Former Football Coach Pete Elliott Passes Away
Jan. 4, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Former Fighting Illini head football coach Pete Elliott passed away on Friday, Jan. 4, at the age of 86. Elliott, a native of Bloomington, Ill., coached the Illini from 1960-66, leading Illinois to a Big Ten title and Rose Bowl victory during the 1963 season. He compiled a record of 31-34-1 in his seven-year tenure, which included four winning seasons.
When he was hired in 1960, he was the Big Ten's youngest head football coach at age 33. He had already coached for 10 years - as an assistant at Oregon State and Oklahoma, and as head coach at Nebraska and California. A quarterback on Michigan's 1948 national championship team, Elliott eventually represented three different schools in the Rose Bowl: Michigan (quarterbacking the Wolverines to a 49-0 win over Southern Cal in 1948); California (coaching the Bears in their 1959 loss to Iowa); and Illinois (coaching the Fighting Illini led by Dick Butkus and Jim Grabowski to a 17-7 triumph over Washington in 1964).
Elliott served as the Pro Football Hall of Fame's executive director from 1979-1996 and continued as a member of the Hall's board of trustees in his retirement. He was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.