Former All-American Michigan State lineman Frank Kush dies at 88
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Jun 25, 2017,
Jun 25, 2017, 1:09
Arizona State announced the passing of former coach Frank Kush on Wednesday.
His legacy lives on at Arizona State with the program's home games being played on Frank Kush Field at Sun Devil Stadium. During Kush's three seasons on the varsity team, the Spartans produced a 26-1 overall record, including back-to-back National Championships in 1951 (9-0) and 1952 (9-0). Since then, Kush won multiple awards and honors, including being inducted into the Peach Bowl Hall of Fame, the Michigan State Hall of Fame, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lott Impact Trophy.
Arizona State unveiled a stature of Kush outside Sun Devil Stadium in 1997.
Dismissed by ASU five games into the 1979 season after allegations of assault during a 1978 game by punter Kevin Rutledge and claims of a subsequent cover up, Kush never coached for another college. Described in a 1982 Sun Magazine profile before his first season helming the Colts as a "a combination of [actor James] Cagney, Vince Lombardi and Darth Vader", Kush found reversing the woebegone franchise's fortunes as hard as staying out of the headlines.
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"The irony? We all hated him, " said former Arizona State Quarterback Danny White. The cause was complications from dementia, a son, Dan Kush, told the newspaper.
In 2000, Kush returned to Arizona State and served as a special assistant to the Athletics Director and then as an ambassador for Sun Devil Athletics.
Kush guided ASU to undefeated seasons in 1970 and 1975, with a No. 2 national ranking in the final Associated Press poll in 1975, ASU's highest ever finish. "I came to Arizona State on a football scholarship, and I shall always be indebted to Frank Kush for instilling toughness in his players".
After his playing days, Kush joined the U.S. Army, where he served as a first lieutenant at Ft. He also coached the Arizona Outlaws in the USFL in 1985.
The Colts went 7-17-1 over two years of upheaval in Baltimore, and he resigned near the end of the team's first season in Indianapolis.