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    Notable sports deaths of 2018

    In 1954, British medical student Roger Bannister made history by running a sub-4:00 mile.
    AP file
    In 1954, British medical student Roger Bannister made history by running a sub-4:00 mile.

    A look back at some of the notable figures from the world of sports who died this year:

    Rob Picciolo

    Jan. 3 at age 64. Infielder for the Athletics, Brewers, and Angels from 1977-85.

    Carm Cozza

    Jan. 4 at age 87. College Football Hall of Fame coach who went 179-119-5 at Yale from 1965-96, winning or sharing 10 Ivy League titles.

    Yale legend Carm Cozza holds the Ivy League record for most coaching wins.
    barry chin/1996 globe staff file
    Yale legend Carm Cozza holds the Ivy League record for most coaching wins.

    Bruce Hood


    Jan. 5 at age 81. NHL referee who worked more than 1,000 games over 21 seasons.

    Horace Ashenfelter III

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    Jan. 6 at age 94. USA Track and Field Hall of Famer who won gold in the steeplechase at the 1952 Olympics.

    Bob Bailey

    Jan. 9 at age 75. Infielder/outfielder whose 17-year major league career was spent mostly with Montreal and ended with the Red Sox in 1978.

    Keith Jackson

    Jan. 12 at age 89. Broadcasting giant who called a multitude of events for ABC Sports, including baseball and the Olympics, but was most renowned for his college football work.

    For many, Keith Jackson was the quintessential voice of college football.
    For many, Keith Jackson was the quintessential voice of college football.

    Doug Harvey

    Jan. 13 at age 87. Hall of Fame umpire who worked 30 years in the National League (1962-92).

    Dan Gurney


    Jan. 14 at age 86. First driver to record victories in three major circuits: Formula One, IndyCar, and NASCAR.

    Mike Shanahan

    Jan. 15 at age 78. St. Louis Blues owner from 1986-91.

    Jo Jo White

    Jan. 16 at age 71. Hall of Fame guard who played on two Celtics championship teams (1974, 1976), made seven NBA All-Star teams, and won a gold medal with the US Olympic team in 1968.

    Jo Jo White averaged 17.2 points and 4.9 assists per game for his career.
    Globe file
    Jo Jo White averaged 17.2 points and 4.9 assists per game for his career.

    Tyler Hilinski

    Jan. 16 at age 21. Washington State quarterback.

    Clara Marangoni

    Jan. 18 at age 102. Silver medalist in gymnastics in the 1928 Summer Games who at the time of her death was the oldest surviving Olympic medalist.

    Red Fisher


    Jan. 19 at age 91. Longtime hockey writer for the Montreal Gazette.

    Jim Johannson

    Jan. 21 at age 53. General manager of the US Olympic hockey team who also played for the team in the 1988 and 1992 Games and won an NCAA championship with Wisconsin.

    Chameka Scott

    Jan. 21 at age 33. Guard on Baylor’s 2005 NCAA women’s basketball champions.

    Warren Miller

    Jan. 24 at age 93. Prolific outdoor filmmaker who specialized in cinematic homages to skiing.

    Jerry Sneva

    Jan. 27 at age 69. 1977 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year (finishing 10th) and brother of IndyCar driver Tom Sneva.

    Kevin Towers

    Jan. 30 at age 56. General manager of the Padres (1995-2009) and Diamondbacks (2010-14) whose San Diego team won the National League pennant in 1998.

    Oscar Gamble

    Jan. 31 at age 68. Outfielder/DH for seven teams, notably the Yankees and Indians, who was renowned for his spectacular 1970s Afro hairstyle.
    1974 AP file
    Oscar Gamble was a career .265 hitter and belted 200 home runs.

    Rasual Butler

    Jan. 31 at age 38. Guard/forward for eight teams in a 13-year NBA career.

    Cliff Bourland

    Feb. 1 at age 97. Sprinter who at the time of his death was the oldest living American Olympic gold medalist (1,600-meter relay, 1948 London Games).

    Edwin Jackson

    Feb. 4 at age 26. Indianapolis Colts linebacker.

