Frank Kush, coach who built ASU into powerhouse, dies at 88

Posted June 25, 2017

FILE- In this December 6, 2010, file photo, Hall of Fame football coach Frank Kush, left, speaks to former Marshall University coach Jack Lengyel at the 2010 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year press conference in NY. Lengyel was the inspiration for the film, "We Are Marshall", in which he is portrayed by actor Matthew McConaughy.

Frank Kush, a Hall of Fame coach who transformed Arizona State from a football backwater into a national powerhouse in the 1960s and 1970s, died June 22.

Kush is the namesake of Sun Devil Stadium's Frank Kush Field after the coach posted a record of 176-54-1 from 1958 to 1979.

Kush continued his career in the CFL and National Football League, becoming the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts coach in 1982. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.

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Frank Kush, right, with Penn State coach Joe Paterno in 1977.

Mike Haynes, who played for Kush in the 1970s and became an All-Pro defensive back in the N.F.L., told The Arizona Republic after Kush's death that at first he felt that Kush "might have had short-man syndrome". The field at Sun Devil Stadium is named after him. He is still the team's all-time winningest coach with 19 winning seasons and nine conference championships.

Kush was the most successful coach in Arizona State history. He was named national Coach of the Year after a ideal 12-0 season in 1975, one of two undefeated seasons for his ASU teams.

"He started to run out of gas", Dan Kush said. Kush became head coach when Devine left to coach at Missouri.

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His teams had a 6-1 record in bowl games and were undefeated in 1970 and 1975. Coach, you will be missed. Miller also cited an apparent attempt by Kush to cover up the incident as his reason for firing the coach when he did.

Kush returned to ASU 21 years after his coaching career ended to serve as a special assistant to the athletic director and an ambassador for ASU athletics.

After his playing days, Kush joined the U.S. Army, where he served as a first lieutenant at Ft.

Kush spent three seasons as coach of the Baltimore Colts (1982-84), then coached the Phoenix-based Arizona Outlaws in the USFL in 1985.

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