Terry Donahue, Legendary UCLA Football Coach, Dead at 77

Terry Donahue, former UCLA football coach who is the winningest coach in school and Pac-12 Conference history, died on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. He was 77 years old. Donahue died at his home in Newport, Beach, California, after a two-year battle with cancer.

"There aren't enough words to properly honor Terry Donahue and what he means to the Bruin family and anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing him," current UCLA football coach Chip Kelly said in a statement. "He epitomizes everything you strive to be as a coach and as a human being. Since the moment I stepped on campus, he's been an incredible mentor and one of the most authentic, humble, and toughest men I've ever met. He loved UCLA with all he had, and I can't express how important his guidance and friendship has been for me. He is an irreplaceable representation of the BRUIN WAY. We will always love and play for TD. Our deepest condolences to Andrea, the Donahue family and everyone lucky enough to know him."

Donahue started his coaching career in 1968 as a defensive coach at the University of Kansas. He spent three seasons there before joining UCLA as an offensive line coach. He took over as the head coach in 1976 for Dick Vermeil, and UCLA became one of the top college programs. Donahue's best season was in 1982 when the Bruins finished with a 10-1-1 record and a win at the Rose Bowl. Donahue won a total of 151 games which five Pac-12 (previously Pac-10) championships. He was also named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1993. Donahue retired after the 1995 season and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

"The [National Football Foundation] is deeply saddened by the passing of Coach Donahue," NFF Chairman Archie Manning said. "Coach Donahue was truly a great man, and it's hard to put into words how much he meant to the game. His contributions are endless, and his legacy will live on through the countless players and assistant coaches he mentored. I would be remiss if I did not specifically pay tribute to his leadership role with the NFF Showcases, which have helped thousands of high school players chart a path to college and play at the divisional level, and we are immensely grateful for his contributions."


After UCLA, Donahue spent time with the San Francisco 49ers a the director of player personnel from 1999-2000 and then was promoted to general manager. Donahue held that spot for four seasons before doing work for NFL on Fox and the NFL Network.