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Terry Donahue, the winningest UCLA and Pac-12 coach, dies at 77

Sep 3, 2017; Pasadena, CA, USA; General overall view of the UCLA Bruins logo at midfield during a NCAA football game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the UCLA Bruinsat Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2017; Pasadena, CA, USA; General overall view of the UCLA Bruins logo at midfield during a NCAA football game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the UCLA Bruinsat Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Donahue, who made a tremendous impact on UCLA and Pac-12 football, coaching the Bruins from 1976 to 1995, passed away Sunday. He was 77.

He died at his home in Newport Beach, Calif., surrounded by family, following a two-year struggle with cancer.

Piling up 151 wins, good for best in UCLA history, and 98 conference wins — still a record in the Pac-12 — Donahue was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2000. He was also inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1997 and the press box at the Rose Bowl was named for him in 2013, following a career that included three Rose Bowl victories and five conference titles (won or shared).

He finished his career with a 151-74-8 mark at UCLA and a 98-51-5 record in Pac-12 play.

He also made a mark on the personnel side, serving as director of player personnel for the San Francisco 49ers from 1999-2000 before becoming general manager for an additional four years.

The late John Wooden offered the following perspective on Donahue’s impact before his own passing: “I believe that a head coach, particularly at UCLA, should be judged by his or her peers within the university community-at-large as to whether the student-athletes with whom the coach was entrusted become not only excellent athletes but also, and more importantly, better students and better all-around individuals … There is no doubt in my mind that Terry Donahue deserves the recognition of having achieved that very ethereal form of success.”

Donahue is survived by Andrea, his wife of 52 years, daughters Nicole, Michele and Jennifer, three sons-in-law and 10 grandchildren.

–Field Level Media