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Thursday, May 23, 2002
Giel was two-sport star, Heisman runner-up
MINNEAPOLIS -- Former major league pitcher Paul Giel, a two-sport star at the University of Minnesota who later became the school's athletics director, died Wednesday after collapsing in his car. He was 69.
Giel was returning to his Minnetonka home after attending the Minnesota Twins-Texas Rangers game at the Metrodome. He collapsed and died around 4:25 p.m., according to his wife, Nancy. The cause of death had not been determined Wednesday night.
Giel was a two-time All-American in football and finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting to Notre Dame's Johnny Lattner in 1953. He was also Big Ten MVP.
He also earned All-America honors in baseball and pitched for four major league teams from 1954-1961.
``I'm sick. It's a sad day for Minnesotans,'' said current Golden Gophers athletics director Tom Moe.
``I don't think I've ever known anyone who cared more or who was more loyal to the University of Minnesota than Paul Giel,'' Moe said. ``He was a tremendous friend. I just had tremendous admiration for him.''
Giel was athletics director for 18 years, starting in January 1972. Early on, Giel hired Cal Stoll to succeed Murray Warmath as football coach and hired Herb Brooks to succeed Glen Sonmor as hockey coach.
In his first six years as athletics director, the Gophers won two NCAA hockey titles, three Big Ten baseball titles, three gymnastics titles and finished second in Big Ten basketball in 1977 and '78.
Giel ran or passed for 35 touchdowns and 4,110 yards in his three-year career and is a member of the National Football Foundation's College Hall of Fame.
Before leading the University of Minnesota's sports programs, Giel was the business manager for the Minnesota Vikings for two years in the early 1960s.
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