The year 2022 marked the loss of athletes, coaches and journalists from the sports world.
Dan Reeves, Jan 19, 1944 – Jan. 1
Dan Reeves’ talents off the field were recognized early on by Tom Landry. Reeves was still suiting up for the Dallas Cowboys when Landry made him a player-coach. Reeves was a versatile running back who played a key role in the Cowboys becoming a National Football League powerhouse in the 1960s under Landry. But his own coaching career — stretching over three teams and 23 seasons — is where he truly left his mark on the league.
Jim Corsi, Sept. 9, 1961 – Jan. 4
Jim Corsi had 10 seasons in Major League Baseball with a 3.25 ERA
Ross Browners, March 22, 1954 – Jan. 4
Ross Browner, a two-time All-American at Notre Dame and one of four brothers who played in the NFL, died Jan. 4. He was 67. A native of Warren, Ohio, Browner was part of an accomplished football family. The defensive end was the oldest of six brothers who were high school football stars in Ohio. Three others – Jimmie Browner, Keith Browner and Joey Browner – followed Ross to the NFL.
Greg Robinson, Oct. 9, 1951 – Jan. 5
Greg Robinson, who won two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos while spending nearly four decades coaching in the NFL and college, died Jan. 5. He was 70.
Don Maynard, Jan. 24, 1935 – Jan. 9
Don Maynard, a Hall of Fame receiver who made his biggest impact catching passes from Joe Namath in the wide-open American Football League, died. He was 86. He caught 14 touchdown passes in Namath’s rookie season, and twice more had 10 TDs in a season.
Joe B. Hall, Nov. 30, 1928 – Jan. 15
Joe B. Hall took on the steep challenge of following a legend and created his own successful legacy. Hall, who succeeded Adolph Rupp and guided Kentucky to a national championship in 1978, died age 93.
Bob Goalby, March 14, 1929 – Jan. 19
Bob Goalby, who won the 1968 Masters without having to go to a playoff when Roberto De Vicenzo infamously signed for the wrong score, died at 92. The Masters was among his 11 victories on the Professional Golfers Association Tour, and Goalby won twice on what is now the PGA Tour Champions. He is best remembered for how he was declared the Masters champion.
Clark Gillies, April 7, 1954 – Jan. 21
Hall of Famer Clark Gillies, a stalwart on the New York Islanders’ dynasty that won four straight Stanley Cup championships in the early 1980s, died at 67.
Gene Clines, Oct. 6, 1946 – Jan. 27
Gene Clines, part of the first all-minority lineup in Major League Baseball history and a line drive-hitting outfielder for the 1971 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates, died age 75.
David Green, Dec. 4, 1960 – Jan. 29
David Green, an outfielder on the St. Louis Cardinals’ 1982 World Series champions, died age 61. Green signed with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1978 as a 17-year-old out of Nicaragua.
Robin Herman, Nov. 24, 1951 – Feb. 1
Robin Herman, a gender barrier-breaking reporter for The New York Times who was the first female journalist to interview players in the locker room after a National Hockey League game, died at 70 years.
Jeremy Giambi, Sept. 29, 1974 – Feb. 8
Jeremy Giambi, a former major league outfielder and first baseman, died at his parents’ home in Southern California. He was 47. A brother of five-time All-Star Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi spent six seasons in the major leagues as an outfielder and first baseman with Kansas City (1998-99), Oakland (2000-02), Philadelphia (2002) and Boston (2002-03).
Charley Taylor, Sept. 28, 1941 – Feb. 19
Charley Taylor, the Hall of Fame receiver who ended his 13-season career with Washington as the NFL’s career receptions leader, died age 80.
Emile Francis, Sept. 13, 1926 – Feb. 19
Emile “The Cat” Francis, the diminutive goalie who became a Hall of Fame coach and general manager with the New York Rangers died at 95.
Julio Cruz, Dec. 2, 1954 – Feb. 22
Julio Cruz, an original Seattle Mariners player from their inaugural season who later became a Spanish-language broadcaster for the franchise, died at 67 years of age.
