Casanova dead at age 97

Former Oregon Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Emeritus Len Casanova died late Monday night following a long illness, according to the Associated Press. Casanova was associated with the University of Oregon for more than 50 years. He coached the Ducks from 1951 until 1966 and served the Ducks as Athletic Director for four more years. Casanova continued on as a goodwill ambassador for the Athletic Department involved with fund-raising and special projects.

Casanova's record as head coach at Oregon was 82-73-8.

The Len Casanova Center that houses the University's Athletic Department was named in his honor by special permission of the State of Oregon.

Casanova began his coaching career in 1936 as an assistant coach at his alma mater Santa Clara following his graduation. World War II interrupted his coaching career when he joined the Navy in 1942. He returned to coaching at Santa Clara in 1946 after the war ended. Casanova's Santa Clara teams had a record of 21-13-4 including an Orange Bowl victory over Kentucky. Casanova also coached at Pittsburgh in 1950. His career coaching record was 104-97-10.

While at Oregon, Casanova directed the Ducks to the 1958 Rose Bowl against Ohio State. The Ducks were the heavy underdog, but still managed to play a very competitive game in a 10-7 loss. Some of the most famous names in football were either players or coaches under Casanova including John McKay, John Robinson, George Seifert, Jack Patera, Mel Renfro, George Shaw, Bruce Snyder, and Dave Wilcox.

Casanova was elected to the National Football Federation Hall of Fame in 1977. The American Football Coaches Association in 1990 also presented him the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award.

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