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Detroit Lions offer statement on the passing of former coach Gary Moeller

The former Michigan Wolverines and Detroit Lions head coach passed away at the age of 81 on Monday.

Gary Moeller

On Monday, former NFL and NCAA coach Gary Moeller died at the age of 81.

Moeller was a huge piece of football in Michigan from the 1970s all the way until the turn of the millennium. At the University of Michigan, Moeller served as a positional coach, and both offensive and defensive coordinator for a collective 17 years before succeeding Bo Schembechler as head coach of the program in 1990.

As head coach of Michigan, Moeller collected three Big Ten championships and a Rose Bowl win in five seasons.

In 1995, Moeller took the jump to the NFL, starting as the tight ends coach for the Cincinnati Bengals before the Detroit Lions came calling. Moeller coached the Lions linebackers for four seasons, and he notoriously took over as interim head coach when Bobby Ross suddenly quit in the middle of the 2000 season. The Lions had a 4-3 record down the stretch after Moeller took over.

On Monday evening, the Lions made a brief statement on the passing of Moeller via their Twitter account:

“We join the Michigan football community in remembering the life and career of Gary Moeller, who served as the Lions’ assistant head coach/LB coach from 1997-2000, as well as interim head coach for the final seven games of the 2000 season.”

According to ESPN, the family will hold a visitation on Friday in Lima, Ohio—Moeller’s hometown and where he resided in retirement.