June 19, 2024


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Athletes and sports figures who have died in 2022




Remembering the athletes, coaches and sports figures we’ve lost this year

(Photo By USA TODAY Sports © Copyright USA TODAY Sports)

From Dan Reeves to Scott Hall, Odalis Perez, Roger Angell, and Tony Siragusa, here’s a look at the athletes and sports figures we’ve lost so far in 2022…

Dan Reeves (77) — January 19, 1944 – January 1, 2022


Reeves began his NFL journey as a running back for the Dallas Cowboys, earning a Super Bowl ring (Super Bowl VI) and gaining over 1900 yards in 100 games. But he would make a lasting mark on the league as a head coach, winning 201 games during a career that included three stops—Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons. He reached the Super Bowl nine times—four as a head coach, three as an assistant, and two as a player—which is among the tops in NFL history.

Larry Biittner (75) — July 27, 1946 – January 2, 2022

(Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)

The left-hander spent the 1970s and early ’80s playing in the MLB, with stops at the Washington Senators (then Texas Rangers), the Montreal Expos, and the Chicago Cubs.

Jim Corsi (60) — September 9, 1961 – January 4, 2022

(Brian Bahr /Allsport)

Corsi spent 10 season in the MLB, ending his career with a respectable 3.25 ERA.

Ross Browner (67) — March 22, 1954 – January 4, 2022

(Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports)

Browner (No. 79) was a force during his 10 seasons in the NFL, with his most significant impact coming while playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Greg Robinson (70) — October 9, 1951 – January 5, 2022

(Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports)

Robinson’s football career spanned four decades, both in college and the NFL. His resume included stops as the Syracuse head coach and was part of two Super Bowl wins (XXXII and XXXIII) with the Denver Broncos as the defensive coordinator.

Ralph Neely (78) — September 12, 1943 – January 5, 2022)

Herb Weitman-USA TODAY Sports

Neely spent his entire NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys, protecting stars like QB Roger Staubach during his time in the trenches. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection, four-time All-Pro and was named to the All-Decade Team for the 1960s.

Matt Miller (49) — May 1, 1972 – January 8, 2022

(USA TODAY Network)

Miller was part of Kansas State’s rise to football prominence in the ’90s, which included the program’s first 10-win season in 1995. He would later return to the program as a coach under Bill Snyder

Don Maynard (86) — January 25, 1935 – January 10, 2022

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Maynard was one of the most prolific receivers of his era. Originally drafted by the Giants, Maynard’s journey would lead him to the Canadian Football League and then the Jets, where he earned a Super Bowl ring (SB III) and made a name as a truly great receiver. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1987.

David Green (61) — December 4, 1960 – January 29, 2022

(Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network)

The Nicaraguan-born Green played six seasons in the MLB, mostly with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Deon Lendore (29) — October 28, 1992 – January 10, 2022

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Lendore was an Olympic and world championship medalist from Trinidad and Tobago.

Joe B. Hall (93) — November 30, 1928 – January 15, 2022

(USA TODAY Network)

Hall was the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats’ mens basketball team from 1972 to 1985. He led the Wildcats to a national championship in 1978.

Francisco “Paco” Gento (88) — October 21, 1933 – January 18, 2022

(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Gento was Spanish footballer who was considered one the greatest of all time. The IFFHS voted him as the greatest Spanish footballer and 30th greatest world footballer of the 20th century.

Lusia Harris (66) — February 10, 1955 – January 18, 2022

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

Harris was a pioneer in the basketball world, the first woman ever to be drafted by the NBA. A silver medalist at the 1976 Olympics, Harris was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bob Goalby (92) March 14, 1929 – January 19, 2022

(USA TODAY Network)

Goalby (left) was a professional golfer who picked up 14 wins on the PGA Tour during his career. He became an interesting part of golf history in 1968, when a scorecard error by Roberto De Vicenzo—a recorded par instead of a birdie—gave Goalby the Masters win.

Clark Gillies (67) — April 7, 1954 – January 21, 2022

(Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Gillies played in the NHL from 1974 and 1988 and was part of the incredible Islanders run that included four straight Stanley Cups Championships from 1980-1983.

Robin Herman (70) — November 24, 1951 – February 1, 2022


Herman was the first female sports journalist for the New York Times.

