Notable sports deaths in 2013
Michael Weiner, the head of Major League Baseball Players Association, died at the age of 51, after a 15 month battle with cancer. Weiner served as the head of the MLBPA for four years. During his tenure, he vastly improved the relationship between the league office and the players association.
Former NFL linebacker Thomas Howard, who was cut by the Falcons last week and played parts of eight NFL seasons, died Monday, November 18, 2013 in a high-speed crash on an Oakland freeway.
Mike McCormack, who played an instrumental role in the expansion process for the Carolina Panthers and later became the team's first president, died early Friday morning at the age of 83.
McCormack, a native of Chicago who lived in Palm Desert, Calif., at the time of his death, made his name in the NFL long before joining the Panthers as a player and coach.
Former NFL tight end and broadcaster Todd Christensen died Wednesday morning in Salt Lake City due to complications from surgery, he was 57.
Christensen won two Super Bowl rings with the Raiders and was a five-time Pro Bowler and a first-team all-pro twice.
Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams
The Titans confirmed via Twitter that Titans owner, Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams, died on Oct. 21, 2013.
The Texan oilman brought the National Football League to Nashville and ignited the city's love affair with the Tennessee Titans. He was 90.
Longtime Washington Huskies head football coach Don James died on Oct. 20, 2013 after a battle with cancer. The winingest coach in the Huskies' history was 80. James coached Washington from 1975-1992, leading the team to six Rose Bowls and compiling a 153-58-2 record during his tenure. The Huskies won a share of the 1991 national championship after going 12-0 and defeating Michigan 34-14 in the Rose Bowl that year.
Andrew “Bum” Phillips
The Houston Oilers’ all-time winningest coach, Andrew “Bum” Phillips, died on Oct. 18, 2013 at age 90. He was also once an assistant coach at Texas A&M under Bear Bryant, one of the greatest coaches ever. Bum’s son, Wade Phillips, is currently an assistant coach for the Houston Texans and still plans to coach on Sunday.
The Eastern Michigan WR was a victim of a homicide October 18th. Reed had started all six games this season as a junior. He was fourth on the team with 15 receptions for 189 yards.
MLB umpire Wally Bell, who called a 2013 NLDS between the Cardinals and Pirates, died on October 14th. Bell spent 21 years as a major league umpire and helped call one World Series, four LCS and seven LDS. Bell was 48.
Maria de Villota
Former Marussia test driver Maria de Villota died from complications from an accident she was involved with last year. de Villota was just 33.
The daughter of former grand prix driver Emilio, de Villota had been one of the most prominent women in Formula One until her accident 2012. Having undertaken tests with Lotus at the end of 2011, de Villota joined Marussia and played a support role to full-time drivers Charles Pic and Timo Glock.
Former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver, 29, has shot and killed himself at his home in an Atlanta suburb, police said.
Oliver's death came almost 17 months after former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau shot himself to death at his home in Oceanside, California.
Oliver was drafted out of the University of Georgia in the fourth round of the 2007 supplemental draft, playing for the Chargers for the first time the following year
Former heavyweight champion Ken Norton (right), who beat Muhammad Ali and later lost a controversial decision to him in Yankee Stadium, died Wednesday at a local care facility. He was 70.
Norton, the only heavyweight champion never to win the title in the ring, had been in poor health for the last several years after suffering a series of strokes, a friend of the fighter said.
Frank Tripucka, the quarterback who led the Broncos in their first three seasons and is in the team’s Ring of Fame, has died at the age of 85.
Tripucka, who threw the first touchdown pass in American Football League history on September 9, 1960, had his No. 18 retired by the Broncos, although he allowed Peyton Manning to begin wearing it last year.
Ex-heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison died in Omaha, Nebraska Sunday, September 1. In 1996, Morrison tested positive for HIV, essentially ending his fighting career.
Morrison also performed in 1990's "Rocky V," gaining recognition for his role as Tommy Gunn, a rookie fighter trained by Rocky Balboa.
Art "The Bulldog" Donovan
A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the U.S. Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame, Art Donovan passed away at the age of 88 on August 4,2013.
Donovan was a defensive tackle best known for his time spent with the Baltimore Colts. He was selected for five straight Pro Bowls from 1953 to 1957 and helped the Cotls win two NFL championships in 1958 and 1959.
New Zealand-born Graham Murray, who coached leading rugby league teams in England and Australia including the New South Wales State of Origin side, has died aged 58.
Murray died at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane on Sunday after suffering a suspected heart attack - his second in the last six months - family members said.
The former South Sydney and Parramatta scrumhalf began his head coaching career with the Illawarra Steelers in 1994.
Emile Griffith, the elegant world champion whose career was overshadowed by the fatal beating he gave Bennie Paret in a 1962 title bout that darkened all of boxing, died Tuesday. He was 75.
He died at an extended care facility in Hempstead, N.Y, the International Boxing Hall of Fame said.
