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Originally published February 8, 2013 at 11:44 PM | Page modified February 9, 2013 at 5:57 PM

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Former Cougars football coach Jim Sweeney dies

Jim Sweeney, who coached the Washington State football team for eight years before going on to great success at Fresno State, has died. He was 83.

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Rest in Peace, Coach Sweeney. I still have fond memories of your wife and you walking... MORE
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FRESNO, Calif. — Jim Sweeney, who coached the Washington State football team for eight years before going on to great success at Fresno State, has died. He was 83.

Sweeney coached 19 seasons at Fresno State and retired with a school-record 144 victories. Fresno State announced Sweeney's death Friday night. It provided no further details.

"Most of what our football program has accomplished in recent years was clearly made possible by the path that Coach Sweeney blazed for Fresno State football throughout his two decades of leadership," athletic director Thomas Boeh said. "He was a man of vision, toughness and character who led the Bulldogs to new heights and went on to become a national icon."

Sweeney, a native of Butte, Mont., also coached Montana State before he was hired at Washington State. He coached the Cougars from 1968 to 1975 and was 26-59-1.

He retired at Fresno State after the 1996 season and the field at Bulldog Stadium was renamed in his honor. Sweeney finished with 200 wins in 32 seasons.


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