Gene Clines (75) — October 6, 1946 – January 27, 2022

(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Clines was in the MLB from 1970 to 1979, playing mostly with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He became part of baseball history in 1971 as part of the first all-minority lineup.

Gerald Williams (55) August 10, 1966 – February 8, 2022

(USA TODAY Network)

Williams spent 14 years in the MLB, playing for the Yankees, Brewers, Braves, Marlins, Mets, and then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Jeremy Giambi (47) — September 30, 1974- February 9, 2022

(Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport)

The younger brother of Jason Giambi, Jeremy played in the MLB from 1998 to 2003, most notably with the Oakland A’s.

Charley Taylor (80) — September 28, 1941 – February 19, 2022

(Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports © Copyright 1973)

Taylor was a dynamic wide receiver for Washington, earning a selection into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

Emile Francis (95) — September 13, 1926 – February 19, 2022

(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

“The Cat” was a player, coach and general manager in the NHL.

Julio Cruz (67) — December 2, 1954 – February 22, 2022

(Rick Stewart /Allsport)

Cruz spent 10 years in the MLB as player and would go on to the booth and remained involved in youth baseball and charitable efforts.

Ken Burrough (73) — July 14, 1948 – February 24, 2022

(Herb Weitman-USA TODAY Sports)

The two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver was the last NFL player to wear jersey No. 00. He totaled over 7,000 yards during his career with 49 touchdowns.

Lionel “Little Train” James (59) — May 25, 1962 – February 25, 2022

(Peter Brouillet-USA TODAY Sports)

James played five years in the NFL with the Chargers. He was drafted out of Auburn, where he shared the backfield duties with Bo Jackson.

Richard Versace (81) — April 16, 1940 – February 25, 2022

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Versace spent time in the NBA as a coach and exec. He made history as the first NBA coach of Puerto Rican descent.

Kent Waldrep Jr. (67) — March 2, 1954 – February 27, 2022

(Harry Cabluck, AP)

Waldrep was left paralyzed while playing football for Texas Christian University, an injury that led him on a journey of activism. His efforts and achievements included the ratification of Americans With Disabilities Act.

Shane Olivea (40) October 7, 1981 – March 2, 2022)

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

The former Ohio State Buckeye started 31 of 32 games with Chargers to begin his NFL career and was considered a steal as a sixth0round draft pick in 2004.

Shane Warne (52) — September 13, 1969 – March 4, 2022

(Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)

Warne was an Australian international Hall of Fame cricketer whose career ran from 1991 to 2007.

Odalis Perez (44) — June 11, 1977 – March 10, 2022

(James Lang-USA TODAY Sports)

The left-hander spent parts of 10 seasons in the big leagues with the Braves, Dodgers, Royals, and Nationals.

Scott Hall (63) October 20, 1958 – March 14, 2022

(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Hall, known professionally as Razor Ramon, was a massively popular wresting figure int the WWE and WCW.

Jean Potvin (72) — March 25, 1949 – March 15, 2022

(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Potvin played 11 years in the NHL, most notably with the Islanders, where he was part of two Stanley Cup wins.

John Clayton (67) — May 11, 1954 – March 18, 2022

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Clayton was a longtime football reporter who rose to fame during his stint covering the NFL for ESPN.

Joe Williams (87) May 16, 1934-March 26, 2022

(File, Twitter)

Williams had 336 wins during his college basketball coaching career while leading three different schools to the NCAA tournament.

Tommy Davis (83) — March 21, 1939 – April 3, 2022

(Wally Skaij-LA Times/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

Davis spent 18 seasons in the MLB, picking up an All-Star nod and two-National League batting crowns.

Lee Rose (85) — October 23, 1936 – April 5, 2022

(USA TODAY Network)

Rose spent time as a coach in both the NCAA and NBA. He coached two teams to the Final Four, the Charlotte 49ers and the Purdue Boilermakers.

Rayfield Wright (76) — August 23, 1945 – April 7, 2022

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Wright played 13 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Dwayne Haskins (24) — May 3, 1997 – April 9, 2022

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Haskins was a prolific passer for the Ohio State Buckeyes, setting Big Ten records his sophomore year. Washington drafted him in the 2019 NFL draft.

Gary Brown (52) — July 1, 1969 – April 10, 2022

(Peter Brouillet-USA TODAY NETWORK)

The former Nittany Lion played for three NFL teams—Oilers, Chargers, Giants—from 1991 to 1999.

