Pete Duranko


Pete Duranko, a star defensive lineman on Notre Dame's 1966 national championship team who went on to play eight years for the Denver Broncos, has died of Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 67.

Notre Dame announced Sunday that Duranko died at a hospice in Windber, Pa., on Friday. He had battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for a decade.

Originally from Johnston, Pa., Duranko started at defensive tackle for the Fighting Irish in 1965 and '66. He had 73 tackles for the '66 team, which allowed only 3.8 points per game and had six shutouts in 10 games.

The next year he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns of the NFL in the fourth round and the Broncos of the AFL in the second round. He went on to play defensive end and linebacker for the Broncos from 1967-74.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

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Duranko, the finest football name I have ever heard. If ever there was a name for football "Duranko" would be that name. A Denver Broncos, Pete Duranko fan, who will always remember you, from 1968 until my final day. It broke my heart to hear of your passing. Just a Pete Duranko, Denver Broncos fan. This Ones for Pete!

I miss my dear friend a lot and think about him often; I am glad he is free of pain now! I miss my visits with him. He will always be in my prayers.

Just found out,that Pete Duranko passed away. Our love is with him. Love,Sherry and Angel Duranko Carson City,Nevada

Jan Nick and Greg I just learned of Pete's passing. I have fond memories of the Duranko family from my childhood.Pete was my show and tell in first grade.My dad played golf with Pete and my dad recently passed away. God Bless you all.Susie Oreskovich Gornick

I remember that championship team and Mr. Duranko's performance very well. I have wonderful memories of a great person and player. God bless his family.

Pete & I were in the same graduating class ('62) at Jntn Catholic. He was very popular in school but he had a knack of making everyone else seem more important than himself. He lived his life with humility & hilarity and I don't know a soul who met Pete & did not love him. All I can say is "Heaven will never be the same after Pete arrives". Go for it Pete, God needs a good joke & a hardy laugh right now. Travel well to God my good friend!

What an encouragement to know that the "God of all comfort", as well as others, care about your feelings at this time. You are in my thoughts today.
--A recent fan

I had the opportunity to meet Pete at the first Walk to Defeat ALS walk in Johnstown. My mom also passed away from this disease. Pete was very funny that day telling jokes. I will continue to walk for those battling ALS and for those who have courageously lost the battle in hopes of one day finding a cure.

I first met Pete at Pittsburgh Steeler & NFL Alumni meetings. He was a wonderful congenial, humorous man filled with genuineness. He always brightened the situation. He knew I was of the same ethinic background as he and he would say to me, "Slava Isusu Christu". He was a man's man. My heart is with his wife and family. His memory truly will be eternal. Bill Priatko