    Wally Moon

    Feb. 9 at age 87. Outfielder who was NL Rookie of the Year for the Cardinals in 1954, played on three champion Dodger teams, and whose homers at the LA Coliseum were called “Moon shots.”

    Tito Francona

    Feb. 13 at age 84. All-Star outfielder for the Indians in 1961 who played for eight other teams in a 15-year career and was the father of former Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
    Terry Francona (left) with his father, Tito, before an ALDS game at Cleveland’s Progressive Field in 2016.
    jim Davis/globe staff file
    Terry Francona (left) with his father, Tito, before an ALDS game at Cleveland’s Progressive Field in 2016.

    Don Carter

    Feb. 14 at age 84. Founding co-owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

    Tom Brewer

    Feb. 15 at age 86. Red Sox righthander who went 91-82 in eight seasons (1954-61), making the All-Star team in 1956, when he was 19-9.

    Greg Smyth

    Feb. 16 at age 51. Hard-nosed defenseman for six teams, notably the Flyers and Nordiques, in a 10-year NHL career (1986-97).

    Jack Hamilton

    Feb. 22 at age 79. Angels pitcher whose fateful fastball to the left temple of Tony Conigliaro in August 1967 shortened the career of the budding Red Sox star.
    1968 AP file
    Jack Hamilton pitched for six teams over eight years in the majors.

    Dorne Dibble

    March 1 at age 88. Receiver/defensive back on the Detroit Lions NFL championship teams in 1953 and 1957.

    Sammy Stewart

    March 2 at age 63. Righthander whose nine-year career included a World Series title with Baltimore in 1983 and an AL pennant with the Red Sox in 1986.

    Roger Bannister

    March 3 at age 88. British runner who in 1954 became the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes (3:59.4), one of the signature athletic achievements of the 20th century.

    Ronnie Franklin

    March 8 at age 58. Jockey who rode 1,402 winners, including Spectacular Bid in the 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

    Chris Gedney

    March 9 at age 47. Tight end for the Bears and Cardinals (1993-2000).

    Ken Houston

    March 11 at age 64. Right winger, mostly for the Atlanta Flames, who scored at least 20 goals six times in a nine-year NHL career.

    Ken Flach

    March 12 at age 54. Winner of four Grand Slam tennis titles in men’s doubles and two in mixed doubles.

    Tom Benson

    March 15 at age 90. Owner of the New Orleans Saints (1985-2018) whose team won Super Bowl XLIV, and also owner of the New Orleans Pelicans (2012-18).

    Ed Charles

    March 15 at age 84. Third baseman on the 1969 World Series champion “Miracle Mets.”
    Ed Charles (left) was a clubhouse leader on a Mets team that accomplished the unthinkable in 1969.
    AP file
    Ed Charles (left) was a clubhouse leader on a Mets team that accomplished the unthinkable in 1969.

    Augie Garrido

    March 15 at age 79. University of Texas baseball coach who holds the NCAA record for coaching wins (1,975) and captured five College World Series titles (three with Cal State Fullerton).

    Larry Kwong

    March 15 at age 94. The first person of Asian heritage to appear in an NHL game, playing a shift for the Rangers in 1948.

    Greg Polis

    March 17 at age 67. Left wing for four teams (Penguins, Rangers, Blues, Capitals) during a 10-year NHL career.

    Don MacAulay

    March 19 at age 79. Longtime figure in local amateur track — as a scholastic and collegiate athlete, as well as coach, official, and reporter.

    Leo Brown

    March 21 at age 84. Two-way end for Ohio State in the 1950s who was the school’s first black football captain.

    Dick Wilmarth

    March 21 at age 75. Alaskan miner who won the first Iditarod Sled Dog Race in 1973.

    Wayne Huizenga

    March 22 at age 80. Founding owner of baseball’s Florida Marlins and the NHL’s Florida Panthers, and also Miami Dolphins owner from 1994-2008.
    In addition to his sports holdings, Wayne Huizenga was also the founder and CEO of Blockbuster Video in the 1980s.
    2008 AP file
    In addition to his sports holdings, Wayne Huizenga was also the founder and CEO of Blockbuster Video in the 1980s.

