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Notable sports deaths in 2021

Hank Aaron, here in March 1967, hit at
Leon Spinks celebrates as his entourage holds him
San Diego Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer against the
Baseball manager Tommy Lasorda in Los Angeles Dodger
FILE - Temple basketball coach John Chaney gestures
File-This undated file photo shows Los Angeles Dodgers

Floyd Little

Floyd Little, the Hall of Fame running back who starred at Syracuse and for the Denver Broncos, died on Jan. 1. He was 78. No cause was given.

Paul Westphal

Paul Westphal, a Hall of Fame player who won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 1974 and later coached in the league and in college, died on Jan. 2 at age 70 in Scottsdale, Arizona, after being diagnosed with brain cancer in August 2020.

John Muckler

John Muckler, who coached four NHL teams, including the Rangers for four seasons, and won five Stanley Cup championships with the Oilers, was confirmed dead by the Oilers on Jan. 4. He was 86

Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda, one of baseball’s most colorful characters of the late 20th century, died on Jan. 7 at age 93, silencing a voice that could be both comical and profane but never boring.

Don Sutton

Don Sutton, the Hall of Fame pitcher who was a stalwart of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rotation spanning an era from Sandy Koufax to Fernando Valenzuela, died on Jan. 18 at the age of 75.

Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson, whose 13-year run as Green Bay Packers general manager included their 2010 Super Bowl championship season, died on Jan. 20. He was 68.

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron withstood the deliberate obscurity in baseball’s Negro League and became an American icon by breaking a record that was arguably the most hallowed mark in sports at the time he broke it. He died on Jan. 22 at age 86.

Harthorne Wingo

Harthorne Wingo, the popular 6-9 forward for the Knicks' championship team in 1973, died on Jan 23, the team announced. He was 73.

George Armstrong

George Armstrong, who captained the Toronto Maple Leafs to four Stanley Cups in the 1960s, died from heart complications on Jan. 24. He was 90.

John Chaney

John Chaney, one of the nation's leading basketball coaches and a commanding figure during a Hall of Fame career at Temple, died on Jan. 29 at age 89.

Leon Spinks Jr.

Leon Spinks Jr., a former world heavyweight boxing champion who won gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and beat Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title in 1978, died Feb. 5 at age 67 after battling prostate and other cancers.

Pedro Gomez

Pedro Gomez, a longtime baseball correspondent for ESPN died unexpectedly at his home on Feb. 7. He was 58.

Tom Konchalski

Tom Konchalski, an extraordinary evaluator of basketball talent and the editor and publisher of High School Basketball Illustrated, a must-read for coaches at every level of college basketball, died on Feb. 8 at age 74 after battling cancer.

Marty Schottenheimer

Marty Schottenheimer, who won 200 regular-season games with four NFL teams thanks to his "Martyball" brand of smash-mouth football but regularly fell short in the playoffs, died on Feb. 8. He was 77.

Vincent Jackson

Vincent Jackson, the former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was found dead on Feb. 15 at a Florida hotel room, days after authorities spoke with him as part of a welfare check, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. He was 38.

Irv Cross

Irv Cross, the former NFL defensive back who became the first Black man to work full-time as a sports analyst on national television, died on Feb. 28 at the age of 81.

Mark Pavelich

Mark Pavelich, a member of the "Miracle on Ice" Olympic hockey team, died at the Eagle's Healing Nest in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, on March 5 at the age of 63. The cause and manner of death were still pending at the time of his death. Pavelich was undergoing treatment at the home as part of a civil commitment for assaulting his neighbor in August 2019.

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