Frank Kush dead at 88

Frank Kush, a Hall of Fame college coach whose taskmaster approach did not translate to the National Football League with the Colts, passed away Thursday at age 88.

Michigan State went 26-1 in Kush's three years on the team, including ideal 9-0 seasons in 1951 and 1952.

Photo Kush in April 2015 at the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The coach ended his tenure at Arizona State after punter Kevin Rutledge claimed Kush shook his face mask and punched him during a game in 1978.

Kush was sacked five games into the 1979 season after punter Kevin Rutledge said the coach had punched him during a game at Washington the previous season.

Kush was 176-54-1 with the Sun Devils from 1958 to 1979. His teams won two Border Conference and seven Western Athletic Conference titles.

"The irony? We all hated him, " said former Arizona State Quarterback Danny White. "I came to Arizona State on a football scholarship, and I shall always be indebted to Frank Kush for instilling toughness in his players".

Kush was the Walter Camp Coach of the Year and AFCA Coach of the Year in 1975, when ASU finished No. 2 in the nation. Although he was only 5-9, 180 pounds, Kush combined excellent quickness and sound technique, often disrupting plays before they even got started.

After his playing days, Kush joined the U.S. Army, where he served as a first lieutenant at Ft.

His teams had a 6-1 record in bowl games and were undefeated in 1970 and 1975.

Arizona State's athletic director was later fired as fallout from the scandal, and the school was placed on probation by the NCAA for a number of violations while Mr. Kush was head coach.

Kush later became head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL in 1981, before becoming head coach of the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts from 1982-84. Miller also cited an apparent attempt by Kush to cover up the incident as his reason for firing the coach when he did.

  • Rogelio Becker