Ken Burrough, July 14, 1948 – Feb. 24
Ken Burrough, the former Houston Oilers receiver who was the last NFL player to wear No. 00, died age 73. He died at his home in Jacksonville, Florida.
Lionel James, May 25, 1962 – Feb. 25
Former Auburn and San Diego Chargers running back Lionel “Little Train” James, who made a name for himself for being unstoppable despite his small stature, died after a lengthy illness at 59.
Shane Warne, Sept. 13, 1969 – March 4
Shane Warne, widely regarded as one of the greatest players, most astute tacticians and ultimate competitors in the long history of cricket, died at 52.
Scott Hall, Oct 19, 1958 – Mar 13, 2022
Scott Hall, a legendary professional wrestler who changed the wrestling industry when he left WWE and launched the New World Order in WCW, died at 63.
John Clayton, May 11, 1954 – March 18
Longtime NFL journalist John Clayton died following a short illness. He was 67.
Rayfield Wright, Aug 22, 1945 – April 6
Rayfield Wright, the Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle nicknamed “Big Cat” who went to five Super Bowls in his 13 NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, died at 76. A big player for his era at 6-foot-6 and over 250 pounds, Wright had already been a backup tight end for a couple of seasons when coach Tom Landry asked him about playing tackle.
Dwayne Haskins, May 2, 1997 – April 8
Dwayne Haskins was working on a second chapter for his young NFL career. The 24-year-old quarterback was spending time with some teammates with the Pittsburgh Steelers, getting ready to compete for a starting job. He was struck while walking on a Florida highway, his car having run out of gas.
Gary Brown, Jun 30, 1969 – April 9
Gary Brown, who rushed for 4,300 yards while playing on three NFL teams in the 1990s before going on to coach running backs in the pro and college ranks, died at the age of 52. Brown had coached the Cowboys’ running backs from 2013-19.
Shirley Spork, May 13, 1927 – April 11
Shirley Spork, one of the 13 founders of the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, died at the age of 94. Spork grew up near Detroit and started with only a putter. The pro at Bonnie Brook golf course became aware and gave her a set of 3-, 5-, 7- and 9-irons. She soon was winning regional tournaments.
Mike Bossy, Jan. 21, 1957 – April 13
Mike Bossy flopped to the ice as the puck went in, then scrambled to his feet and leaped into the air to celebrate scoring another goal. It was a familiar sight as the New York Islanders were on their way to their third of four consecutive Stanley Cup titles. He was 65.
Daryle Lamonica, July 16, 1941 – April 20
Daryle Lamonica, the deep-throwing quarterback who won an AFL Player of the Year award and led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl appearance, died at 80 years of age. Lamonica then threw two TD passes in a win over Houston in the AFL title game to send the Raiders to their first Super Bowl where they lost 33-14 to Green Bay.
Guy Lafleur, Sept. 19, 1951 – April 21
When Guy Lafleur was selected by Montreal with the No. 1 pick in the 1971 NHL draft, he was billed as the Canadiens’ next great Quebec-born player. Lafleur, a Hall of Fame forward who helped Montreal win five Stanley Cup titles in the 1970s, died at age 70 following a battle with lung cancer.
Adreian Payne, Feb 18, 1991 – May 8
Former Michigan State basketball standout and NBA player Adreian Payne died in a shooting. He was 31. Payne played in 107 NBA games, averaging four points and three rebounds, over four seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic.
Gino Cappelletti, March 26, 1934 – May 12
Gino Cappelletti, a former AFL Most Valuable Player and original member of the Boston Patriots died at 89. He was part of the franchise for five decades as a player, coach and broadcaster.
Jeff Gladney, Dec. 12, 1996 – May 30
Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney died in a car crash in the Dallas area. He was 25 years old.
Marion Barber III, June 9, 1983 – May 31
Marion Barber III, the former Dallas Cowboys running back who is fourth in franchise history with 47 rushing touchdowns, died at 38 years of age. A fourth-round draft pick by Dallas in 2005, he had 24 touchdowns in 2006-07 despite starting just one game those two seasons. Barber’s career high was 14 TDs in 2006, when he rushed for just 654 yards.
