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Longtime Arizona State University Coach Frank Kush Dies

Frank Kush
(Photo courtesy of Arizona State University)
Frank Kush

Legendary Arizona State University football coach Frank Kush has died at age 88, the school confirmed Thursday morning.

After three years as an assistant, Kush became ASU’s head coach in 1958. He coached the team for 22 seasons, guiding the Sun Devils to nine conference titles and six bowl victories. He was named national Coach of the Year after a perfect 12-0 season in 1975, one of two undefeated seasons for his ASU teams.

Kush was known for being tough on players, and he was fired in the midst of the 1979 season after allegations that he harassed and physically harmed his players.

Kush went on to coach in the Canadian Football League and the NFL, leading the Baltimore Colts for two seasons, before returning to Arizona to coach the Arizona Outlaws in the now defunct United States Football League.

He retired from coaching in 1986 and was later hired back at ASU as an assistant to the athletic director. ASU’s football field is named after Kush, who is also in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Kush is the winningist coach in Sun Devil history — the field at Sun Devil Stadium is named after him. But Kush’s legacy wasn’t all rosy. Controversy followed him, especially at the end of his career.

Here to discuss Coach Frank Kush and his sports legacy in Phoenix is Paola Boivin. She’s a former sports columnist for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com and is now a professor at ASU’s sports journalism program. Listen to Boivin's interview here on The Show.