Former Michigan football coach Gary Moeller dies at age 81

Moeller spent 23 season with Michigan football program

Gary Moeller, head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, on the sideline during a game against the Wisconsin Badgers on Oct. 30, 1993, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin (Jonathan Daniel, 2020 Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Former University of Michigan football coach Gary Moeller died Monday at the age of 81, school officials confirmed.

Moeller spent 23 seasons with the Michigan football program. He went 44-13-3 in five years as the head coach, highlighted by a win over Washington in the 1993 Rose Bowl.

Further details about his death have not been released.

Michigan won three Big Ten titles and made five bowl appearances under Moeller from 1990-1995. He resigned in May 1995 after an incident at a Southfield restaurant.

Moeller graduated from Ohio State in 1963 and joined the Michigan football team in 1969 as a defensive ends coach. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1973.

Moeller’s first college head coaching job came in 1977, at Illinois. He returned to Ann Arbor in 1980 as Michigan’s quarterback coach.

“Gary Moeller was a great family man, great friend, great coach, and a man of integrity and high character,” former head coach Lloyd Carr said in a statement. “I admired him, I respected him, and I loved him.”

Moeller is survived by his wife, Ann, three daughters -- Susan, Amy, and Molly -- and son, Andy, a former linebacker and captain for the Wolverines.

“I was fortunate enough to work with Coach Mo at both Miami (Ohio) and Michigan,” retired Michigan football equipment manager Jon Falk said. “Gary Moeller was a coach who looked out for everyone who worked with him and for all of the players who played for him and represented our program. He was a good-hearted man who made decisions and sought input from his staff to make sure that the decisions were right for Michigan. Gary Moeller will be missed but will not be forgotten. He was a great Michigan man and close friend to my family.”

Moeller also briefly coached the Detroit Lions, going 4-3 during a seven-game stint after taking over for Bobby Ross in 2000.

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