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2013 Notable Sports Deaths

Posted: December 25, 2013 - 12:01am
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University of Connecticut's Wes Bialosuknia takes a shot against Boston College during the 1967 season. The "Poughkeepsie Popper" is at the top of the scoring list for the Huskies for his 1966-67 season when he averaged 28 points per game. He averaged 23.6 for his three-year varsity career. All before the three-point shot entered college basketball. He was drafted by the NBA's St. Louis Hawks but played for the ABA's Oakland Oaks for two years. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARCHIVES & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT LIBRARIES
University of Connecticut's Wes Bialosuknia takes a shot against Boston College during the 1967 season. The "Poughkeepsie Popper" is at the top of the scoring list for the Huskies for his 1966-67 season when he averaged 28 points per game. He averaged 23.6 for his three-year varsity career. All before the three-point shot entered college basketball. He was drafted by the NBA's St. Louis Hawks but played for the ABA's Oakland Oaks for two years. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARCHIVES & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT LIBRARIES

The Associated Press

Oct. 21 — Allan Stanley, 87, Hall of Fame defenseman who won four Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs during a 22-year NHL career. During his 10 seasons with the Leafs, Stanley formed a fierce defensive tandem with Tim Horton. Among his four Stanley Cups was one in 1967, Toronto’s last title. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981.

Oct. 23 — Bill Mazer, 92, sports-talk radio pioneer who also was a fixture in New York television during a 60-year career. Mazer came to New York in 1964 at WNBC-AM after 16 years in radio and TV in Buffalo, and had a long run as WNEW-TV’s sports anchor. He also worked at WOR-AM, on CBS television’s NHL and NFL coverage, on ABC and NBC TV game broadcasts and in radio at WFAN, WEVD and WVOX-AM, retiring in 2009.

Oct. 23 — Wes Bialosuknia, 68, known as the “Poughkeepsie Popper,” who starred for Connecticut between 1964 and 1967. He averaged 28 points a game for the Huskies in the 1966-67 season to set a school record. He averaged 23.6 points for his three seasons.

Oct. 24 — Reggie Rogers, 49, former Washington defensive tackle. Rogers had a stellar football career from 1984-86 while playing for Hall of Fame coach Don James.

Oct. 24 — Donald D. Smith, 69, longtime jockey at Penn National who won more than 1,500 races. Known as D.D., Smith began his riding career in the early 1960s and retired in 1989.

Oct. 25 — Bill Sharman, 87, Hall of Famer who won NBA titles as a player for the Boston Celtics and a coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. He won four NBA titles during an 11-season career as a shooting guard in Boston. Sharman then spent the past four decades with Los Angeles as a successful coach and front office executive. Sharman coached the 1971-72 Lakers to a championship with 69 victories and a 33-game winning streak, the longest in pro sports history. Sharman was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1976 and a coach in 2004.

Oct. 29 — John Axford, 78, principal owner of the Knoxville Ice Bears minor-league hockey team since their 2002 inception.

Oct. 31 — Johnny Kucks, 81, former New York Yankees pitcher. Kucks, who pitched a three-hitter for the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1956 World Series, pitched in four World Series with the Yankees from 1955-58, going 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in eight games. Kucks went 54-56 with a 4.10 ERA in six seasons in the majors with New York and the Kansas City Athletics. His best season occurred in 1956, when he went 18-9 with a 3.85 ERA.

Nov. 1 — Derek Moore, 37, offensive line coach at Missouri Southern State. Moore was shot outside a Joplin (Mo.) theater. He came to MSSU after three seasons at Western Illinois.

Nov. 1 — Marcy Scott, 42, the promotion and marketing director at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Nov. 2 — Walt Bellamy, 74, the Hall of Fame center who averaged 20.1 points and 13.7 rebounds in 14 seasons in the NBA. The former Indiana star won an Olympic gold medal in 1960 and was the first overall pick by the Chicago Packers in 1961. He was the rookie of the year with Chicago, averaging 31.6 points and 19.0 rebounds, and also played for Baltimore, New York, Detroit, Atlanta and New Orleans. He played in four All-Star games and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Nov. 2 — Herm Harrison, 71, former Arizona State player who starred at tight end for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League. Harrison — called “Ham Hands” — played for Calgary from 1964-72, helping the Stampeders win the 1971 Grey Cup title.

