“…Croak in a Week”

When asked what he would do after retiring from coaching college football, Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant famously and presciently said he’d “probably croak in a week.”   It took a little more than a week, but he wasn’t the only college football coach whose last game and death were all too close together.  Seven months or less in the case of the six winners below.

Name:    Knute Rockne
School:    Notre Dame , 13 seasons
Division I Record:    105-12-15  ,  .852
Last Game:   December 6, 1930
Date of Death:   March 31, 1931
Days :   115
Months:    3.8
Cause of Death:  Plane Crash

Name:    Paul “Bear” Bryant
Schools:   Maryland , 1 season
.                Kentucky , 8 seasons
.                Texas A&M ,  4 seasons
.                Alabama ,  25 seasons
Division I Record:  323-85-17  ,  .780
Last Game:   December 29, 1982
Date of Death:   January 26, 1983
Days:   28
Months:  0.9
Cause of Death:  Heart Attack    (Bryant was a heavy smoker and drinker.)

Name:    Woody Hayes
Schools:    Miami  of Ohio  ,  2 seasons
.                 Ohio State  ,  28 seasons
Division I Record:   219-66-10
Last Game:  January 1, 1987
Date of Death:  March 12, 1987
Days:   71
Months:   2.3
Cause of Death:   Heart Attack

Name:   George Allen
School:   Long Beach State , 1 season
Division I Record:   6-5
Last Game:   November 17, 1990
Date of Death:   December 31, 1990
Days:   44
Months:   1.4
Cause of Death:  Heart Arrhythmia and/or Pneumonia     (Some think a celebratory Gatorade bucket
.                                                                                                of ice water did him in.)

Name:   Terry Hoeppner
Schools:   Miami of Ohio  ,  6 seasons
.                Indiana  ,  2 seasons
Division I Record:   57-39
Last Game:   November 18, 2006
Date of Death:   June 19, 2007
Days:   213
Months:   7.0
Cause of Death:   Brain Cancer

Name:   Joe Paterno
School:   Penn State
Division I Record:   409-136-3
Last Game:   October 29, 2011
Date of Death:   January 22, 2012
Days:   85
Months:  2.8
Cause of Death:  Complications from Lung Cancer       (Paterno did not smoke.)

 

 

 

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