Kurt Altenberg, 50, who caught a pass from Gary Beban to set up the winning touchdown in UCLA's first Rose Bowl victory on Jan. 1, 1966, is in the coronary care center at UCLA Medical Center awaiting a heart transplant.
Altenberg, who led the Bruins in receiving in 1964 and '65, was vacationing in Mexico with former teammate Byron Nelson last November when he caught a virus, another former Bruin, Don Francis, said Friday.
"Apparently, the virus affected the heart muscle and it stopped beating," Francis said.
Altenberg was revived, but damage was so severe that a heart transplant will be needed, Francis said.
The Bruins upset No. 1-ranked Michigan State, 14-12, in the 1966 Rose Bowl.