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Former LSU Coach and Athletic Director Paul Dietzel Dies at 89

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Former LSU football head coach and athletic director, Paul Dietzel, passed away early Tuesday morning at the age of 89. Dietzel (photo courtesy of LSU) coached the Tigers in back-to-back Sugar Bowls in 1959 and 1960.  

The 1959 Sugar Bowl Classic saw No. 1 LSU named National Champion after a 7-0 win over 12th-ranked Clemson.  The MVP of the game, Heisman trophy winner Billy Cannon, played all three of his seasons at LSU under Dietzel. In 1960, the 3rd-ranked Tigers returned to Tulane Stadium to face No. 2 Ole Miss in front of a crowd of 81,141, but had a completely different outcome than the previous year as they were shutout, 21 - 0.  

Dietzel served as LSU's football coach from 1955 through 1961 and returned in 1978 to serve as athletic director until 1982. According to LSU's website, Dietzel was the last living member of the 1959 National Championship coaching staff. After first retiring to North Carolina, Dietzel dabbled in the sports world, doing some broadcast work and helping with the creation of the athletic department at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. 

Dietzel and his wife, Anne, returned to Baton Rouge to live in 2003. He was inducted in the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.


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