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Former Buffalo Coach Lou Saban dies at 87

March 29, 2009 at 6:08 PM   |   Comments

BUFFALO, N.Y., March 29 (UPI) -- Lou Saban, who coached pro football teams for 16 years and led Buffalo to two AFL championships, died Sunday in South Carolina, The Buffalo (N.Y.) News said.

Saban's Bills won American Football League titles in 1964 and 1965 in the years before the league merged with the NFL.

The newspaper said Saban died at his home in North Myrtle Beach and that he had suffered from heart problems in recent years.

Saban coached the Bills from 1962 to 1965 and again from 1972 to 1976. He coached the Boston (now the New England) Patriots and Denver pro teams, compiling an overall record of 95-99-7.

Saban also coached football at several colleges, including Northwestern and Maryland, and was a president of baseball's New York Yankees (1981-82).

"He has been my friend and mentor for over 50 years, and one of the people who helped shape my life," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement.

"Lou was tough and disciplined, and he earned all the respect and recognition that came his way. He spent a lifetime leading, teaching and inspiring, and took great satisfaction in making the lives around him better. This is a tremendous loss to me personally, and I extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Joyce, and the entire Saban family."

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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