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Larry Bruno, Joe Namath's coach, dies

BEAVER, Pa. -- Larry Bruno, a former Geneva College football star who turned down a chance to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers but later coached Joe Namath in high school, has died. He was 88.

Bruno died Friday at Heritage Valley Beaver hospital. No cause was given.

Bruno, a running back whose jersey number was retired by Geneva, was drafted in the 13th round by the Steelers in 1947 but chose to go into coaching.

His career at Monaca (1949-58) and Beaver Falls (1959-78) high schools was highlighted by a Namath-led 10-0 record in 1960.

That Beaver Falls team won a western Pennsylvania championship, but there were no statewide playoffs. Bruno's record at Beaver Falls was 184-52-9.

Namath chose Bruno to present him when the former Jets quarterback entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.