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Frank Kush, first head coach in Indianapolis Colts history, dies at 88

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Cincinnati Bengals v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

We have some sad news to report today, as former Baltimore and Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Kush has passed away at the age of 88.

Kush holds the distinction of being the first coach in Indianapolis Colts history, as he was the head coach of the team during their move from Baltimore to Indy. Though he spent just three seasons as the team’s coach (1982-84), he got to experience both the team’s drafting (and subsequent trading) of John Elway as well as the move to Indianpaolis.

Overall, Kush went 11-28-1 as the head coach of the Colts. His first season was the strike-shortened 1982 campaign in which the Colts didn’t win a single game, going 0-8-1. The team improved dramatically in 1983 by going 7-9, but in their first year in Indy in 1984 Kush’s team went just 4-11 before the coach quit in advance of the season finale.

Kush will mostly be remembered for his coaching contributions at Arizona State, however, as he coached the team for 22 seasons from 1958-79. He went 176-54-1 at the school, winning nine conference titles. In 1975, Kush led his team to a perfect 12-0 season, capped by a Fiesta Bowl victory. For his success and achievements at Arizona State, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Arizona State football stadium is named “Frank Kush Field.”