    Dick Gamble

    March 22 at age 89. Left wing on the Canadiens’ Stanley Cup champions in 1953 who made his mark as an AHL star, scoring 468 goals and compiling 892 points in that league.

    Mel Rosen

    March 25 at age 90. Auburn track coach for 28 years (1963-91) who also coached the 1992 US Olympic men’s team, which won eight gold medals.

    Jerry Moses

    March 26 at age 71. Red Sox catcher in the late 1960s who remains the youngest player in franchise history to hit a home run (18).

    David Humm

    March 28 at age 65. Backup quarterback for the Raiders and Colts (1975-84).

    Daryl Thomas

    March 28 at age 52. Starting forward on Indiana’s 1987 NCAA men’s basketball champions who passed the ball to Keith Smart for the decisive basket in the title game.

    Rusty Staub

    March 29 at age 73. All-Star outfielder who in a 23-year career led the Mets to the 1973 NL pennant and became the only player to amass 500 hits with four teams.

    Bob Beattie

    April 1 at age 85. Ski racing pioneer who helped launch the World Cup circuit more than 50 years ago, and a noted TV commentator for the sport.

    Rusty Staub, in his days with the Tigers, slides into home in a 1978 games against the Yankees.
    g. paul bennett/AP file
    Rusty Staub, in his days with the Tigers, slides into home in a 1978 games against the Yankees.

    Bill Rademacher

    April 2 at age 75. Jets wide receiver/defensive back who played on their 1968 Super Bowl champions and also spent two years with the Patriots.

    Grady Alderman

    April 5 at age 79. Mainstay Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman for 14 seasons (1961-74) who played in three Super Bowls.

    Eric Bristow

    April 5 at age 60. Englishman who won five world darts titles from 1980-86 and is widely considered the sport’s first superstar.

    Robert Holmes

    April 14 at age 72. Running back on the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl champion team of 1969.

    Hal Greer

    April 14 at age 81. Basketball Hall of Fame guard who made 10 All-Star teams and is the Philadelphia 76ers franchise leader in points, field goals, and games played.

    Hal Greer with Sixers owner Irv Kosloff in 1971,
    AP file
    Hal Greer with Sixers owner Irv Kosloff in 1971.

    Dick Lynch

    April 15 at age 91. Three-sport coach at Swampscott High School (football, basketball, baseball) from 1954-73, and the father of WCVB sports anchor Mike Lynch.

    Vic Bubas

    April 16 at age 91. Basketball coach who led Duke to three Final Fours in the 1960s and went 213-67 in 10 seasons.

    New York Times file
    Bruno Sammartino won the WWE title in 1963 and held it until 1971.

    Bruno Sammartino

    April 18 at age 82. One of pro wrestling’s biggest box office draws and its longest-reigning champion in the 1960s and ’70.

    Gil Santos

    April 19 at age 80. A New England broadcast icon, he was the play-by-play voice of the Patriots for 36 seasons, called Celtics and Boston College football games, and was a WBZ radio sports anchor for 38 years.

    Earle Bruce

    April 20 at age 87. Woody Hayes’s successor as Ohio State football coach, he went 81-26-1 from 1979-87 and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

    Dee Hardison

    April 21 at age 61. All-American defensive tackle for North Carolina who played 11 seasons in the NFL for four teams.

    Dave Nelson

    April 22 at age 73. Speedy All-Star infielder for the Rangers who also played for the Indians, Senators, and Royals in a 10-year career.

    Ken Hofmann

    April 22 at age 95. Co-owner of the Seattle Seahawks from 1988-97 and the Oakland Athletics from 1995-2005.

    Sachio Kinugasa

    April 23 at age 71. Japanese baseball’s Iron Man, who played in 2,215 consecutive games, a global record until it was surpassed by Cal Ripken in 1996.

    Bennie Cunningham

    April 23 at age 63. Tight end on two Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl champion teams of the 1970s.

    James Hylton

    April 28 at age 83. NASCAR’s 1966 Rookie of the Year who won twice on the circuit and finished second in points twice.

