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Terry Donahue (1944–2021), UCLA’s winningest football coach

by Linnea Crowther

Terry Donahue was the head football coach at UCLA from 1976 to 1996, with more wins than any other coach in the team’s history.

Five-time Pac-10 champs

Donahue played for the UCLA Bruins when he was in college in the 1960s, and he was on the 1965 team that achieved the school’s first Rose Bowl victory. He began coaching after college, first for the University of Kansas. He joined the Bruins as an offensive line coach in 1971, then was promoted to head coach in 1976. He led the Bruins to 151 wins and five Pac-10 championships. His Bruins also won three Rose Bowls, and Donahue was the first person to have been a player, assistant coach, and head coach in the Rose Bowl. After his 1996 retirement from UCLA, Donahue worked in broadcasting for CBS Sports, Fox, and the NFL Network, as well as serving as general manager for the San Francisco 49ers.

Donahue on UCLA

“I’d hate to leave this place, even for heaven.” —as quoted by the Los Angeles Times

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Tributes to Terry Donahue

Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

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