Corries Hardy Credit: Photo provided

This story was updated at 4:06 p.m. on July 1, 2021, to include information about a fundraiser for the Hardy family

The owner of a barbecue food truck who died Sunday night in Bethesda won a college football national championship 30 years ago, served in the military and worked in Montgomery County government before starting his business.

Corries Hardy, the owner of Hardy’s BBQ, died on Sunday night by electrocution while he was working underneath his food truck, Montgomery County police said. Hardy, of Bowie, was 49.

Hardy attended the University of Miami and was a defensive tackle on the 1991 team that won an NCAA football championship, according to Hardy’s BBQ website.

He later served in the Army, then worked in county government from 2000 to 2013 — a role that included helping to develop an alcohol education program within the criminal justice system.

Corries and his wife Roxie Hardy started their food business 18 years ago and have operated the food truck in both Bethesda and Bowie.

In Bethesda, the Hardys have operated the truck at the Bethesda Farm Women’s Cooperative Market. Bethesda Magazine reported in 2015 that Corries would typically fire up his outdoor pit smoker on Fridays and Saturdays at the market, using hickory, oak and maple wood for smoking meats.

Hardy’s 17-year-old son Jonathan told Bethesda Beat in an interview on Wednesday that he was sleeping Sunday night when his mother told him the news about his father.

“And I think, ‘Why is my mom crying.’ And I see these people coming around me telling me the bad news. It literally felt like a nightmare,” he said.

Jonathan said his father’s death was particularly difficult for his mother because she was with him at the time.

Jonathan said his father always made sure to involve the family in his barbecue business, even when he and his twin brother were as young as 7. He said his father was humble but dedicated, stayed positive and rarely got angry.

“My whole life, I’ve never seen my dad down. He was always so positive. When I was going through something, he always had this positive energy. He was the foundation of our family,” he said.

funeral for Hardy is planned for July 8 in Melbourne, Fla.

A group of residents in Montgomery County who knew Hardy have started a GoFundMe page to help financially support his family during the next few months. As of 1 p.m. on Thursday, $9,895 had been raised.

Jonathan Fellner, a criminal defense attorney who used to work with Hardy in county government, told Bethesda Beat on Thursday that he has approached the University of Miami’s athletic department about getting involved in the fundraiser.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com