Griffith struggled with pugilistic dementia and required full-time care late in life. He was the first boxer from the U.S. Virgin Islands to become world champion and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.
Bert Trautmann, a former German World War II prisoner of war who became Manchester City's goalkeeper and helped the team win the FA Cup despite a broken neck for the last 17 minutes of the 1956 final, has died, the German soccer federation said. He was 89.
The federation said Trautmann died in La Llosa, near Valencia, Spain, where he lived. Trautmann's wife Marlies told the federation he died Friday morning.
Manchester City called Trautmann one of the club's "greatest goalkeepers of all time and a true club legend."
George "Boomer" Scott
George "Boomer" Scott, a three-time All-Star first baseman who hit 271 homers in a 14-year major-league career and is a member of the Red Sox hall of fame, has died. He was 69.
Washington County coroner Methel Johnson confirmed Scott died on Sunday in Greenville, Miss., his hometown.
A three-time All-Star, Scott spent most of his career with the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. He hit 27 homers with 90 RBIs during his rookie season in 1966 - second for a Red Sox rookie only to Ted Williams - and had his best year with the Brewers in 1975, when he hit 36 homers and had 109 RBIs.
Pat Summerall was the calm alongside John Madden's storm.
Over four decades, Summerall described some of the biggest games in America in his deep, resonant voice. Simple, spare, he delivered the details on 16 Super Bowls, the Masters and the U.S. Open tennis tournament with a simple, understated style that was the perfect complement for the "booms!" and "bangs!" of Madden, his football partner for the last half of the NFL player-turned-broadcaster's career.
Summerall died Tuesday at age 82 of cardiac arrest, said University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center spokesman Jeff Carlton, speaking on behalf of Summerall's wife, Cheri.
Former New England Patriots Coach Chuck Fairbanks, right, has passed away. Fairbanks spent six seasons as coach of the New England Patriots. Fairbanks was 52-15-1 in six years with the Sooners before taking over the Patriots. He won 46 games for New England, a franchise record at the time.
Chuck Fairbanks died Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Scottsdale, Ariz., after battling brain cancer, the University of Oklahoma said in a news release. He was 79.
Grady Hatton, the former major league third baseman who managed the Astros in the 1960s, has died. He was 90.
Alyssa Hatton, his granddaughter, says Hatton died Thursday, April 11, 2013, of the effects of old age at his home in Warren, the rural East Texas Piney Woods town that was his home for 40 years.
Joe Weider, a legendary figure in bodybuilding who helped popularize the sport worldwide and played a key role in introducing a charismatic young weightlifter named Arnold Schwarzenegger to the world, died Saturday. He was 93.
Weider's publicist, Charlotte Parker, told The Associated Press that the bodybuilder, publisher and promoter died of heart failure at his home in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley.
Ray Williams, the former New York Knicks guard who averaged 15.5 points and 5.8 assists in 10 seasons in the NBA, died Friday. He was 58.
The Knicks confirmed Williams' death, but didn't provide a cause. Coach Mike Woodson said he spoke to Williams' wife and brother to offer his condolences.
Legendary Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Steve Davis was one of two people killed in a plane crash on March 17. He was 60.
Davis was the first quarterback Barry Switzer ever recruited, he turned out to be one of the best quarterbacks in the history of Oklahoma University. Davis was the starting quarterback for Oklahoma's national championship teams in 1974 and 1975 and compiled a 32-1-1 record in three seasons.
William "Paul Bearer" Moody
William Moody, better known to pro wrestling fans as Paul Bearer, the pasty-faced, urn-carrying manager for performers The Undertaker and Kane, has died, the WWE said. He was 58.
A spokesman for the wrestling company said Moody's family contacted the WWE to report the death on Tuesday. No cause was released.
Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers' playboy owner who shepherded the NBA team to 10 championships from the Showtime dynasty of the 1980s to the Kobe Bryant era, died Monday. He was 80.
Buss had been hospitalized for most of the past 18 months while undergoing cancer treatment, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure. With his condition worsening in recent weeks, several prominent former Lakers visited Buss to say goodbye.
Few owners in sports history can approach Buss' accomplishments with the Lakers, who made the NBA finals 16 times during his nearly 34 years in charge, winning 10 titles between 1980 and 2010. With 1,786 victories, the Lakers easily are the NBA's winningest franchise since he bought the club, which is now run largely by Jim Buss and Jeanie Buss, two of his six children.
Buss is survived by six children: sons Johnny, Jim, Joey and Jesse, and daughters Jeanie Buss and Janie Drexel. He had eight grandchildren.
San Diego Chargers Hall of Famer and former star offensive lineman Walt Sweeney has passed away that the age of 71.
Sweeney was a first-round draft pick for the Chargers in 1963, and is credited with helping the team win the American Football League championship. He was named AFL All-Star in 1964 and 1965, and played in the NFL Prow Bowl for three consecutive years, from 1970 to 1972. The football standout played at Syracuse before spending 9 seasons with the Chargers, followed by two seasons with the Washington Redskins.