    Dennis Claridge

    May 1 at age 76. Backup quarterback on the Packers’ 1965 NFL champions who had a stellar career at Nebraska.

    Dick Edell

    May 2 at age 74. National Lacrosse Hall of Famer who coached 29 years at Maryland, Army, and the University of Baltimore.

    Bill Torrey

    May 3 at age 83. General manager of the New York Islanders during their run of four straight Stanley Cup titles from 1980-83.

    gerry broome/AP file
    Clare Droesch’s Eagles won the 2004 Big East tournament, upsetting UConn along the way.

    Clare Droesch

    May 11 at age 36. Boston College basketball guard who played on four teams that made the NCAA Tournament from 2002-05.

    Chuck Knox

    May 12 at age 86. Three-time NFL Coach of the Year who led the Rams to three straight NFC Championship games (1974-76) and also coached the Bills and Seahawks.

    Doug Ford

    May 14 at age 95. Winner of 19 PGA events, including the 1955 PGA Championship and the 1957 Masters, and a World Golf Hall of Famer.

    Frank Quilici

    May 14 at age 79. Infielder (1965-70) and manager (1972-75) for the Minnesota Twins.

    Andy Johnson

    May 16 at age 65. Durable and versatile Patriots running back from 1974-82.

    Vito Capizzo

    May 17 at age 79. Nantucket football coach for 45 years whose teams reached nine Super Bowls, winning three.

    Billy Cannon

    May 18 at age 80. Heisman Trophy-winning running back who led LSU to the national championship in 1958 and then played on two AFL champion Houston Oiler teams.
    AP file
    Carol Mann competing in the 1965 US Women’s Open.

    Carol Mann

    May 20 at age 77. World Golf Hall of Famer who won 38 LPGA tournaments, including two majors, and was one of the tour’s great ambassadors.

    Dave Garcia

    May 22 at age 97. Manager of the California Angels (1977-78) and Cleveland Indians (1979-82).

    Laszlo Tabori

    May 23 at age 86. The third man to break the four-minute barrier in the mile, running 3:59.0 in May 1995.

    Dick Quax

    May 28 at age 70. New Zealand distance-running great who the silver medal in the 5,000 meters at the 1976 Olympics.

    Ray Podloski

    May 29 at age 52. Center who played eight games for the Bruins in 1988.

    Bruce Kison

    June 2 at age 68. Pitcher who helped the Pirates win World Series in 1971 and ’79, going 5-1 with a 1.98 ERA in the playoffs, and who finished his career with the Red Sox in 1985.

    Dwight Clark

    June 4 at age 61. 49ers receiver who played on two Super Bowl winners and is immortalized for his last-minute TD grab to beat Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship, known simply as The Catch.

    C.M. Newton

    June 4 at age 88. Basketball Hall of Famer whose career as a player, coach, and administrator spanned 50 years, most notably at Alabama, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt.

    Steve Kline

    June 4 at age 70. Righthander who won 16 games for the Yankees in 1972, part of a six-year major league career.

    Red Schoendienst

    June 6 at age 95. Hall of Fame second baseman for the Cardinals who also managed the team to more than 1,000 wins (1965-76) and beat the Red Sox in the 1967 World Series.
    dan goshtigian/1968 Globe file
    John “Pie” McKenzie scored 169 goals for the Bruins from 1965-72.

    John McKenzie

    June 9 at age 80. Right winger on the Bruins’ Stanley Cup teams of 1970 and 1972 who was a fan favorite both for his goal-scoring touch and on-ice feistiness.

    Maria Bueno

    June 8 at age 78. Brazilian tennis great who won three Wimbledons, four US Opens, and 12 other Grand Slam doubles titles.

    Keith Fahnhorst

    June 12 at age 66. All-Pro tackle on two Super Bowl champions with the San Francisco 49ers.

    Anne Donovan

    June 13 at age 56. Basketball Hall of Famer who won a national championship as a center at Old Dominion in 1980 and three Olympic gold medals (two as a player, one as a coach).

