Frank Kush, a Michigan State All-American and fearsome coach who transformed Arizona State from a backwater football program into a powerhouse, has died. He was 88.
Arizona State confirmed the death Thursday.
Kush, who starred on the defensive line when Michigan State won the 1952 national championship, compiled a 176-54-1 record while coaching the Sun Devils from 1958 to 1979. His teams won two Border Conference and seven Western Athletic Conference titles.
Arizona State won the Peach Bowl in 1970 and the first three Fiesta Bowls. His 1975 team went 12-0, capped by a 17-14 Fiesta Bowl victory over Nebraska.
Kush’s intense coaching style figured prominently in his firing in October 1979 for what the university said was his interference in an internal investigation of allegations by a former player of physical and mental harassment.
He was head coach of the NFL’s Colts for two years in Baltimore and one in Indianapolis from 1982 to 1984, compiling an 11-28-1 record. Kush also spent one season as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.