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Late 'U' football coach honored

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- In a sign of respect and remembrance, Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed Monday Murray Warmath Day in Minnesota.

Warmath passed away at age 98 last Wednesday in Bloomington of natural causes and funeral services were held on Monday.

Coach Warmath was the head coach of the University of Minnesota's football teams for 18 years, and he led the Gophers to their last national championship in 1960, to two Rose Bowls at the end of the 1960 and 1961 seasons and to two Big Ten titles in 1960 and 1967. the Gophers have not won a Big Ten title since.

Warmath was recognized by his peers as one of the best football coaches of his era, and was named National Football Coach of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 1960.

Warmath was a leader among the nation's football coaches for important social change; he was one of the first major college coaches to select several minority athletes in a single recruiting class, and his starting quarterback in 1960, Sandy Stephens, became the country's first black All-American quarterback.

Gov. Dayton noted, "Coach Warmath established a standard of excellence for his teams and his players both on and off the football field, which boosted the national reputation of the University of Minnesota, and which should serve as a model for today's coaches in all sports at all colleges and universities."

Warmath was a Vikings assistant coach in 1978 and worked as a scout in the organization in the 1990s before returing.

-- University of Minnesota