Former Bucs coach, GM Phil Krueger, dies at 90

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Bucs GM Phil Krueger
Photo from Fraser Hale/Tampa Bay Times via AP

Former College and NFL coach Phil Krueger, who won a national title at USC and was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first general manager, died at his home on Monday, his family told the Associated Press on Saturday.

He was 90 years old

Krueger served as a defensive assistant with USC from 1966-1970, and helped lead them to the national title in 1967 while going 10-1. He also served as an assistant coach at Illinois and was the head coach at both Fresno State and Utah State. He compiled a 21-12 record in his three seasons with the Aggies.

He made the jump to the NFL when the league expanded in 1976, joining John McKay’s staff in Tampa Bay — the same coach he served under at USC. They went just 2-26 in his first two seasons there, however the team reached the NFC title game in 1979.

Krueger later became an assistant to owner Hugh Culverhouse in 1981, and then was hired as the team’s first general manager in 1991. He stayed in that position for just one season.

After leaving the Bucs, Krueger moved to South Florida, finishing his career as a consultant to a pro team in Tokyo, the Kajima Deers, for three years.

The Illinois native, who played football himself at Southeast Missouri State, was a first lieutenant in the Army and earned the Bronze Star while serving in the Korean War, per the Associated Press.

He is survived by his wife, Kathy, daughter Kristi and two grandchildren.

Shawn Stewart is a Sportswriter , Broadcaster for Sports 4 America , you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @Sports4Stewart