Legendary former University of North Carolina men's basketball coach Dean Smith has died at the age of 83 (NYT obit). [more inside]
Red Klotz, who led basketball’s biggest losers, the Washington Generals, dies at 93. In his time with the Generals, Mr. Klotz lost at least 14,000 games, or 15,000, or, according to some estimates, more than 20,000. “That sounds about right,” Mr. Klotz would shrug whenever someone tried to calculate the number. “I don’t count the losses,” he told the Washington City Paper in 2007. “It’s easier to keep track of the wins.” Mr. Klotz won six games, his biographer concluded. Or maybe it was four. Possibly just two. But definitely, beyond the shadow of any doubt, his team won one game for sure.
"I don't want to die doing drugs. I don't want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD'd and just faded into oblivion."
"Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his room at training camp at Lehigh University." Garrett's legal troubles and struggle with addiction were widely publicized over the years due to his high profile father. After leaving prison he fought hard to change this legacy and was employed as a trainer with the team at the time of his death. "Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one. He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart." [more inside]
NFL great Junior Seau, who spent the majority of his career with the San Diego Chargers, with additional runs with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead today of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. [more inside]
Bill Gallo, longtime NY Daily News Sports Cartoonist, is dead at age 88. If you grew up in the NYC area anytime from the the 50s until this April, you've probably seen one of Gallo's cartoons in the Daily News. Although he covered all sports and their fans, blue collar sports like boxing and baseball were his real love. Gallo was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY as part of the Class of 2001 and some of his work hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. [more inside]
Edwin "Bud" Shrake - journalist, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter - died early Friday in Austin. [more inside]
Todd Skinner falls to his death Sport and free climbing pioneer/entrepreneur, Todd Skinner, died over the weekend in a 500-foot fall. Sadly, it appears that his death was from a "..very worn.." belay loop on his harness. I met Todd about 10 years ago, and was struck by his warmth and enthusiasm. He spent almost three hours at a dingy Seattle climbing gym with about 10 neophyte femail climbers. He helped us all climb better and have more fun. He was generous with his praise, and offered truly helpful instruction - his ego did not get in the way (unlike many climbing instructors/"stars"). He'll be missed.
Death of a birdman: the first man to fly in a hang glider over Everest, Siberia and Sahara, breaking altitude records, flying with eagles, cranes and condors born in captivity (Flash video), he lost his life today in a plane crash. Angelo D'Arrigo, 1961-2006.
Legendary running coach Arthur Lydiard died this weekend at age 87. Q and A with Lydiard here. Obit via Boomberg here. NYTimes obit here. Lydiard had been travelling through the US on a final lecture tour. Among distance runners Lydiard is a hero. Two of his athletes won gold medals for New Zealand at the 1960 Olympics, and Peter Snell went on to dominate the middle distance running at the 1964 Games, taking home two gold medals, the only man since 1920 to win both the 800m and the 1500m. Lydiard coached Mexican, Japanese and Finnish runners to Gold medal performances, and his philosophy of training has influenced countless other runners. Finland thought that he was important enough to the success of their runner's to award him the White Cross (eq. of a knighthood), making him the only non-Finn to be given the award. Lydiard's approach was high-mileage, aerobic conditioning. Even his middle distance runners trained 100 miles/week. He felt that too many athletes were training for speed first and endurance second. One of his lectures, explaining some of the science behind his theories, is here.
Beethavean Scottland died last night of head injuries sustained in a boxing last week. Will boxing ever be safe?