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Former Coach McKay Hospitalized

May 16, 2001

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ John McKay, a former pro and college football coach, was in fair condition Wednesday in the intensive care unit of a hospital for treatment of complications from diabetes.

McKay, who coached two Heisman Trophy winners and led Southern California to four national titles before becoming the first coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1975, was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital last week.

Bucs and hospital officials declined to provide details of McKay’s condition at the request of the family.

McKay’s youngest son, Rich, is the general manager of the Bucs, who began play in 1976 and lost their first 26 games under John McKay. In 1979, Tampa Bay became the first expansion team to reach a conference title game within its first four seasons.

Tampa Bay made the playoffs three times under McKay, who compiled a 44-88-1 record before retiring after his ninth season in 1984.

The Bucs lost the 1979 NFC championship game 9-0 to the Los Angeles Rams and didn’t come that close to the Super Bowl again for 20 years.

Southern California went 127-40-8 under McKay, winning nine Pac-8 titles and losing only 17 conference games in 16 years. He won national titles in 1962, 1967, 1972 and 1974, while two of his tailbacks _ Mike Garrett and O.J. Simpson _ won the Heisman Trophy.