    Jordan McNair

    June 13 at age 19. Redshirt freshman lineman for Maryland who collapsed because of heatstroke during an offseason team workout.

    Chuck Vinci

    June 13 at age 85. Last American male to win Olympic gold in weightlifting, which he did at the 1956 and 1960 Games in the bantamweight division.

    Sonia Scurfield

    June 14 at age 89. Former owner of the Calgary Flames and the only Canadian woman to have her name engraved on the Stanley Cup (1989).

    Billy Connors

    June 16 at age 76. Pitching coach for three separate stints with the Yankees between 1989 and 2000.

    Dutch Rennert

    June 17 at age 88. National League umpire from 1973-92 known for his distinctive animated strike calls.
    Umpire Dutch Rennert is shown in a 1978 game, with Braves catcher Dale Murphy and the Dodgers’ Reggie Smith.
    AP file
    Umpire Dutch Rennert is shown in a 1978 game, with Braves catcher Dale Murphy and the Dodgers’ Reggie Smith.

    Walter Bahr

    June 18 at age 91. The last living member of the US soccer team that upset England at the 1950 World Cup, and the father of NFL placekickers Matt and Chris Bahr.

    Hubert Green

    June 19 at age 71. Hall of Fame golfer who won 19 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1977 US Open and the 1985 PGA Championship.

    Peter Thomson

    June 20 at age 88. Australian golfing great who won five British Opens, including three in a row from 1954-56.

    Phil Rodgers

    June 26 at age 80. Five-time winner on the PGA Tour who became one of golf’s top instructors.

    Clifford Rozier

    July 6 at age 45. Center for the Warriors, Raptors, and Timberwolves in a four-year NBA career.

    Frank Ramsey

    July 8 at age 86. Basketball Hall of Fame guard and the league’s original “Sixth Man” who was a key part of seven Celtics championship teams in the 1950s and ’60s.
    Frank Ramsey (right) with fellow Hall of Famer Bob Cousy in 1963.
    AP file
    Frank Ramsey (right) with fellow Hall of Famer Bob Cousy in 1963.

    Sammy Esposito

    July 9 at 81. Infielder who played 10 seasons for the White Sox and was on their 1959 American League champion team.

    Darryl Rogers

    July 11 at age 83. Detroit Lions coach (1985-88).

    Len Chappell

    July 12 at age 77. All-American center/forward who helped Wake Forest reach the Final Four in 1962 and was an NBA All-Star with the Knicks in 1963-64.

    Tom Stephens

    July 12 at age 82. An original Boston Patriot who played five seasons as a tight end and defensive back.

    Ray Emery

    July 15 at age 35. Backup goaltender for the 2013 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks who also backstopped the Senators to the 2007 Finals.

    Mike Kudla

    July 15 at age 34. Star defensive end on Ohio State’s 2002 national champions.

    Gabe Rivera

    July 16 at age 57. Dominating Texas Tech defensive lineman known as “Senor Sack” who was paralyzed in a car accident as a Pittsburgh Steelers rookie in 1983.

    Manny Ycaza

    July 16 at age 80. Hall of Fame jockey who won 2,367 races, including the 1964 Belmont Stakes aboard Quadrangle, spoiling Northern Dancer’s Triple Crown bid.

    Mark Hayes

    July 16 at age 69. Winner of three PGA Tour titles, including the 1977 Players Championship, and the first player to shoot a 63 in the British Open.

    Tony Sparano

    July 22 at age 56. Head coach of the Miami Dolphins (2008-11) and Oakland Raiders (2014) who also worked as an assistant coach for six other NFL teams.

    Rene Portland

    July 22 at age 65. Head coach who built the Penn State women’s basketball program into a powerhouse over a 27-year tenure.

    Vaughn Eshelman

    July 24 at age 49. Lefthander who went 15-9 for the Red Sox from 1995-97.
    Vaughn Eshelman pitching against the Yankees in a 1995 game.
    globe file
    Vaughn Eshelman pitching against the Yankees in a 1995 game.

    Tony Cloninger

    July 24 at age 77. Pitcher for three teams in a 12-year career who clouted two grand slams for the Braves in a 1966 game — the only hurler ever to do so.

