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Former UWS football coach Gil Krueger passes away

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame

Former University of Wisconsin-Superior football coach Gil Krueger died Oct. 30. He was 87 and a resident of Walnut Creek, Calif.

Krueger, who was born on May 28, 1929 in Milwaukee, served as head coach at UWS from 1984-87, compiling a record of 5-36-1 and 3-28-1 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

After graduating from Milwaukee West Division High School in 1947, Krueger earned degrees from Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

While in high school, he was all-city in football in 1946 and received high school all-American basketball honors in 1947. He also starred in baseball and track at West Division.

At Marquette, Krueger lettered in football and basketball. He was an honorable mention all-American in football and played in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles.

He began his coaching career at Grantsburg in 1954 as head basketball coach, and his first head coaching position in football was at Stoughton High School, where he won 35-of-36 conference games and posted a record of 52-11-1 between 1956-64.

Krueger then stepped up to the collegiate ranks as an assistant coach at North Central College in Illinois from 1964-66 then was given his first college head coaching assignment a year later at Macalester College.

In 1969 he went on to UW-Platteville where he compiled a record of 41-7-1, winning three Wisconsin State University Championships. In 1970 his team earned a berth in the NAIA play-offs.

At Northern Michigan his teams had a 31-15 record and won the national championship in 1975 with a 13-1 record. That same year he was name College Coach of the Year.

Northern Michigan defeated Western Kentucky, 16-14, in the national championship game in Sacramento, Calif. NMU had advanced by defeating Livingston (Ala.), 28-26, and Boise State, 24-21.

In 1976, Krueger led the Wildcats back to the NCAA tournament. They defeated Delaware, 28-17, but fell to Akron in overtime to finish the season with an 11-2 record.

In 1978 Krueger took over the reins at New Mexico State, where he continued his winning ways by capturing the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in his first year. For that feat he was again selected as Coach of the Year.

In 1983 he was an assistant coach with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, where he coached running back Hershel Walker.

When Krueger retired from coaching after the 1987 season, his 32-year overall record was 104-114-4.

Krueger is survived by his wife Carol Krueger of Walnut Creek, Calif., sons Mark (Julie) Krueger of Medina, Ohio., Paul (Roxanne) Krueger of Mission Viejo, Calif., Todd Krueger of Providence, R.I., daughter Caron (Matthew) Larkin of Lafayette, Calif. Also surviving are seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by grandson Alex Krueger, brother Carl and sister Fran (Phil) Daly.

A Memorial Service is scheduled for Dec. 3 in the Rossmoor Hillside Clubhouse 3400 Golden Rain Road, Walnut Creek, Calif.

NOTES: Krueger was the Wisconsin High School Football Coach of the Year in 1963. … In 1970 he was NAIA District Coach of the Year and named “Sportsman of the Decade” by Northern Michigan University for the 1970s. …  He was inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992. He is also a member of the Northern Michigan Hall of Fame and the UW-Platteville Hall of Fame.