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Ex-Buffs Coach Eddie Crowder Dies at 77

October 23, 2008
College Football | Ex-Buffs coach Eddie Crowder dies at 77 Eddie Crowder, who spent nearly half a century at Colorado as a football coach, athletic director and mentor to generations of players... By The Associated Press BOULDER, Colo. — Eddie Crowder, who spent nearly half a century at Colorado as a football coach, athletic director and mentor to generations of players, coaches and administrators, died Tuesday night from complications of leukemia, the school said. He was 77. Crowder, who played quarterback at Oklahoma under Bud Wilkinson, was 67-49-2 in 11 seasons as Colorado's coach, from 1963 to 1973. He also served as athletic director starting in 1965, a role he continued for 11 seasons after stepping down as coach. He remained an active supporter of Buffaloes sports until his death. Athletic director Mike Bohn said Colorado lost "a tremendous leader, coach, mentor and friend." "He always seemed to be there at the right time and the right place with the right message, whether it was for [current football coach] Dan Hawkins or myself," Bohn said. "He was the foundation of our program. It's a tough day for us all." Crowder, who had beaten cancer several years ago, died with his family by his side at Exampla Health Center in Lafayette after checking into the hospital Monday with respiratory problems, the university said. Funeral plans were pending. A memorial is planned on campus this weekend. Crowder turned around a moribund Buffaloes program, compiling a 63-33-2 record after two years of rebuilding. One of his biggest wins came in 1970, when the Buffs ended Penn State's 31-game unbeaten streak. His best season came in 1971, when the Buffaloes went 10-2 and finished third in the national polls behind fellow Big 8 conference members Nebraska and Oklahoma. Several members of his coaching staff went on to have successful head-coaching careers themselves, including Jim Mora in the NFL and Don James at Washington. James was Colorado's defensive coordinator from 1968 to 1970. Notes • Hurricane Ike has pushed back the Arkansas-Texas game to Sept. 27. The hurricane is on a course for landfall in Texas on Saturday, when the teams were scheduled to play in Austin. • The start of the Stanford-Texas Christian game Saturday in Fort Worth will be moved to noon from 6 p.m. because of potential severe weather. • Ohio State tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells worked out with the team in pads and is on target to play against USC on Saturday. • Cincinnati quarterback Dustin Grutza had surgery for a broken right leg, an injury suffered in the second half of a 52-26 loss at Oklahoma. • Virginia quarterback Peter Lalich won't accompany the Cavaliers to Connecticut for Saturday's game so that he can concentrate on legal problems and not be a distraction to the team.