Phil Krueger, who guided Utah State’s football team to back-to-back-to-back winning seasons in the 1970s, died Monday at his home in Pembroke Pines, Fla. He was 90.
Krueger enjoyed a four-decade career in collegiate and professional football, compiling a 31-22 record as the head coach at Fresno State (1964-65) and Utah State (1973-75). He held assistant coaching positions at Long Beach City College, Utah State, Illinois and USC. While with the Trojans (1966-70), he coached in four Rose Bowls and won a national championship in 1967.
From 1973-75, Krueger was the Aggies’ head coach, compiling an overall record of 21-12 (.636), which included going 7-2 against BYU, Utah and Weber State in his three seasons.
In 1976, when John McKay was named the inaugural head coach of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Krueger joined his staff and coached offensive backs, linebackers and special teams for four years. Following the 1980 season, he moved into the team’s front office and was responsible for negotiating player contracts. He was known as a shrewd negotiator during a time when there was limited free agency and no salary cap.
Krueger was named the Bucs’ general manager in 1991 and retired a year later. After moving to south Florida to be closer to his daughter, Kristi, football remained in Krueger’s blood as he worked three years as a consultant for the Kajima Deers, a professional football team in Tokyo.
Krueger was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army and a Korean War veteran, also earning the Bronze Star. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Kathy; daughter, Kristi Krueger, a longtime newscaster at WPLG-TV in Miami, and son-in-law, Todd Templin, both of Pembroke Pines; grandson Troy Templin and wife Melissa Templin of Houston, Texas; and granddaughter Kelsie Templin of Fort Lauderdale.