Caleb Moore was a Texas kid drawn to the snow, rehearsing complicated tricks on a snowmobile into a foam pit back home until they became second nature.
The innovative freestyle snowmobile rider, who was hurt in a crash at the Winter X Games in Colorado, died Jan. 30, 2013. He was 25. A former all-terrain vehicle racer, Moore switched over to snowmobiles as a teenager and quickly rose to the top of the sport. He won four Winter X Games medals, including a bronze last season when his younger brother, Colten, captured gold.
Stan "The Man" Musial
Stanley Frank Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals star who was one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, died Saturday. He was 92.
He spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals and made the All-Star team 24 times - baseball held two All-Star games each summer for a few seasons. He had been the longest-tenured living Hall of Famer.
The Cardinals said Musial is survived by his four children, Richard, Gerry, Janet and Jean, as well as 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
Musial's wife died in May 2012.
Funeral arrangements had not yet been finalized, the Cardinals said. The team set up a memorial site around one of Musial's statues at Busch Stadium.
Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver passed away Saturday, Jan. 19. He was 82 years old.
An iconic figure with the Orioles, Weaver compiled a 1,480-1,060 record over 17 seasons as the team's manager. This included stints from 1968-1982 and from 1985-1986. Known for his unique wit and progressive baseball strategy, Weaver led the club to six American League East titles, four pennants and a World Series title in 1970. Weaver is 22nd all-time in managerial wins and ninth all-time in winning percentage. Weaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996 while his No. 4 is one of six numbers retired by the Orioles.
Ron Fraser, the longtime Miami baseball coach whose innovative marketing ideas helped spark a surge in the college game's popularity, passed away Jan. 20.
Family spokesman Tony Segreto said Fraser died Sunday morning. Fraser, known as "the wizard of college baseball," had battled Alzheimer's disease for many years. It was believed that Fraser was 79, though his family's statement did not release his age or other private matters, including a cause of death. Fraser led Miami to national titles in 1982 and 1985, taking the Hurricanes to the College World Series 12 times over his 30 years at the school. He retired in 1992 with 1,271 wins, never having a losing season in his three decades overseeing the program.
Longtime Miami (Ohio) basketball coach Charlie Coles, the school's all-time leader in victories, died Friday in Oxford, Ohio, the school said. He was 71.
No cause of death was reported immediately, but Coles had a long history of heart issues.
The Yellow Springs, Ohio, native was a star Miami player in the early 1960s, averaging 18.5 points per game his junior year with a 50.3 field goal percentage. His jersey was retired by Yellow Springs High School, and he was inducted into the Miami University Hall of Fame.
David "Deacon" Jones, the original sackmaster, has died.
The Hall of Fame defensive end, credited with coining the word "sack" for how he knocked down quarterbacks, was 74. The Washington Redskins said Jones died of natural causes at his home in Southern California.
Ken Venturi, who overcame dehydration to win the 1964 U.S. Open and spent 35 years in the booth for CBS Sports, died. He was 82.
His son, Matt Venturi, said he died in a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Venturi had been hospitalized the last two months for a spinal infection, pneumonia, and then an intestinal infection that he could no longer fight.
Venturi died 11 days after he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Flynn Robinson, the former NBA guard who played on the Los Angeles Lakers' 1971-72 championship team, has died after a two-year fight with cancer. He was 72.
Flynn's wife, Nancy Pitts-Robinson, told the Lakers he died Thursday at Keck Hospital in Los Angeles.
Cliff Meely, one of the best basketball players to ever play at the University of Colorado, has died. He was 65.
The school said in a news release Wednesday that Meely died at Boulder Community Hospital from complications from a blood infection.
The school says Meely was "generally in good health," but developed septic shock from the infection and died unexpectedly.
Chuck Muncie, a Pro Bowl running back with both the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers, has died at age 60 from heart failure.
Muncie was the Saints' first-round pick, third overall, out of California in 1976. He played 4 1/2 seasons in New Orleans before being traded in 1980 to San Diego, where he finished his nine-year NFL career.
Ossie Schectman, once a guard on the New York Knicks, passed away on July 30, 2013. Schectman was 94.
After an all-American career at Long Island University in Brooklyn, Schechtman became an NBA legend. In 1946 as the Knicks took on the Toronto Huskies in the NBA's inagural game, Schechtman scored the very first basket in the history of the National Basketball League.
Dean "The Dream" Meminger
Dean "The Dream" Meminger played an integral part in the Knicks quest for an NBA title in 1973. A guard out of Marquette, Meminger was known for his defensive prowess and scoring ability.
Meminger is often remembered for his performance in game seven of the 1973 Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics at Boston Garden. Meminger replaced Earl Monroe in the second quarter and the Pearl never came back in as the Dream helped propel the Knicks to victory.
After struggling with drug addiction,Meminger was found dead in a New York hotel at the age of 65 on August 23, 2013.