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Mike Tomczak's father-coach dies at 69

Feb. 27, 2007 at 4:52 PM

CHICAGO, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Ronald Tomczak, a high school football coach in Chicago whose best-known player was his son, former Bears quarterback Mike Tomczak, has died at 69.

Tomczak suffered a fatal heart attack Saturday at Lincoln-Way East High School where he was working as a part-time coach and driving instructor, the Daily Southtown reported Tuesday.

"As a father, he was a tremendous anchor," Mike Tomczak said. "As a coach, he was always prepared, always taught the players that it's a team effort. He was never outworked."

Mike Tomczak, now working as a commentator for ESPN after 16 years in the NFL, may have been his father's most famous achievement. But he also led Thornton Fractional North High School to a 110-37-3 record between 1966 and 1983.

Ronald W. Tomczak, another son, said that his father, who attended Wichita State on a football scholarship, helped many high school athletes parlay their talent into a college education. He said that students from other schools would turn to his father for help because of his extensive network among college coaches.

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