Shirley Spork (94) May 14, 1927 – April 12, 2022)

(Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Spork was one of the founders of the LPGA Tour, a staple in the game of golf who would earn even more recognition as a teaching pro.

Cedric McMillan (44) — August 17, 1977 – April 12, 2022)

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

McMillan was an American bodybuilder, with his pinnacle coming in 2017 when he won the esteemed Arnold Classic.

Mike Bossy (65) — January 22, 1957 – April 15, 2022

(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Bossy spent his entire NHL career with the Islanders (1977-87) and was part of the team’s four consecutive Stanley Cup championships.

Daryle Lamonica (80) — July 17, 1941 – April 21, 2022

(Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

The “Mad Bomber” was a quarterback in the AFL and NFL, gaining most notoriety (and the nickname) as the Oakland Raiders’ play-caller. Lamonica led the team to Super Bowl II and four consecutive division titles.

Guy Lafleur (70) — September 20, 1951 – April 22, 2022

(Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

Hockey royalty is the simplest way to describe Lafleur. His NHL career spanned 17 seasons—with the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Quebec Nordiques—and he was part of five Stanley Cup championships.

John Stofa (79) — June 29, 1942 – April 23, 2022

(Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports)

Stofa is part of football history. Bengals’ founder Paul Brown acquired the rights to the quarterback in a trade with the Dolphins at the end of the 1967 season, which made him the first-ever player for the Cincinnati franchise.

Ray Scott (88) — August 24, 1933 – May 8, 2022

(USA TODAY Network)

Scott (pictured with President George H.W. Bush was an icon in professional bass fishing, turning the leisure activity into a full-fledged sport. He was credited with creating the “Bassmaster” TV franchise as well. 

Bob Lanier (73) — September 10, 1948 – May 10, 2022

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Lanier played 14 seasons in the NBA, earning eight All-Star nods during his impressive career. His post-playing resume included a coaching job with the Golden State Warriors and serving as the NBA Cares Global Ambassador

Gino Cappelletti (89) — March 26, 1934 – May 12, 2022

(AP photo)

Cappelletti was a wide receiver and kicker during his football career, which included a run in the AFL for the Boston Patriots, where he earned the league’s MVP award in 1964.

David West (57) — September 1, 1964 – May 14, 2022

(Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

West spent 10 seasons in the MLB, appearing on the mound for the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, and Boston Red Sox.

Roger Angell (101) — September 19, 1920 – May 20, 2022

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

Angell was one of the past century’s greatest—if not the greatest—sportswriters. His baseball musings were the stuff of legend, with a unique ability to create a scene for the reader that made them feel as though they were at the game. He is the only person ever elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Jeff Gladney (25) — December 12, 1996 – May 30, 2022

(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

Gladney was a standout at TCU in college and was a first-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2020 NFL draft. After two seasons with the Vikes, he signed with the Arizona Cardinals.

Marion Barber (38) — June 10, 1983 – June 1, 2022

(Matthew Emmons- USA TODAY Sports)

After a successful college career with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Barber was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. He played in Dallas for six years, earning a Pro Bowl selection in 2007 before heading to Chicago in 2011.

Don Perkins (84) — March 4, 1938 – June 9, 2022

(Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Perkins was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time All-Pro during his NFL career. He is part of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.

Mike Pratt (73) — August 4, 1948 – June 16, 2022

(Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Pratt played college basketball at Kentucky under iconic coach Adolf Rupp. Following a stint in the professional ranks, he returned to the college courts as a coach for the Charlotte 49ers. He was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Jaylon Ferguson (26) — December 14, 1995 – June 22, 2022

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

The Baltimore Ravens drafted Ferguson out of Louisiana Tech in 2019. He spent three seasons with the AFC North team.

Bruton Smith (95) — March 3, 1927 – June 22, 2022

(Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Smith was a significant part of stock racing and NASCAR. He founded Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which owns eight race tracks and a dozen Sprint Cup events.

Tony Siragusa (55) — May 14, 1967 – June 22, 2022

(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Siragusa was a massive personality both on and off the football field. He spent 12 seasons in the NFL, playing for the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens. His post-career success was a concussion of his unique character, most notably seen in his work as a sideline reporter/analyst for the Fox Network.