Don Perkins, March 4, 1938 – June 9
Don Perkins, a six-time Pro Bowl running back with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, died at 84. Perkins rushed for 6,217 yards in 107 games with the Cowboys. His 42 rushing touchdowns rank fifth in team history.
Hugh McElhenny, December 31, 1928 – June 17
Former San Francisco 49ers halfback Hugh McElhenny died at the age of 93 of natural causes.
Tony Siragusa, May 13, 1967 – June 21
Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who was part of one of the most celebrated defenses in NFL history with the Baltimore Ravens, died at age 55. Siragusa was popular with fans because of his fun-loving attitude, which also helped him transition quickly to broadcasting after his playing career.
Jaylon Ferguson, Dec. 14, 1995 – June 22
Jaylon Ferguson, who set an FBS record for career sacks while at Louisiana Tech and then played the past three seasons in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, died at 26.
Marlin Briscoe, Sept. 9, 1945 – June 26
Marlin Briscoe, who became the first Black starting quarterback in the AFL more than 50 years ago, died at age 76. An Omaha, Nebraska, native, he was a star quarterback for Omaha University before the Denver Broncos drafted him as a cornerback in the 14th round in 1968.
Spencer Webb, c. 2000 – July 13
University of Oregon tight end Spencer Webb died in an fall incident near Triangle Lake in Oregon.
Bobby East, Dec. 17, 1984 – July 13
Three-time United States Auto Club (USAC) national champion and former NASCAR driver Bobby East died in California after a stabbing at a gas station, according to police and media outlets familiar with the situation.
Dwight Smith, Nov. 8, 1963 – July 22
Dwight Smith, a runner-up for NL rookie of the year who played on Atlanta’s World Series-winning team in 1995, died at 58.
Bill Russell, Feb. 1, 1934 – July 30
Bill Russell, one of the greatest NBA players in history, passed away at age 88. Russell was an 11-time NBA champion, captain of a gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic team, and the first Black head coach of any North American professional sports team.
Vin Scully, Nov. 29, 1927 – Aug. 2
Vin Scully, who for more than 60 years was the voice of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball, died at 94.
Tom Weiskopf, Nov. 9, 1942 – Aug. 20
The golf skills of Tom Weiskopf went far beyond his 16 victories on the PGA Tour and his lone major at Troon in the British Open. He was always candid, often outspoken and unfailingly accurate in the television booth. He found even greater success designing golf courses.
Gary Gaines, May 4, 1949 – Aug. 22
Gary Gaines, coach of a Texas high school football team made famous in the book and movie “Friday Night Lights,” died at 73.
Len Dawson, June 19, 1935 – Aug. 23
Whether it was in the huddle during the early days of the AFL or behind the microphone as the NFL grew into the behemoth it is today, Len Dawson carried himself with an unmistakable swagger and self-assurance that earned him the well-worn nickname “Lenny the Cool.” He was 87.
Earnie Shavers, Aug. 30, 1944 – Aug. 31
Earnie Shavers, whose thunderous punches stopped 68 fighters and earned him heavyweight title fights with Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes, died at 78. Shavers fought from 1969-1995, which included two abbreviated returns from retirement. He finished 74-14-1 with 68 knockouts.
Gavin Escobar, Feb. 3, 1991 – Sept. 28
A woman and a man were found dead near a California peak after rescue crews responded to reports of injuries, authorities said. Police identified one climber as Long Beach, California, firefighter and former NFL player Gavin Escobar.
Vince Dooley, Sept. 3, 1932 – Oct. 27
Vince Dooley, the football coach who carried himself like a professor and guided Georgia for a quarter-century of success that included the 1980 national championship, died at the age of 90. Dooley had a career record of 201-77-10 while coaching the Georgia Bulldogs from 1964 to 1988, a stretch that included six Southeastern Conference titles, 20 bowl games and just one losing season.