Nov. 2 — Derek Moore, 37, Missouri Southern State assistant football coach, was fatally shot as he was leaving a movie theater in Joplin, Mo.

Nov. 3 — Lambert Bartak, 94, organist who entertained Rosenblatt Stadium’s baseball fans for more than half a century during the College World Series. Bartak started in 1955 and retired in 2010, the last year the College World Series was played in Rosenblatt.

Nov. 4 — Bob Owens, 77, former Arizona State football coach. Owens was named the Sun Devils’ interim coach after Frank Kush was fired in 1979. He coached Arizona State the final seven games of that season before going on to become an assistant coach at UNLV.

Nov. 5 — Bobby Thomason, 85, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback. Thomason played for the Eagles from 1952-57 and completed 556 passes in 1,113 attempts for 8,124 yards, 57 touchdowns and 80 interceptions. Thomason made the Pro Bowl in 1954 and 1956-57. Thomason also played for the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers.

Nov. 6 — Clarence “Ace” Parker, 101, oldest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame 101. Parker played football, basketball and baseball at Duke, then was a first-round draft choice of the National Football League’s Brooklyn Dodgers in 1937. Parker opted to play baseball for Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics. He later traded baseball for football, starring for the Dodgers from 1937-41, and winning the most valuable player award in 1940.

Nov. 6 — Martin Kahn, 69, former North Texas football tackle. Kahn played from 1963 to 1965 and was drafted in the fifth round by the Atlanta Falcons in 1966.

Nov. 7 — Ian Davies, 57, former Australian Olympic basketball player who played at Graceland University in Iowa. Davies, a forward, represented Australia in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics and the 1982 and 1986 world championships.

Nov. 9 — Paul Moran, 67, Eclipse Award-winning turf writer who covered horse racing since the 1970s. Moran was a mainstay at New York racetracks since joining Newsday in 1985. That year, he won a media Eclipse Award for a story on Daily Racing Form columnist Joe Hirsch. In 1990, he won another Eclipse for his story on Go for Wand’s catastrophic injury in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff that year. He was a president of the New York Turf Writers Association.

Nov. 10 — Taylor Huff, 21, Hardin-Simmons wide receiver. Huff was killed when he has hit by a vehicle.

Nov. 11 — Charles Youvella, 17, high school football player in Arizona died two days after suffering an injury in the fourth quarter of a blowout playoff game loss. The Hopi High School senior died of a traumatic brain injury in Hopi’s 60-6 loss to Arizona Lutheran in a first-round playoff game. Youvella scored his team’s only touchdown in the game.

Nov. 13 — Todd Christensen, 57, five-time Pro Bowl selection at tight end and two-time Super Bowl winner. After a stellar career at running back for BYU from 1974-77, Christensen was selected by Dallas in the 1978 NFL draft. He was waived by the Cowboys and joined the Oakland Raiders the next year. He played for 10 seasons and won Super Bowls in 1981 and 1984. In 1983, he had 92 catches, setting the NFL record at the time for tight ends. He finished the season with 1,247 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. He broke his own record three seasons later with 95 catches. He finished his career with 467 catches for 5,872 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Nov. 15 — Raimondo D’Inzeo, 88, Italian equestrian rider who won an Olympic gold medal in 1960 and competed in eight consecutive games.

Nov. 15 — Mike McCormack, 83, Hall of Fame lineman. McCormack spent 12 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, helping the franchise win NFL championships in 1954 and 1955. He played with Otto Graham and blocked for running back Jim Brown. McCormack later coached Philadelphia (1973-75), Baltimore (1980-81) and Seattle (1982). McCormack held several executive positions, including president of the Carolina Panthers. He also served as president and general manager of the Seahawks.

Nov. 16 — Billy Hardwick, 72, two-time Professional Bowlers Association player of the year and 18-time winner in his Hall of Fame career. Hardwick was the PBA Tour’s rookie of the year in 1962 and took player of the year honors in 1964 and 1969. He was a three-time major champion, completing the PBA’s Triple Crown by winning the 1963 PBA National, 1965 PBA Tournament of Champions and 1969 Bowling Proprietors Association of America All-Star (now U.S. Open).

