TUCSON, Ariz. – Dick Tomey, the winningest football coach in University of Arizona history, has died at 80.
He died surrounded by family Friday night in Tucson, his family and the university said. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in December.
Tomey spent 14 years at Arizona, going 95-64 while taking the Wildcats to seven bowl games, including the Fiesta Bowl in 1993. Arizona went 12-1 in 1998 under Tomey and beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl to finish a program-best No. 4 in The Associated Press poll.
He began his career as a head coach at Hawaii in 1977 and closed it at San Jose State before retiring in 2009 at 71. Tomey was 183-145-7 overall in 20 years as a coach.
“On the football field he was a tough-as-nails coach, who loved fierce competition and the thrill of team building,” the family said in a statement Saturday. “He loved his players, every single one of them – always.
“He was hard on them. He constantly raised the bar. He could do…