Former UCLA Football Coach Terry Donahue Dies of Cancer at 77 – NBC Los Angeles

on Jul5
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Former football coach Terry Donahue, the winningest coach in UCLA history, has died at age 77 after a two-year battle with cancer Sunday night at his Newport Beach home.

Donahue was the first person to appear in a Rose Bowl Game as a player, assistant coach and head coach. 

He began playing for the Bruins in 1965 and helped the team to their first-ever Rose Bowl victory against unbeaten Michigan State. He served as an assistant coach first under Pepper Rodgers, then Dick Vermeil. 

He became head coach in the 1976 season at age 31.

His 151 wins are the most in UCLA history. He also won more PAC-12 games than any other coach, with a 98-51-5 record. He won or shared five conference titles (four in the 1980s, one in the 90s) over his 20-year head coaching career. 

During his tenure, the Bruins won three Rose Bowls — 1983, 84, 86 — and in 2013, the Rose Bowl press box was named in his honor, the Terry Donahue Pavilion.

He also had a winning record where it mattered most — against crosstown rival, USC. Against the Trojans, Donahue went 10-9-1.

He coached 34 first-team All-American players, including future NFL Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Jonathan Ogden and Kenny Easley.

In 2000, Donahue was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Three years earlier, he was selected to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame, class of 2001. And he was named by ESPN as one of the 150 Greatest College Coaches of all time.

After coaching, Donahue became a broadcaster for CBS Sports, FOX and NFL Network. He also spent time in the San Francisco 49ers’ front office, serving as director of player personnel in 1999-2000 and the team’s general manager from 2001-05.

Donahue is survived by his wife, Andrea, and three daughters, three sons-in-law and 10 grandchildren.

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