Nov. 16 — Jack Donaldson, 86, member of the Cincinnati Bengals’ original coaching staff. Donaldson was hired by Paul Brown and stayed on the staff from 1968-77. He spent his first season as defensive line coach and the rest as offensive backfield coach. He coached Bengals teams that reached the playoffs in 1970, 1973 and 1975.

Nov. 17 — Joe Dean, 83, former LSU basketball star and later the university’s athletic director. Dean was LSU’s top scorer in 1950 and ‘51. He became the second LSU player with 1,000 career points in 1952. Dean was the athletic director at LSU for 14 years, beginning in 1987.

Nov. 17 — George M. “Buck” Randall, 73, Mississippi football player who tried to stop violence that erupted on the Oxford campus during integration in 1962. Randal was a Rebels fullback from 1960 to 1963.

Nov. 17 — Frank Chamberlin, 35, NFL linebacker who played with three teams from 2000 to 2005. Chamberlin was a fullback and linebacker at Boston College and was drafted by Tennessee in 2000. He spent three seasons with the Titans and later played with Cincinnati and Houston.

Nov. 17 — Dick Whitney, 78, wide receiver at Cal State-Los Angeles in the 1950s.

Nov. 17 — Jim Vanderslice, 65, three-year letterman at TCU. He was a three-year starter at linebacker for the Horned Frogs in the late 1960’s and was also co-captian his senior year. He was later drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and played one season.

Nov. 18 — Thomas Howard, 30, former Oakland Raiders linebacker. Howard was selected by the Raiders in the 2006 NFL Draft out of UTEP. After 62 starts with Oakland over five seasons, Howard went on to start 16 games for the Cincinnati Bengals between 2011 and 2012.

Nov. 20 — Frank Lauterbur, 88, former football coach aqt Toledo and Iowa. Toledo won 23 consecutive games from 1969-70 under Lauterbur. Lauterbur, who also served as athletic director at Toledo, had a career record of 48-32-2. He coached eight seasons at Toledo before going to Iowa where he coached from 1971-73. The Hawkeyes were 4-28-1 before Lauterbur was let go.

Nov. 20 — Adrian Dudzicki, 23, one of Canada’s top squash players died after he was hit by a car while cycling in Toronto. Dudzicki reached a career-high ranking of No. 9 in Canada and No. 136 in the world in 2012.

Nov. 21 — Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon, 84, a wrestler for Canada in the 1948 Olympics before fighting in more than 13,000 bouts as a professional. Vachon started his career as an amateur, taking part in the 1948 London Games at 18. He later became an international star as a pro, earning 30 titles. He joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1984. His last pro bout was in his native Montreal on Oct. 13, 1986.

Nov. 21 — Michael Weiner, 51, Major League Baseball players’ union head. He took over as head of the powerful union four years ago and helped smooth its often-contentious relationship with MLB management.

Nov. 21 — Vern Mikkelsen, 85, Hall of Fame basketball player who won four NBA titles with the Minneapolis Lakers. He was a six-time All-Star during 10 years with the Lakers, teaming with George Mikan and Jim Pollard in a frontcourt that to this day is considered one of the best the league has ever seen. Though he was known for his hard-nosed defense, Mikkelsen averaged 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in his career and emerged as one of the league’s first true power forwards.

Nov. 24 — Jerry Seeman, 77, former NFL supervisor of officials who worked as the chief referee in two Super Bowls. Seeman was an NFL game official from 1975 to 1990, including 12 seasons as a lead referee. Seeman moved to the league office in 1991 and served 10 years as the supervisor of officials until his retirement.

Nov. 25 — Bill Foulkes, 81, a Manchester United defender who survived the 1958 Munich air crash that killed eight players and had a key role in the storied team’s recovery. Foulkes won titles four times in the top tier of English soccer and helped the club capture the European Cup for the first time.

Nov. 27 — Nilton Santos, 88, one of the most talented left-backs in the history of soccer. Santos, who won the 1958 and 1962 World Cup with Brazil, was seen as a pioneer in his position, as one of the first defenders to take part in the offensive game.

Nov. 30 — Willis Wilson, 21, Hawaii running back. Wilson, a walk-on running back at Washington for three seasons before transferring to Hawaii this year.