    Willie Brown

    July 26 at age 76. Tailback on Southern Cal’s 1962 national champion football team.

    Frank Clarke

    July 26 at age 84. All-Pro receiver who was an original Dallas Cowboy and the team’s first big-play threat.

    Clark Booth

    July 27 at age 79. Erudite sportscaster and essayist who covered the Boston scene since 1962.

    Bruce Lietzke

    July 28 at age 67. Winner of 13 events on the PGA Tour and seven on the Senior Tour.

    Tom Heckert

    Aug. 5 at age 51. General manager of the Cleveland Browns (2010-12) and Philadelphia Eagles (2006-09).

    Stan Mikita

    Aug. 7 at age 78. Hockey Hall of Famer and Blackhawks icon who won two Hart Trophies as NHL MVP, four Art Ross Trophies as scoring leader, and the Stanley Cup in 1961.
    Blackhawks great Stan Mikita at an old-timers game during All-Star Weekend in 1998.
    ward perrin/vancouver sun/AP
    Blackhawks great Stan Mikita at an old-timers game during All-Star Weekend in 1998.

    Jarrod Lyle

    Aug. 8 at age 36. Australian golfer who won twice on the Nationwide Tour and had battled cancer since his teens.

    John Kennedy

    Aug. 9 at age 77. Versatile infielder known as “Super Sub” whose 12-year major league career included 4½ seasons with the Red Sox and a World Series title with the 1965 Dodgers.

    Elena Shushunova

    Aug. 16 at age 49. Soviet gymnast who won the women’s all-around gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

    Bob Bass

    Aug. 17 at age 89. General manager of the Spurs (1976-94) and Hornets (1995-2004) who also coached 10 years in the ABA and NBA and was a two-time NBA Executive of the Year.

    Paul Naumoff

    Aug. 17 at age 73. Pro Bowl linebacker for the Detroit Lions (1967-78).

    Doc Edwards

    Aug. 20 at age 81. Cleveland Indians manager (1987-89) who also was a catcher for four teams in the 1960s.

    George Andrie

    Aug. 21 at age 78. Five-time Pro Bowl defensive end on the Dallas Cowboys’ “Doomsday Defense” of the late ’60s and early ’70s.

    Dean Stone

    Aug. 21 at age 87. Lefthander whose eight-year major league career included one season (1957) with the Red Sox.

    Ab McDonald

    Sept. 4 at age 82. Left wing whose 16-year pro hockey career included two Stanley Cup titles with Montreal (1958, ’59), one with Chicago (1961), and one season with the Bruins (1964-65).

    Diane Leather

    Sept. 6 at age 85. First woman to run a mile in less than five minutes, when she clocked 4:59.6 on May 29, 1954.
    Diane Leather (right) with Roger Bannister in 2014.
    sang tan/AP
    Diane Leather (right) with Roger Bannister in 2014.

    Richard DeVos

    Sept. 6 at age 92. Orlando Magic owner since 1991.

    Jim Houston

    Sept. 11 at age 80. Four-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Browns who played on their 1964 NFL champions as well as Ohio State’s 1957 national champions.

    Billy O’Dell

    Sept. 12 at age 85. Pitcher who won 105 games in a 13-year career (1954-67), mostly with the Orioles and Giants.

    Clay Riddell

    Sept. 15 at age 81. Co-owner of the Calgary Flames since 2003.

    Lee Stange

    Sept. 21 at age 81. Pitcher on the 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox who led the staff with a 2.77 ERA.

    Tommy McDonald

    Sept. 24 at age 84. Hall of Fame receiver who played 12 years in the NFL and starred on the Eagles’ 1960 championship team.
    1956 AP file
    Tommy McDonald was a two-time All-American at Oklahoma before playing in the NFL.

    Julius Whittier

    Sept. 25 at age 68. Guard/tight end who became the first African-American to earn a varsity football letter at the University of Texas.

    Jack McKinney

    Sept. 25 at age 83. NBA Coach of the Year with the Indiana Pacers in 1980-81.

