2017 Notable Sports Deaths

December 29, 2017 - 10:55 am

UNDATED: NBA Development League.


Feb. 12 — Dave Adolph, 79, former NFL defensive coach and coordinator and assistant college football coach. Adolph joined Sam Rutigliano's Cleveland Browns staff as defensive line coach in 1979. He worked his way up to defensive coordinator in 1984. After his time in Cleveland, Adolph coached with San Diego (1985, 95-96), Kansas City (92-94, 99) and the Raiders (89-91, 97-98). He worked with Woody Hayes at Ohio State (1977-78) and served as Jim Harbaugh's defensive coordinator at the University of San Diego (2004-07). He also coached at Akron, Connecticut, Kentucky, Illinois, San Diego and also assisted Jim Tressel's and Urban Meyer's staffs at Ohio State and multiple staffs at Michigan from 2005-2016.

Feb. 12 — Quentin Moses, 33, former NFL linebacker. Moses was a defensive end for the Georgia Bulldogs from 2003-2005. He played four seasons with the Miami Dolphins from 2007-2010 as a linebacker.

Feb. 12 — Mike Walden, 89, voice of Southern California and UCLA sports for decades who also broadcast Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals games. Walden called USC football and basketball games from 1966-72, including five Rose Bowl appearances and two national football championships in 1967 and '72. Walden then moved across town and did play-by-play for UCLA from 1973-90.

Feb. 16 — Josef Augusta, 70, former left winger for Czechoslovakia who later helped coach his country to three world hockey titles. Augusta helped Czechoslovakia win the silver medal at the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck. The Czech team won the same medal at the 1974, '75 and '78 world championships. As coach with the national team, he assisted Ivan Hlinka when the Czechs won the 1999 world title. He then won the tournament as head coach the following two years.

Feb. 16 — John Jackson, 81, former Southern California football assistant coach. Jackson coached star tailbacks Marcus Allen and Charles White during their Heisman Trophy-winning seasons. He was running backs coach from 1976-81 and also worked as offensive coordinator under coach John Robinson. Jackson coached All-American tailback Ricky Bell as well as star fullbacks Lynn Cain and Mosi Tatupu. While Jackson was at USC, the Trojans won the Rose Bowl three times and were the 1978 national champions. Jackson also coached at UNLV, Hofstra, Dartmouth and Illinois. After leaving USC, he worked as a special assistant to Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss. He ran Forum Boxing and helped develop the Prime Ticket sports cable TV network, now Fox Sports West.

Feb. 17 — Leonard Myers, 38, for NFL cornerback. Myers was a sixth-round pick out of Miami in 2001 by New England and was a part of the Patriots' 2001 Super Bowl Championship team. He also played with New Orleans, the New York Jets and Detroit before going on to play for Ottawa of the Canadian Football League.

Feb. 17 — George "The Animal" Steele, 79, WWE Hall of Fame member whose given name was Jim Myers. Sporting a bald head, hairy back and green tongue, Steele was famous for his signature move of sinking his teeth into the turnbuckle pads around the ring.

Feb. 18 — Erland Kops, 80, Danish badminton great who won the All England tournament seven times in singles and four times in doubles. Kops' All England victories came in the 1950s and 1960s, with his first singles title in 1958. He was Nordic singles champion five times in the 1960s, and he also won the Danish title five times in singles and four in doubles. Kops was also the first European to win titles in the Far East.

Feb. 18 — Ivan Koloff, 74, Canadian professional wrestler known as "The Russian Bear" in the ring. Born in Montreal as Oreal Perras, Koloff was one of wrestling's top villains in the 1970 and 1980s. In 1971, he pinned Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden to take the WWWF title.

Feb. 18 — Nadiya Olizarenko, 63, gold medalist in the women's 800 meters at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The Ukrainian, running for the Soviet Union, held the world record between 1980 and 1983 and remains the second-fastest woman in history over 800 meters. She ran her personal best in the 1980 Olympic final, finishing in 1:53.43 seconds and took bronze in the 1,500 five days later.

Feb. 19 — Dan Vickerman, 37, former rugby forward. Vickerman played 63 rugby tests for Australia. Vickerman was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and moved to Australia in 2000 before joining the Canberra-based ACT Brumbies for the 2001 Super Rugby season. He made his test debut for Australia in June 2002 in a 31-25 win over France and earned his last test cap in the World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand in 2011.

Feb. 19 — Charismatic, 21, former Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, whose bid for the Triple Crown ended with a dramatic leg injury. At the Belmont, Charismatic led with an eighth of a mile to go, but took a bad step and fractured his left foreleg as Lemon Drop Kid swept by to win. Charismatic finished third. Doctors said the fracture could have proved fatal had the bone broken the skin. They praised jockey Chris Antley for dismounting quickly and lifting Charismatic's injured leg to take weight off it. The horse underwent surgery and won Horse of the Year honors. He retired from racing with five wins in 17 starts with career earnings exceeding $2 million before starting his stud career in 2000.

Feb. 21 — Bert Henderson, 60, associate athletics director. Henderson started working at Clemson in 1978 as a trainer and worked with the 1981 national championship football team. He later worked with Clemson's Alumni Center before becoming executive director of its planned giving efforts.

Feb. 22 — Ed Garvey, 76, lawyer who led the National Football League Players Association through strikes in 1974 and 1982. Garvey was the players' union counsel and executive director from 1971-83.

