Notable sports deaths in 2016
A look at those athletes, coaches and sports personalities we lost in 2016.
Rashaan Salaam(Credit: AP / Werner Slocum)
Authorities say 1994 Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam was found dead in a park Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in Boulder, Colo. The Boulder County coroner's office said that it is still investigating the death of 42-year-old Salaam.
Joe McKnight(Credit: Getty Images/Elsa)
Joe McKnight, a former Jets running back and kick returner, was fatally shot Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, following an argument at an intersection in Terrytown, Louisiana, his agent confirmed. McKnight was 28.
Fulton Walker(Credit: AP)
Fulton Walker, the first player to score on a Super Bowl kickoff return, died at the age of 58 on Oct. 12, 2016, in his hometown of Martinsburg, West Virginia, of an apparent heart attack, the Miami Dolphins said.
Dennis Byrd(Credit: AP / John Minchillo)
The former Jets defensive lineman died Saturday, Oct. 16, 2016, in a two-vehicle collision north of Claremore, Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. He was 50. Byrd was paralyzed during a game in 1992 but defied doctors' predictions that he would never walk again.
Arnold Palmer(Credit: AP)
Arnold Palmer, whose swashbuckling style, dashing looks and charismatic personality carried the game of golf into mainstream sports, died on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Pittsburgh. He was 87.
Jose Fernandez(Credit: Jim McIsaac)
Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins' ace, was one of three people killed in a boat crash off Miami Beach early in the morning on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, the Coast Guard confirmed. Fernandez was 24.
John Saunders(Credit: Getty Images / Christian Petersen)
John Saunders, for three decades one of ESPN's most visible and well-liked on-air personalities, died at age 61, the network announced on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
Bryan Clauson(Credit: AP / Rainier Ehrhardt)
Bryan Clauson, considered the top dirt-track racer in the country, died Monday, Aug. 8, from injuries suffered in an accident at the Belleville (Kansas) Midget Nationals USAC midget race two nights earlier. He was 27.
Dennis Green(Credit: Getty Images)
Dennis Green, the former NFL head coach who spent 13 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals, died Thursday, July 21, 2016, after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 67.
Nate Thurmond(Credit: AP)
Nate Thurmond, NBA Hall of Famer and Golden State Warriors legend, died at age 74 after a short battle with leukemia on July 16, 2016.
Zurlon Tipton(Credit: AP/ John Minchillo)
Former Colts running back Zurlon Tipton died on Tuesday, June 28 at the age of 26 in suburban Detroit, a St. John Hospital spokesman confirmed. Tipton died after accidentally shooting himself at a car dealership.
Buddy Ryan(Credit: AP)
Buddy Ryan, the former NFL coach whose revolutionary 46 defense lifted the 1985 Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl championship, died Tuesday, June 28, his agent said. He was 82.
Pat Summitt(Credit: AP )
Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in NCAA Division I basketball history and a women's basketball pioneer, died Tuesday, June 28. She was 64.
Ryan Jimmo(Credit: AP / Jeff McIntosh)
Former UFC fighter Ryan Jimmo was killed in a hit and run in Canada on Sunday, June 26. He was 34.
Curley Johnson(Credit: AP)
Curley Johnson, who punted for the Jets in their Super Bowl victory in 1969, died Sunday, June 12, 2016, at his home in Granbury, Texas, a day after celebrating his 61st wedding anniversary with his wife Janet. He was 80.
Gordie Howe(Credit: AP)
Gordie Howe, the Hall of Famer known as "Mr. Hockey," died Friday, June 10. He was 88.
Sean Rooks(Credit: AP / Ric Francis)
Sean Rooks, a former NBA center and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach, died on Tuesday, June 7. He was 46.
Kimbo Slice(Credit: Bellator MMA / Lucas Noonan)
Kimbo Slice, who brought his popularity from street fighting videos on YouTube to mixed martial arts, died on Monday, June 6 in south Florida. He was 42.
Muhammad Ali(Credit: AP)
Muhammad Ali, the heavyweight champion of hyperbole and showbiz as well as prizefighting, who came to be called the most famous human on the planet, died Friday, June 3, 2016 at an undisclosed hospital in the Phoenix area after a brief hospitalization for a respiratory problem, according to a statement released by his family. He was 74.
Donny Everett(Credit: AP / Joe Howell)
Donny Everett,a Vanderbilt freshman pitcher, drowned while fishing in Tennessee on Thursday, June 2, 2016, a day before the Commodores were to open the NCAA Tournament. He was 19.
Rick MacLeish(Credit: AP)
Rick MacLeish, who starred for the Broad Street Bullies teams of the Philadelphia Flyers that won the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975, died Tuesday, May 31after battling an illness. He was 66.
