadership.”

In a statement, Monmouth University head football coach Kevin Callahan said:

We are all saddened by the unfortunate passing of Kyle Mullen. As part of our 2019 Championship team, he will be remembered not only as a great player, but also as a great person and a great teammate. He was highly motivated on the pitch, but his maturity, intelligence and concern for his teammates is what stands out about Kyle. On behalf of President Leahy and the entire Monmouth University community, we would like to extend our condolences to the Mullen family for their loss.

Manalapan High School plans to retire Mullen’s number 44 football jersey.

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The governor said he would soon make an announcement about flying half-staff flags statewide to remember Mullen’s sacrifice for the country.

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