    Wes Hopkins

    Sept. 26 at age 57. Philadelphia Eagles safety (1983-93).

    Art Williams

    Sept. 27 at age 78. Speedy guard on the 1974 NBA champion Celtics known as “Hambone.”

    Greg Terrion

    Sept. 29 at age 58. Left wing for the Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs (1980-88).

    C.J. Fuller

    Oct. 3 at age 22. Running back on Clemson’s 2016 national championship team.

    Dave Anderson

    Oct. 4 at age 89. Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist who wrote for the New York Times from 1966-2007.

    Jeanne Ashworth

    Oct. 4 at age 80. A three-time Olympic speedskater and the first American woman to win a medal in the sport (bronze, 1960).

    Kevin Ellison

    Oct. 4 at age 31. Defensive back on three Rose Bowl-winning teams for Southern Cal.

    George Kaftan

    Oct. 6 at age 90. All-American center on Holy Cross’s 1947 NCAA basketball champion team who also played for the early Celtics in the BAA.

    John Gagliardi

    Oct. 7 at age 91. The NCAA career leader in football games coached (638) and won (489), he was at Division 3 St. John’s (Minnesota) for 60 years.

    George Taliaferro

    Oct. 8 at age 91. Pro Bowl halfback who was the first African-American player drafted in the NFL (Bears, 1949) but signed first with the AAFC.

    Alex Spanos

    Oct. 9 at age 95. San Diego Chargers owner from 1984 until 1993, when he turned over operations to his son.

    Tex Winter

    Oct. 10 at age 96. Basketball Hall of Famer who pioneered the “Triangle Offense” and was an assistant coach on nine NBA champion teams under Phil Jackson.

    Jim Taylor

    Oct. 13 at age 83. Bruising Hall of Fame fullback on the great Packers teams of the 1960s who was NFL MVP in 1962 and a key figure in four Green Bay championships.

    Jim Taylor epitomized coach Vince Lombardi’s smashmouth offensive approach that ground down opponents.
    AP file
    Jim Taylor epitomized coach Vince Lombardi’s smashmouth offensive approach that ground down opponents.

    John Martin

    Oct. 14 at age 51. Popular NESN cameraman who fought an inspirational battle against ALS for two years.

    Paul Allen

    Oct. 15 at age 65. Owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers who made his fortune as the co-founder of Microsoft.

    Bob Spoo

    Oct. 15 at age 80. Football coach for 25 years at Eastern Illinois who sent quarterbacks Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo to the NFL.

    Dick Modzelewski

    Oct. 19 at age 87. Star defensive tackle who played in eight NFL title games with the Giants and Browns during the 1950s and ’60s, and won the Outland Trophy while at Maryland.

    Charles Wang

    Oct. 21 at age 74. New York Islanders owner from 2000-16.

    Rod Rust

    Oct. 23 at age 90. Defensive coordinator on the Patriots’ 1985 Super Bowl team and head coach for one season, 1990, when the team went 1-15.

    John Ziegler

    Oct. 25 at age 84. NHL president from 1977-92 who oversaw the merger with the WHA and was eventually ousted following labor unrest.

    Lindon Crow

    Oct. 25 at age 85. Pro Bowl defensive back who played with the Cardinals, Giants, and Rams from 1955-64 and led the NFL with 11 interceptions in 1956.

    Armond Colombo

    Oct. 28 at age 87. Legendary Brockton High football coach whose teams won nine Super Bowls and who had a career record of 316-101-2.

    Brockton coach Armond Colombo was hoisted up by his players following his 300th career victory in 2000.
    matthew j. lee/globe staff file
    Brockton coach Armond Colombo was hoisted up by his players following his 300th career victory in 2000.

    Bill Fischer

    Oct. 30 at age 88. Red Sox pitching coach from 1985-91 who was a mentor to Roger Clemens and also hurled for five teams in a nine-year career (1956-64).

    Jack Patera

    Oct. 31 at age 85. First coach of the Seattle Seahawks (1976-82) and the NFL’s Coach of the Year in 1978.