Bryce Dejean-Jones(Credit: AP / Doug McSchooler)
Bryce Dejean-Jones, a New Orleans Pelicans rookie guard, was fatally shot on Saturday, May 28, after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment, police said. He was 23.
John Brophy(Credit: Newsday file photo)
John Brophy, also known as the "Godfather of Goonery," died after a lengthy illness on Monday, May 23. The Long Island Ducks icon was 83.
Winston Hill(Credit: AP / Bill Kostroun)
Winston Hill, the former Jets offensive tackle and blindside protector of quarterback Joe Namath en route to winning Super Bowl III, died on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, in his adopted hometown of Denver, the team announced. He was 74.
Ron Brace(Credit: AP)
Former New England Patriots defensive tackle Ron Brace died Saturday, April 23 at his home in Springfield, Massachusetts, his cousin, Shaunta Brace confirmed to the Associated Press on Sunday. The cause of death wasn't immediately known.
Pearl Washington(Credit: AP / Richard Drew)
Former Syracuse star Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, who sparkled as an unstoppable point guard playing on the New York City high school and national college basketball stages for much of the 1980s, died Wednesday, April 20, 2016, Syracuse University Athletics announced on its web site. He was 52.
Milt Pappas(Credit: AP / Fred Jewell)
Milt Pappas, who came within a disputed pitch of throwing a perfect game for the Chicago Cubs in 1972, died of natural causes on Tuesday, April 19, at his home in the northern Illinois community of Beecher, said his widow, Judi Pappas.
Ed Snider(Credit: AP / Paul Beaty)
Ed Snider, the Philadelphia Flyers founder, died on Monday, April 11, after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 83.
Will Smith(Credit: Getty Images / Chris Graythen)
The former Saints defensive end was shot and killed in what appeared to be a road rage incident on Saturday, April 9 in New Orleans.
Kevin Turner(Credit: AP / Itsuo Inouye)
Kevin Turner, a former NFL and University of Alabama player, died after battling Lou Gehrig's disease, his father said in a statement Thursday, March 24, 2016. He was 46.
Joe Garagiola(Credit: AP / Ross D. Franklin)
Joe Garagiola, a former MLB catcher who spent 57 years as a glib baseball broadcaster and a fixture on the "Today" show, died Wednesday, March 23. He was 90.
Bud Collins, the tennis writer and commentator whose spirited work rendered him the sport's premier historian, conscience and connoisseur of fun, died March 4, 2016, in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was 86.
Aubrey McClendon(Credit: AP / Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City police say Aubrey McClendon, a natural gas industry titan who was indicted on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, by a federal grand jury for allegedly conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma, was killed Wednesday in a fiery single-car crash in Oklahoma City. McClendon, who also was the part-owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was 56.
Andy Bathgate(Credit: AP)
Andy Bathgate, former Rangers standout in the 1950s and '60s, passed away on Feb. 25, 2016. The Rangers and the Hockey Hall of Fame confirmed the death but did not give a cause.
Tony Phillips(Credit: Allsport / Stephen Dunn)
Tony Phillips, a member of the 1989 World Series champion Oakland Athletics died on Wednesday, Feb. 17, the A's announced on Friday, Feb. 19. The team did not provide a cause of death. Phillips was 56.
Dave Mirra(Credit: AP/ ED REINKE)
Dave Mirra, veteran X Games BMX rider and rally car driver, died Thursday, Feb. 4, in Greenville, North Carolina. Police said that Mirra's body was found earlier in the day with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 41.
Bill Johnson(Credit: AP/ Michel Lipchitz)
Bill Johnson, the first American male to win an Olympic gold in an Alpine event, died Thursday, Jan. 21 at an assisted living facility in Gresham, Oregon, after a long illness, the U.S. ski team said. He was 55.
Luis Arroyo(Credit: AP / Kathy Willens)
Luis Arroyo, former Yankees All-Star pitcher died Wednesday, Jan. 13 in Puerto Rico, his daughter told the team. She said he had been diagnosed with cancer last month. He was 88.
Lawrence Phillips(Credit: AP / Joe Cavaretta)
Lawrence Phillips, a former NFL running back, was found dead in his cell in Kern Valley State Prison on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Officials said the 40-year-old was found unresponsive, and they suspect suicide.
Andrew Smith(Credit: AP / Doug McSchooler)
Andrew Smith, the former Butler men's basketball star who played in two national championship games, died on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at the age of 25 after a two-year battle with cancer.
Monte Irvin(Credit: AP)
Monte Irvin, a power-hitting outfielder who starred for the New York Giants in the 1950s in a career abbreviated by major-league baseball's exclusion of black players, died Monday, Jan. 11. He was 96.