Phil Krueger died at the age of 90. He was an assistant for national champion Southern California in 1967, and also played a significant role as the first coaching staff in Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His family released the news of his death.
It was a sad day for the family as Kruger was not family to them but also a hero in the history of the NFL.
Krueger was skilled in all areas of the game. Be it offense or defense, which explains his coaching capabilities of special teams for more than three decades in the NFL and college. At one point, he was the head coach at Utah State and Fresno State as well as an assistant at Illinois.
Later on, he moved away from field duties to work at the front office in Tampa Bay, where he spent close to 10 years as an executive who had vast experience in negotiating contracts. By 1991, that’s when he was hired as the first GM (general manager) of Buccaneers.
Kruger would later on work under John Mckay, who was the head coach at Tampa Bay and USC. That’s where he met his fellow assistant Joe Gibbs – a future three-time Super Bowl champion.
Both Krueger and Gibbs were roommates as the team played on the road. That’s why Gibbs said that he has a lot of great memories from being on the same coaching staff with Krueger. He further added that Krueger was a very bright, sharp guy with a great sense of humor, and he was one of those guys that you always enjoyed being around.
At an early life, Krueger once taught English at a high school in Arizona before he switched professions and decided to take on the football program, and he landed his first job at Long Beach City College as an assistant coach.
Charlie Weaver, former Southern Cal, and longtime NFL linebacker talked of how Krueger was his favorite coach of all time. Weaver said that he remembers how he was recruited fresh out of junior college, and he was eager and couldn’t wait to play under Coach Krueger. Weaver also said that even after all these years, they still keep in touch, and they would at least talk once a year.
Kristi Krueger, his daughter, talked about how her dad was a very tough man and said that she couldn’t even get a date in high school. She added that Krueger was loved by her friends and also loved them back. The most notable thing is that she loves poetry, and her dad contributed to that because he was a brilliant writer.
Krueger has contributed much to the NFL world for the last three decades, and with his death, he is survived by his wife, Kathy Krueger (married for 59 years), daughter Kristi, who works as an anchor at WPLG-TV in Miami, and two grandchildren.
The family asked those willing to donate to do so through contributions made in Krueger’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association.
NFL has lost a martyr. But Phil Krueger’s reign still lives on in what he did for many as a defense and offense specialist.
Rachel Lott is a Reporter for Chroniclex After graduating from Cuyahoga Community College, Rachel got an internship at USA Evening and worked as a Reporter and Producer. Rachel has also worked as a Reporter for WKYC TV and Fox News Channel. Rachel Covers International Developments.