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Dave Strack of Tucson, Arizona, died January 25, 2014. Dave was born March 2, 1923, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Verna and John Strack. He graduated from Shortridge High, where he played both football and basketball and was named to the Indiana Basketball All-Star team in 1941. Dave attended the University of Michigan, where he played basketball, captained the team and earned Most Valuable Player honors in 1943 and 1946.
Dave married Ruth Ann Mayer in December 1946. He earned an MBA from the University of Michigan and worked briefly for Goodyear in East Lansing, MI. In 1948, he was hired as Assistant Basketball coach at Michigan. The University of Idaho hired him as head basketball coach in 1959, but after one year there he returned to Ann Arbor as the University of Michigan’s head basketball coach. He remained head coach there from 1960 – 1968, leading the Wolverines to three Big 10 Championships and to the 1965 NCAA Division I title game. That year, Dave was named UPI College Basketball Coach of the Year.
Dave left coaching in 1968 to become an Assistant Athletic Director at Michigan, a post he held until 1972, when he was named Athletic Director at the University of Arizona. He oversaw the University of Arizona’s transition to the PAC 10 and hired the first African-American head coach at a major university (Fred Snowden). Dave was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the Michigan Hall of Honor.
Dave and Ruth Ann moved to Prescott, AZ when Dave retired from the University of Arizona in 1989. They spent 18 years in Prescott before moving back to Tucson in 2006.
Dave was preceded in death by Ruth Ann in 2011. He is survived by 5 children: Sally McElroy (Scott); Julie DeWitt (David); Dave Strack (Andrea); Lucy Singer (Dave); and Amy Casebolt (Vic); 14 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Charles and Sue Mayer; and many players whom he loved as an extended family. The family would like to thank the staff at Sonora Health Center at Splendido in Oro Valley, AZ for their loving care of Coach.
He was nothing short of sensational.
A memorial service is planned for June 14, 2014, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Specific details will be posted once plans are finalized.
Memorials in Dave's name may be made to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Tucson, 160 E. Alameda, Tucson, Arizona 85701
Celebration of Life - Date and Time Pending
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