Bruce Maher, who had a 10-year career with the Lions and Giants in the 1960s, has died at the age of 80.
Maher was born and raised in Detroit, attended the University of Detroit, and then began playing safety for the Lions in 1960.
“Nobody in the league plays with more desire,” Lions assistant coach Carl Taseff said in 1965. “Bruce is the reckless type when it comes to throwing himself into any play.”
Joe Schmidt, the Hall of Fame linebacker who played alongside Maher and later coached him, remembered him as small but tough.
“He was a little shy on size as far as his height was concerned,” Schmidt said. “I’ll tell you one thing, he was the toughest guy I think I’ve ever played with or coached in the secondary. When the ball came to his side, on a run he was up there. He was a very good tackler for a secondary player. Usually they shy away from having contact, but he searched after the contact. He loved to hit people.”
After playing eight years with the Lions, Maher spent his last two years with the Giants.
Maher is survived by his wife, six children and 13 grandchildren.