Feb. 23 — Bernie Custis, 88, pro football's first black quarterback who blazed the trail for future CFL stars Warren Moon, Chuck Ealey and Damon Allen. Custis made pro football history on Aug. 29, 1951, when he became a starter with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He moved to running back the following season and in 1953 helped Hamilton win the Grey Cup 12-6 over Winnipeg.

Feb. 23 — Jose Luis Felomina, 50, Texas Rangers international scout. Felomina had worked as a Rangers scout in Curacao since 2008.

Feb. 25 — Jamie Hildreth, 72, longtime Houston Astros executive. Hildreth spent more than three decades with the team, holding several front-office positions. He was the senior vice president of broadcasting and alumni relations. He joined the Astros in 1987 as director of broadcasting.

Feb. 25 — Neil Fingleton, 36, former 7-foot 7-inch basketball player at North Carolina and Holy Cross. He went on to a short professional basketball career in the U.S. and Europe before turning to acting. Fingleton, who was Britain's tallest man, appeared in films including "417 Ronin" and "X-Men: First Class" and in TV shows including "Doctor Who" and the hit fantasy series "Game of Thrones."

Feb. 28 — Tommy Gemmell, 73, Celtic great who scored one of the goals that helped the Scottish club win the European Cup in 1967. Gemmell scored the equalizer and played a key part in Stevie Chalmers' winning goal as Celtic beat Inter Milan 2-1 to become the first British team to win the European Cup. Gemmell played for Celtic from 1961-71 and won six Scottish league titles and seven domestic cups with Celtic, and played 18 times for Scotland.

March 2 — Simon Hobday, 76, South African golfer who won the 1994 U.S. Senior Open at Pinehurst. Hobday won five times on the PGA Tour Champions. He won the 1976 German Open and 1979 Madrid Open on the European Tour, and the 1971 South African Open was the biggest of his Sunshine Tour titles.

March 3 — Raymond Kopa, 85, former Real Madrid attacking midfielder who became the first French player to win the Ballon d'Or. Kopa won the Ballon d'Or in 1958 when he played for Real Madrid. Known as the "Napoleon of football," Kopa won the European Cup three times with the Spanish club. He played 45 times for France, scoring 18 goals.

March 6 — Mickey Marvin, 61, former Super Bowl champion and Tennessee player. Marvin was drafted in the fourth round by the Oakland Raiders in 1977, started at right guard from 1978-86 and was part of Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1980 and 1983 seasons. He played for the Volunteers from 1973-76 and helped them win the 1974 Liberty Bowl.

March 6 — Bill Hougland, 86, Kansas standout who led the Jayhawks to the 1952 national basketball title before becoming the first player to win two Olympic basketball gold medals. Hougland also helped the Jayhawks win Big Seven titles in 1950 and 1952. He was among seven Kansas players who helped the U.S. win gold at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, then was part of the team that repeated its golden performance at the 1956 Melbourne Games.

March 8 — Lou Duva, 94, boxing Hall of Famer who handled the careers of 19 champions including heavyweight titlist Evander Holyfield. The gruff, down-to-earth manager and trainer had a career that spanned seven decades. Duva also handled welterweight champions Pernell Whitaker and Meldrick Taylor. His first titlist was middleweight Joey Giardiello, who won his crown in 1963. Duva and his family built the promotional company Main Events into one of boxing's powerhouses.March 10 — John Surtees, 83, 1964 Formula One champion. Surtees became the only man to win world titles on both two and four wheels when he captured the 1964 F1 title for Ferrari. Surtees also won 500cc motorcycle world titles in 1956, '58, '59 and '60. He started over 100 F1 grands prix, winning six, in a career which took him to Ferrari, Cooper, and Honda. During the 1970s he also designed, built and raced his own Team Surtees F1, F2, and F5000 cars.

March 12 — John Andariese, 78, New York Knicks broadcaster for more than 35 years. A star player at Fordham and member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame, Andariese started as a Knicks radio analyst in 1972 alongside Marv Albert. He later spent 12 seasons as a TV analyst for MSG Network from 1986-98 before returning to the radio side, retiring before the start of the 2012-13 season.

March 15 — Royal Robbins, 82, U.S. rock climbing icon who founded the outdoor clothing company bearing his name. Robbins was a leading figure in the "Golden Age" of Yosemite Valley when climbers made new ascents previously believed to be impossible. He was also a major promoter of clean climbing techniques and equipment to avoid rock damage.

March 15 — Dave Stallworth, 75, key member of the New York Knicks' 1970 NBA championship team. The 6-7 forward earned the nickname Dave the Rave as an All-American at Wichita State, leading the Shockers to the 1965 Final Four. The Knicks drafted him with the third overall pick in 1965. He finished second to the Warriors' Rick Barry in Rookie of the Year voting. He suffered a heart attack at age 26 in 1967 and missed he next two seasons. He returned to the Knicks, playing in all 82 games in the 1969-70 season.

March 18 — Dr. Tom Amberry, 94, podiatrist who made history when he shot 2,750 consecutive free throws. The retired podiatrist earned a spot in Guinness World Records and brief celebrity in 1993 after he lobbed in shot after shot for 12 hours. Amberry played basketball for the University of North Dakota and later transferred to Long Beach City College, where he was named Junior College Player of the Year.

March 21 — Jerry Krause, 77, general manager of the Chigao Bulls during a 1990s dynasty that included six NBA championships with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way. A Chicago native, Krause spent 18 seasons leading the Bulls' front office and was a two-time NBA executive of the year. He also hired Phil Jackson from the Continental Basketball Association as an assistant to Doug Collins and fired Collins in favor of Jackson following a run to the Eastern Conference finals in 1989.


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