Former USC coach Paul Dietzel, dead at 89

Photo: USC Athletics

By Rob BrennanSpecial for ABC News 4

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) --{} Former Gamecock Head Football Coach Paul Dietzel passed away early Tuesday morning.{}

Louisiana State University put out a release that said Dietzel was battling a brief illness.{} Dietzel was 89.

Dietzel coached at South Carolina from 1966 to 1974.{}

His career with the Gamecocks marked a 42-53-1 record.{} Before his nine seasons in Columbia, Dietzel coached at Army and LSU.{} He coached LSU to a perfect 11-0 record in 1958 and led them to a national title.

According to a statement from the University of South Carolina's Department of Athletics, Dietzel was "credited with changing the culture of South Carolina Athletics."

He initiated the upgrade plan for all athletic facilities, including "The Roost" athletic dorm and enlarging the football stadium. He is credited with writing the Carolina Fight Song, which is still used today. He mandated the recruitment of black athletes in all sports at Carolina and signed the first black athlete to a football scholarship in 1970.{} In addition, he hired Bobby Richardson, a move that vaulted South Carolina into national baseball prominence.

Dietzel was also inducted in the Carolina Hall of Fame and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.


close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off