Onofrio was AP's Big Eight coach of year in '72

Updated: November 5, 2004, 9:24 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Al Onofrio, former head football coach at Missouri who also helped design defenses for Dan Devine for more than a decade, has died. He was 83.

Onofrio died Friday at Desert Samaritan Hospital in Mesa, Ariz., said one of his sons, Mike Onofrio.

Onofrio, The Associated Press' Big Eight coach of the year in 1972, led Devine's defenses from 1958-70, during which the Tigers went 93-37-7, won two Big Eight titles and made six bowl appearances.

When Devine left Missouri to coach the Green Bay Packers in 1971, Onofrio took over and went 38-41 in seven seasons. After going 1-10 in his first year, Onofrio guided the Tigers to the Fiesta Bowl in 1972 and Sun Bowl the next season. In 1973, the Tigers went 8-4, finishing ranked 17th.

"This is certainly a sad day for Mizzou," said Mike Alden, the school's athletic director. "Everyone associated with Missouri should be thankful for the time he spent here and how much he meant to the institution by what he brought not only with his football expertise, but also his character."

Funeral arrangements were pending in Tempe.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press