Fresno State music professor found dead in car near Coarsegold

Fresno State professor Brad Hufft died last week.
Fresno State professor Brad Hufft died last week.

A Fresno State music professor was found dead in his car last week.

Brad Hufft, 59, was found last Thursday inside his vehicle near his home in Coarsegold, according to a California Highway Patrol report.

A missing person report was filed for Hufft with the Madera County Sheriff’s Department the day before his body was found.

He may have had an aneurysm or stroke while driving on Wednesday afternoon, according to his wife, Ellie Choate, but the Madera County Coroner’s Office has not released a report. His car was found in an embankment on Werney Road.

Hufft, a concert promoter and composer, taught music courses at Fresno State for 13 years. Before he turned his attention to teaching, he was a staple of the Tower District – working as a bar manager for 10 years at the Daily Planet restaurant, which closed in 2005. He was the co-owner of the now-closed Brix restaurants in Fresno.

He also served as executive director of the Orpheus chamber ensemble.

Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, dean of Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities, called Hufft “special and kind.”

“His legacy will live on, in the countless students he touched with his love of music, and in his distinct way of interpreting human emotions and the meaning of life through his own musical compositions,” he said in a statement Monday.

Staff writer Donald Munro contributed to this report. Mackenzie Mays: 559-441-6412, @MackenzieMays