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Ex-UCLA football coach, 49ers GM Terry Donahue dies at 77

Former San Francisco 49ers general manager Terry Donahue, shown Dec. 5, 2004, finished as the winningest football coach in UCLA and Pac-12 history. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Former San Francisco 49ers general manager Terry Donahue, shown Dec. 5, 2004, finished as the winningest football coach in UCLA and Pac-12 history. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

July 5 (UPI) -- Terry Donahue, the winningest football coach in UCLA and Pac-12 Conference history who later became general manager of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, has died after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 77.

UCLA said Donahue died Sunday night at his home in Newport Beach, Calif., while surrounded by family.

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"There aren't enough words to properly honor Terry Donahue and what he means to the Bruin family and anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing him," current UCLA head football coach Chip Kelly said in a statement. "He epitomizes everything you strive to be as a coach and as a human being.

"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."

Born in Los Angeles, Terrence Michael Donahue graduated from Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, Calif., before attending UCLA, where he joined the football program as a walk-on defensive lineman in 1965.

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Donahue, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000, later coached the Bruins from 1971-75 as an assistant before taking over as head coach at age 31, a position he held from 1976-95. He has the most wins (98) of any coach in Pac-12 history and also the most victories (151) in UCLA history.

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He ended with a 151-74-8 coaching record at UCLA and a 98-51-5 mark in Pac-12 play.

After stepping away from coaching, Donahue called games for CBS, Fox and the NFL Network.

Donahue later served as the 49ers' director of player personnel in 1999 and 2000 and as the team's general manager from 2001-05.

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He is survived by his wife, Andrea, daughters Nicole, Michele and Jennifer and 10 grandchildren.

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