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Former Penn State star, Steelers assistant Dan Radakovich dies

Former Penn State star, Steelers assistant Dan Radakovich dies
Dan Radakovich was a star center and linebacker at Penn State before beginning his coaching career with the Nittany Lions in 1957. File Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Former Penn State linebacker and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Dan Radakovich has died. He was 84.

He died Thursday at his home in Moon Township, Pa. His cause of death was not immediately available. He worked as a college and NFL coach for more than 50 years. He won two Super Bowl titles while with the Steeler in the 1970s.

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Radakovich also had collegiate coaching roles at Robert Morris University, Cincinnati, Colorado, North Carolina State and Westminster. His NFL coaching career included stops with the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams, in addition to the Steelers.

"Known as the patriarch of 'Linebacker U' at alma mater Penn State, Radakovich, affectionately known as 'Bad Rad,' left his undeniable mark at the position for RMU," Robert Morris said in a news release, announcing Radakovich's death.

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Radakovich was born in 1935 in Duquesne, Pa. He played center and linebacker at Penn State from 1953 through 1956 before starting his coaching career. Radakovich graduated from Penn State in 1957 and worked as a coach for the Nittany Lions that same year.

He worked at Cincinnati in 1970 before his first tenure with the Steelers in 1971. Radakovich then worked at Colorado before returning to the Steelers in 1974. He went on to work for the 49ers and Rams before returning to the college ranks in 1982 to work at North Carolina State. Radakovich then worked for the Broncos, Vikings, Jets, Browns and returned to the Rams before his last stop at Westminster from 2014 through 2019.

"We are saddened to learn of the passing of Dan Radakovich," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. "During his time in Pittsburgh under Chuck Noll, Dan began as a defensive line coach in 1971, but then after a couple of years at the University of Colorado, Dan returned to the Steelers in 1974.

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"During his second stint on Chuck's staff, coach 'Rad' became affectionately known as 'Bad Rad', as he also became known as the offensive line coach of one of the best offensive lines of all time. In the process, coach 'Rad' helped the Steelers win two Super Bowl championships."

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"Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Radakovich family."

Radakovich was inducted into the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. He is survived by his wife Nancy and daughters Lisa, Leslie and Lori.

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