Legendary Golden Gophers football player Bob McNamara passed away Sunday night at the age of 82, the University of Minnesota athletics department announced today.
McNamara played running for the Gophers from 1951-1954. As a senior, he helped lead the Gophers to a 7-2 record while being named a First Team All-American along the way, as well as the team's most valuable player.
He also played two years on the Gophers basketball team.
"The University of Minnesota had no greater advocate than Bob McNamara," U of M athletics director Norwood Teague, via the Pioneer Press. "From the first day I met Bob, it was easy to tell that he was a special Gopher. He loved Minnesota and everything it stood for and was a tireless promoter and fundraiser for the university. From athletics to academics, his fingerprints are all over this campus, as he literally had an impact in everything that we do. There will never be another Bob McNamara and we thank him and his family for everything they have done for Minnesota."
Following his brilliant college career, McNamara went on to play in the Canadian Football League where he was an All-Star for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He later played two years in the NFL for the Denver Broncos in 1960 and 1961.
He had just one rushing touchdown in the NFL, but he finished with seven interceptions as a defensive back, according to Pro Football Reference.
The Gophers say McNamara was "instrumental" in helping get TCF Bank Stadium built, among other venues including the Baseline Tennis Center and Siebert Field. The McNamara Academic Center in the Bierman Field Athletic Building is named after him.
McNamara's brother Richard, better known as "Pinky," played for the Gophers from 1954-1956.
The U of M released an honorary video about McNamara. View it right here.