Dec. 1 — Evan Chambers, 24, Pittsburgh Pirates minor league prospect. A third-round draft pick in 2009, Chambers spent five years in the team’s minor league system.

Dec. 5 — Tim Marcum, 69, winningest coach in Arena Football League history. Marcum began coaching the Tampa Bay Storm in 1995 after collecting an AFL championship with the Denver Dynamite and three with the Detroit Drive. In 16 years with the Storm, Marcum racked up a 156-79 record while winning three championships. Marcum finished with a career record of 211-99.

Dec. 6 — M.K. Turk, 71, former Southern Mississippi basketball coach. Turk led the Golden Eagles for 20 seasons from 1976 to 1996 and finished with a school-record 301 victories, two NCAA tournament appearances and six NIT appearances, including one NIT championship.

Dec. 7 — Jos Vanstiphout, 62, golf psychologist to Retief Goosen and Ernie Els.

Dec. 7 — Jacob “Baby Jake” Matlala, 51, four-time world champion in the flyweight and junior flyweight divisions. During a 22-year career, he won flyweight and junior flyweight belts for the WBO as well as the IBA light flyweight title and WBU junior flyweight crown.

Dec. 7 — John Joseph Idzik, 85, former NFL assistant coach and father of New York Jets general manager John Idzik. Idzik served as the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1973-76 and the Jets from 1977-79. He was also an assistant with Miami and Baltimore, and later coached in the USFL.

Dec. 9 — Shane Del Rosario, 30, UFC fighter. Del Rosario had been a professional mixed martial artist since 2006, also competing in kickboxing and muay thai competitions. He was the first American winner of the WBC world heavyweight muay thai championship in 2007.

Dec. 9 — Joe Black Hayes, 98, former Middle Tennessee assistant football coach. Hayes played for Tennessee from 1935-37 and was a captain his final year. He also lettered in wrestling and track and field at Tennessee. Hayes worked as an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee from 1950-68. He founded Middle Tennessee’s wrestling team in 1950 and established Middle Tennessee’s track program in 1955.

Dec. 10 — Don Lund, 90, former Michigan three-sport athlete major league baseball player. Lund played baseball, basketball and football, lettering nine times as a student-athlete in the early 1940s. In 1945, he was a first-round NFL draft pick of the Chicago Bears, but signed a minor league baseball deal with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He returned to Michigan as a baseball coach from 1959-62, winning the Big Ten championship in 1961 and the national championship and National Coach of the Year honors in 1962. Lund worked in the Detroit Tigers’ organization from 1963-70, then returned to U-M, where he served as an assistant athletic director from 1970 to his retirement in 1992.

Dec. 10 — John Didion, 66, former Oregon State All-American and NFL player. Didion starred at center at OSU lettering 1966-68 and garnering All-America honors in 1968. He was a member of Oregon State’s famed “Giant Killers.” He was selected in the seventh round of the 1969 NFL Draft by Washington where he played from 1969-70 before moving to the New Orleans Saints for the 70-74 seasons.

Dec. 13 — John Bozick, 88, Ohio State’s longtime football equipment manager throughout the tenures of Woody Hayes and Earle Bruce. Bozick is one of only 17 non-athletes honored in Ohio State’s men’s athletic hall of fame.

Dec. 14 — Tom Bass, 78, former Tennessee and Clemson assistant football coach. He coached for one year at Tennessee and 14 at Clemson, for five coaches.

Dec. 15 — Dyron Nix, 46, former Southeastern Conference scoring champion at Tennessee. Nix played for Tennessee from 1985-89 and led the SEC with 22.2 points per game in the 1987-88 season. He averaged 16.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in his college career. Nix played for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers in 1989-90.

Dec. 21 — David Coleman, 87, British sports broadcaster who covered 11 Summer Olympics for the BBC and six World Cups. Coleman retired from the BBC in 2000 after covering the Sydney Olympics. He became the first broadcaster to receive an Olympic Order medal to recognize his contribution to the Olympics.

Dec. 21 — Marv Wolfenson, 87, one of the two businessmen who brought the NBA back to Minnesota. Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner were the Timberwolves original owners when the NBA granted them and Minnesota an expansion franchise that began play in 1989.

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