Gallery: 11 Utah sports figures who died in 2013

Published December 29, 2013 12:19 pm
Remembrance • Players, coaches and a few men who were both died this year.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Click on the respective links for more about each person.

Aaron Alford • An assistant coach with the University of Utah football program from 2007-2010, Alford died Aug. 12 of an apparent heart attack in Park City. Alford was 39.

Zelmo Beaty • A dominating center who lead the Utah Stars to the American Basketball Association championship in 1971, Beaty died Sept. 7 of complications from cancer. Beaty was 73.

Jim Boatwright • The former Utah State University basketball player and assistant coach died Feb. 11 in Hailey, Idaho, of liver cancer. Boatwright was 61.

Todd Christensen • The ex-BYU star, NFL All-Pro and broadcaster died Nov. 13 at Intermountain Medical Center of complications from liver transplant surgery. Christensen was 57.

Gary Hill • The Gunnison Valley High School and BYU player who was the most-prolific scorer in the history of Utah high school basketball died March 9. Hill was 67.

Bronzell Miller • The former University of Utah defensive end turned pro football player and actor died Dec. 21 from multiple myeloma. Miller was 42.

Pat Miller • The ski coach whose University of Utah teams won eight NCAA championships died from heart problems June 22 in Casper, Wyo. Miller was 64.

Ricardo Portillo • The soccer referee died May 4 after a week in a coma. He suffered his injuries when a 17-year-old boy punched Portillo during a soccer match in Taylorsville. Portillo was 46.

Edo Rottini • Rottini began the Taylorsville baseball program and coached Little League and Babe Ruth programs for 54 years. Rottini died Aug. 22 at age 81.

Bill Sharman • He was better known as a title-winning player for the Boston Celtics and coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, but in 1971 Sharman coached the Utah Stars to victory in the ABA finals. Sharman died Oct. 25 at age 87.

Gaius Vaenuku • The incoming University of Utah freshman defensive lineman was among three killed July 29 in a car crash in New Mexico. Vaenuku was 18.


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Honorable mention: Jerry Buss

The Los Angeles Lakers owner was born in Salt Lake City but spent his formative years in Wyoming before hitting it big in California. With the Lakers, he had a small role in keeping the Jazz in Utah. Buss died Feb. 18 at age 80.



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