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Doug Scovil Dies After Workout : Football: The former San Diego State football coach suffers a heart attack in Philadelphia, where he was an assistant with the Eagles. Scovil, 62, was credited with molding the 1986 WAC championship team.

December 10, 1989|From Staff and Wire Reports

PHILADELPHIA — Doug Scovil, who coached the San Diego State football team from 1981 to 1985 and was quarterback coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, died Saturday of a heart attack at Veterans Stadium.

Scovil, 62, apparently had just finished his daily workout with a stationary bike ride and had taken a few steps when he fell to the floor in the team's training room, the Eagles said.

Backup tight end Dave Little found Scovil lying on the floor, and team members tried to revive the coach with CPR for about 10 to 15 minutes. He was pronounced dead by Dr. Jeff Gryn at 1:04 p.m. at Methodist Hospital.

Scovil was 24-32-3 at SDSU but was instrumental in building the 1986 Aztec team that won the school's only Western Athletic Conference championship and a berth in the Holiday Bowl.

"All of those players were brought in by Doug," said Denny Stolz, who succeeded Scovil and coached the Aztecs for three seasons. "I took them over from him. He had a great deal to do with the success of that 1986 championship team. He was able to get them to that point, and we just finished it."

Said SDSU President Thomas Day: "I am very saddened at the passing of Doug Scovil. I have nothing but fine feelings about him. Doug was doing what he enjoyed to do and doing it very well. I would like to express sympathy on behalf of the university to his wife and family."

Webster Slaughter, a starting wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, played for Scovil at SDSU in 1984 and '85 and caught caught 82 passes for 1,071 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. He said Scovil's pro-style offense helped prepare him for the NFL.

"He had a lot to do with me succeeding," Slaughter said. "He really knew everything about offense."

Slaughter said he has kept in contact with Scovil through phone conversations since leaving SDSU.

"He was a real nice guy," he said. "He really didn't say too much, but when he said something, you respected it."

Scovil had a national reputation for working with quarterbacks, most recently with the Eagles' Randall Cunningham.

In 1986, his first season with the Eagles, Scovil was credited with playing a vital role in the development of Cunningham, then a second-year player, correcting a hitch in his delivery and overseeing his progression from a third-down specialist to a starter.

Scovil was an assistant at Brigham Young from 1976-77 and again from 1979 to 1981 before becoming head coach at San Diego State. At BYU, Scovil worked with future pros Gifford Nielsen and Marc Wilson as well as Charger quarterback Jim McMahon.

"The guy was a tremendous coach, a real brilliant offensive mind, and I enjoyed playing for him," McMahon said. "That's a real shock. I'm really sorry for his family."

Eagles Coach Buddy Ryan had known Scovil since Ryan was defensive coordinator and Scovil was head coach at Pacific in 1967. They were also assistants with the Chicago Bears under Neill Armstrong in 1987.

"He was a great coach who meant a great deal to the Eagles," Ryan said. "He did a great job with Randall.

"Doug will be sorely missed. We'll dedicate the rest of the season to him and hopefully it will go to the (Super Bowl) 28th of January. "

The players will wear black arm bands when they play host to the Dallas Cowboys today.

Scovil played quarterback for Stockton Junior College in California and the College of the Pacific before beginning his coaching career with four seasons at a San Francisco high school and five at San Mateo Junior College in California.

Scovil was an assistant at Navy for three seasons starting in 1963, when Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy.

He worked for the San Francisco 49ers from 1970 to 1975.

Scovil is survived by his wife, Enid, and three children, Doug Jr., Randy and Sarah.

Funeral arrangements were pending Saturday evening.

Staff writer Curt Holbreich and Don Patterson contributed to this story.

SCOVIL AT SDSU

Year W L T 1981 6 5 0 1982 7 5 0 1983 2 9 1 1984 4 7 1 1985 5 6 1 Totals 24 32 3

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