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Penn State Football

Former Penn State TE, Collegiate Coach Joe Yukica Died at 90

Penn State Nittany Lion Shrine
Penn State Nittany Lion Shrine

Joe Yukica, who played tight end for the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1949-1952 died on Saturday at age 90.

Yukica coached at Central Dauphin High School from 1954-60 until moving up into the college ranks coaching the offensive line at Dartmouth for five seasons from 1961-65 until he was named the coach of the New Hampshire Wildcats where he coached from 1966-67. After two seasons at New Hampshire became the head coach at Boston College where he compiled a 68-37 record at the school from 1968-77.

Yukica then returned to Dartmouth in 1978 as head coach where he won three Ivy League titles. However, the highlight of his time at Dartmouth was in 1985, when he was terminated by Edward Leland after two consecutive losing seasons. Yukica filed a lawsuit regarding the firing citing irregular procedures regarding the firing. Judge Walter Murphy issued two temporary injunctions against Leland and the school, during the time Yukica got backing from coach Joe Paterno, who was an assistant at the time when he played at Penn State. The case was settled out of coach as they settled out of court and he coached Dartmouth for one more season before retiring.

Yukica has been inducted to the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame for his time playing fullback for Midland High School where he graduated in 1949. He was also inducted into the Boston College Varsity Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Yukica was the founding member of the New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of coach Joe Yukica, a man dedicated to the game, his players and his assistant coaches,” said National Football Foudation president Steve Hatchell. “A protegee of Hall of Fame coach Bob Blackman, Joe Yukica mentored numerous assistant coaches who helped turn into head coaches, including John Anderson, Jack Bicknell, Bill Bowes, Tom Coughlin, and Bill Campbell, the namesake of the NFF Campbell Trophy. Joe founded the NFF New Hampshire Chapter in 1988 and subsequently became its namesake in recognition of his impact on the sport. We are extremely grateful for his contributions.”

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