The college football world lost a great one over the weekend, as legendary UCLA Bruins head coach Terry Donahue passed away.
Donahue, the winningest head coach in Pac-12 Conference and UCLA Bruins history, died at the age of 77 following a two-year battle with cancer. He reportedly passed away at home in Newport Beach, California.
“He epitomizes everything you strive to be as a coach and as a human being,” current UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly said. “Since the moment I stepped on campus, he’s been an incredible mentor and one of the most authentic, humble and toughest men I’ve ever met. He loved UCLA with all he had, and I can’t express how important his guidance and friendship has been for me.”
Donahue, who later served as the San Francisco 49ers general manager, was the UCLA football coach from 1976-95. He went 151-74-8 as the program’s head coach, winning five conference championships and two conference head coach of the year awards.
The college football world has taken to social media to pay tribute to him.
Terry Donahue, the winningest coach in Pacific-12 and UCLA football history, passed away tonight, at his home surrounded by family, following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 77. RIP to a coaching legend.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) July 5, 2021
I’ve known Terry Donahue for 40 years. A man of integrity, relentless energy and bled UCLA blue and gold. He helped mold so many young people and continued after retirement from UCLA. Anyone and everyone is better for having met him. A kind Valley boy from SO Notre Dame. RIP.
— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) July 5, 2021
RIP Terry Donahue. Good man, coach, GM. I covered his UCLA/49ers teams. Always open & honest w me. Turned down coaching Cowboys when, while staying at Jerry’s mansion, he thought Jerry was low-balling him on salary. Tough guy, Terry Donahue.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) July 5, 2021
I interviewed @UCLAFootball coach Terry Donahue many times. I served on a committee with him for several years. I found him smart, polite, engaging. I liked being around him. He fought his illness the way he competed in everything. I am sorry to hear he is gone.
— Ivan Maisel (@Ivan_Maisel) July 5, 2021
Terry Donahue had a rule at UCLA camp that people in each position group needed to get to know each other. He tested us too. One day he pulled me up and asked the other QBs, “Where is he from?” “Alaska!” a camper said. Coach turned to me, smiled, and said, “Is that right?” RIP
— Seth Wickersham (@SethWickersham) July 5, 2021
God Bless Coach Terry Donahue and his family. I had the incredible good fortune of working on his staff in 1990 and that year changed the course of my football career. A sincere gentleman, always gracious, a fighter until the end, he will be forever missed by all Bruins. #TDhttps://t.co/OBLKJYFt94
— Phil Savage (@PhilSavage) July 5, 2021
Scott Altenberg, who played for Terry Donahue at UCLA and whose father, Kurt, caught the game-winning touchdown to beat USC as Donahue’s teammate in 1965 as part of a Bruins team that won the Rose Bowl, on the legendary coach: “He was an amazing man. A Bruin to the end.”
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) July 5, 2021
I speak often about CFB needing a Czar and unified Leadership a man like Terry Donahue comes to mind. In the late 90’s during the Alliance and Bowl coalition Coach Donahue a @pac12 Rose Bowl guy coming up listened to my rants and while disagreeing had an open mind. He cared RIP🙏 pic.twitter.com/968edFimna
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) July 5, 2021
Our thoughts are with Terry’s friends and family members during this difficult time.
May he rest in peace.