    Willie McCovey

    Oct. 31 at age 80. Fearsome Giants slugger who was Rookie of the Year in 1959, NL MVP in 1969, and led the league in homers three times on his way to the Hall of Fame.
    Willie “Stretch” McCovey belted 521 home runs and played in four decades (1959-80).
    1964 AP file
    Willie “Stretch” McCovey belted 521 home runs and played in four decades (1959-80).

    Paul Zimmerman

    Nov. 1 at age 86. Longtime Sports Illustrated NFL writer known as “Dr. Z” for his analytical approach.

    Vince Manuwai

    Nov. 4 at age 38. Jacksonville Jaguars guard (2003-10).

    Bill Brown

    Nov. 4 at age 80. Pro Bowl fullback who played on three Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl teams.

    Bob Naegele Jr.

    Nov. 7 at age 78. Founding owner of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.

    Walt Kowalczyk

    Nov. 7 at age 83. Star tailback for Michigan State in the 1950s.

    Wally Triplett

    Nov. 8 at age 92. Detroit Lions running back who in 1949 became the first African-American to both be drafted by and play for an NFL team.

    Ken Howell

    Nov. 9 at age 57. Righthander who went 38-48 with the Dodgers and Phillies from 1984-90.

    Ron Johnson

    Nov. 10 at age 71. The first New York Giants back to rush for 1,000 yards in a season (1970), he also had a 347-yard game for Michigan in 1968.
    1970 AP file
    Ron Johnson was a first-round pick of the Browns before being traded to the Giants.

    David Pearson

    Nov. 12 at age 83. One of NASCAR’s first superstars, he was a three-time circuit champion and is second to Richard Petty on the career wins list with 105.

    Dan Maloney

    Nov. 19 at age 68. Hard-punching left winger who played for four NHL teams from 1970-82 and once was charged with assault (but acquitted) for a brutal beating of an opponent in 1976.

    Willie Naulls

    Nov. 22 at age 84. All-Star forward for the Knicks in the 1960s who also played on three Celtics championship teams (1964-66).

    Mick McGeough

    Nov. 23 at age 62. Referee who worked more than 1,000 NHL games and was one of the last who didn’t wear a helmet.

    Bob McNair

    Nov. 23 at age 81. Founding owner of the Houston Texans.

    Tony Hanson

    Nov. 25 at age 63. Star guard on Connecticut’s 1976 Sweet 16 team.

    Turner Cockrell

    Nov. 29 at age 21. Vanderbilt tight end.

    Rocky Nelson

    Dec. 2 at age 74. Woburn football coach who went 208-116-7 in 20 years and reached four Super Bowls, winning in 2005.

    Tim Rossovich

    Dec. 6 at age 72. Pro Bowl linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles who became an actor after his playing days.

    Isiah Robertson

    Dec. 6 at age 69. Los Angeles Rams linebacker who made six Pro Bowls in the 1970s.

    Luis Valbuena

    Dec. 6 at age 33. Infielder for five major league teams in an 11-year career.

    Jose Castillo

    Dec. 6 at age 37. Infielder for three major league teams in a five-year career.

    Mike Montler

    Dec. 13 at age 74. Center on the Buffalo Bills’ “Electric Company” offensive line that blocked for O.J. Simpson; he also played four seasons for the Patriots (1969-72).

    Bill Fralic

    Dec. 13 at age 56. All-Pro Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman.

    Ron Waller

    Dec. 16 at age 85. Pro Bowl running back for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1950s.

    Sigi Schmid

    Dec. 25 at age 65. Winningest coach in MLS history who captured two championships (Los Angeles 2002, Columbus 2008) and was Coach of the Year twice.

    Warren Wells

    Dec. 27 at age 76. Pro Bowl receiver for the Oakland Raiders who played in Super Bowl II and led the AFL with 14 TD catches in 1969.

    Jim Davis

    Dec. 27 at age 77. Center for the Hawks, Rockets, and Pistons (1967-75).

    Yevgeni Zimin

    Dec. 28 at age 71. Standout forward on Russian hockey teams that won Olympic gold in 1968 and 1972.