Adam Zimmer, Jan. 13, 1984 – Oct. 31
Former Minnesota co-defensive coordinator Adam Zimmer, an NFL assistant for 17 years and the son of previous Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, died at 38.
John McVay, Jan. 5, 1931 – Oct. 31
John McVay, the executive who helped launch the San Francisco 49ers dynasty and grandfather of Rams coach Sean McVay, died at 91.
Ray Guy, Dec. 21, 1949 – Nov. 2
Punting legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame player Ray Guy died at the age of 73. Guy was born in Swainsboro, Georgia, and played for the University of Southern Mississippi before becoming the first pure punter in the history of the NFL draft to be picked in the first round. He played with the Raiders, first in Oakland, then in Los Angeles, for the duration of his professional career between 1973 and 1986.
Dave Butz, June 22, 1950 – Nov. 3
All-Pro defensive lineman and two-time Washington Super Bowl champion Dave Butz died at 72. As one of the league’s biggest players at the time at 6-foot-8 and nearly 300 pounds, he was a key part of Washington’s defense for the franchise’s first two Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1982 and 1987 seasons.
Dow Finsterwald, Sept. 6, 1929 – Nov. 4
Dow Finsterwald, a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, died at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was 93. He became a footnote in history as the first player to win the PGA Championship in stroke play and the last U.S. captain of a Ryder Cup before continental Europe was invited to join.
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, March 6, 1984 – Nov. 13, 2022
The mixed martial arts community was in mourning after the unexpected loss of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at the age of 38 after an illness.
Brad William Henke, April 9, 1966 – Nov. 28
Former NFL player and actor Brad William Henke died at the age of 56. He graduated from the University of Arizona and joined the New York Giants in 1989. He would go on to play in Super Bowl XXIV with the Denver Broncos before he retired in 1994 after suffering several injuries. He is also remembered as an actor in “Orange is the New Black.”
John Hadl, Feb. 14, 1940 – Nov. 30
Longtime NFL quarterback John Hadl, who starred for his hometown Kansas Jayhawks before embarking on a professional career that included six Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro nod, died at 82.
Gaylord Perry, Sept. 14, 1938 – Nov. 30
Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young Award winner Gaylord Perry, a master of the spitball who wrote a book about using the pitch, died at 84. Perry, from Williamston, North Carolina, made history as the first player to win the Cy Young in both leagues, with Cleveland in 1972 and San Diego in 1978 just after turning 40.
Nick Bollettieri, July 31, 1931 – Dec. 4
Nick Bollettieri, the Hall of Fame tennis coach who worked with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Andre Agassi and Monica Seles, and founded an academy that revolutionized the development of young athletes, died at 91.
Grant Wahl, Dec. 2, 1974 – Dec. 9
American sports journalist Grant Wahl died while covering the World Cup in Lusail, Qatar.
Paul Silas, July 12, 1943 – Dec. 11
Paul Silas, who touched the game as a player, coach and president of the National Basketball Players Association, died at 79. Silas’s son Stephen Silas is the coach of the Houston Rockets.
Mike Leach, March 9, 1961 – December 12, 2022
Mississippi State University head football coach Mike Leach died at 61.
Curt Simmons, May 19, 1929 – Dec. 13
Curt Simmons, the last surviving member of the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies Whiz Kids team, died at 93.
Tom Browning, April 28, 1960 – Dec. 19
Tom Browning, an All-Star pitcher who threw the only perfect game in Cincinnati Reds history and helped them win a World Series title, died at 62.
Franco Harris, March 7, 1950 – Dec. 20
Franco Harris, the Hall of Fame running back whose heads-up thinking authored “The Immaculate Reception,” considered the most iconic play in NFL history, died at 72. His death comes two days before the 50th anniversary of the play that provided the jolt that helped transform the Steelers from also-rans into the NFL’s elite. Pittsburgh had scheduled to retire his No. 32 during a ceremony at halftime of its game against the Las Vegas Raiders three day before his death.