Son of former Longhorns baseball coach Gustafson dies of liver disease

Updated: January 4, 2008, 6:09 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Deron Gustafson, the son of former Texas baseball coach Cliff Gustafson who was part of a financial controversy that led to his dad's resignation, has died. He was 46.

Deron Gustafson's death Thursday at a Houston hospital was confirmed by the Texas sports information department. He had suffered from liver disease in recent years, his father told the Austin American-Statesman. He checked into an Austin hospital Dec. 22 and was told his liver was working at 15 percent capacity, his father said.

He was transferred to Houston's Memorial Hermann Hospital and had hoped to get a liver transplant.

Deron Gustafson played for his dad at Texas from 1981-83 and was a volunteer assistant for 13 years. The pair ran a baseball summer camp that in 1996 came into question from UT officials because of finances.

An audit revealed a bank account with nearly $285,000 in revenue from summer camps. NCAA rules prohibited volunteer coaches from getting paid for work at summer camps.

Cliff Gustafson acknowledged paying his son through the account but said he wasn't aware of any regulations preventing him from having the account. He said any money paid to his son "were considered gifts, which I am allowed to give to my children.''

After questions about the summer camps arose, Cliff Gustafson resigned. At the time, he was the winningest coach in Division I baseball history with a record of 1,466-377-2. He led the Longhorns to national championships in 1975 and '83.

Deron Gustafson played a season at Ranger Junior College before joining the Longhorns. He was on the '83 championship team, hitting .306 in 18 games as a backup second baseman.

He is survived by his wife, Julie; a daughter, Crosby; his father and his mother, Janie; and his sisters, Jill Balderama and Jan Shepperd.

Services are scheduled for Monday in Austin.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press