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Russell Gary

Husker defensive back Russell Gary (9) corrals Iowa running back Dennis Mosley (18) during a game in 1979. Gary died Sunday at 59 in Minneapolis.

Former Nebraska defensive back Russell Gary, who lettered for the Huskers from 1977-80, died of an apparent heart attack Sunday. He was 59.

Gary played eight years in the NFL. He had been an assistant football coach at Concordia (St. Paul) since 2004.

Gary attended Minneapolis Central High School, where he lettered in basketball, football and track. At NU, he was an All-Big Eight Conference selection in 1980.

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“Coach Gary has been with CSP football since 2004, the past 15 seasons,” Concordia head coach Shannon Currier wrote in an email to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Coach Gary was a special man that brought instant credibility due to his personality, all-pro status, and the love he shared with the CSP football family. Coach Gary was loved by so many!”

The New Orleans Saints drafted Gary in 1981, and he later played with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was an all-pro in 1983 and retired from the NFL in 1987. 

Gary resided in Minneapolis.

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