Former 49ers GM and UCLA coach Terry Donahue dies at 77

Terry Donahue was named Director of Players Personnel by the San Francisco 49ers at 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif. Thursday Jan. 21, 1999.  Donahue, former UCLA coach, joked with reporters to take it easy on him since he had only been with the
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Terry Donahue, a longtime coach who concluded his football career as General Manager of the 49ers, has died at the age of 77.

Donahue was born and raised in Los Angeles and played at UCLA in the 1960s. After graduating, he took a job working as an assistant under Pepper Rodgers at Kansas, then became an assistant coach at UCLA when Rodgers was hired there in 1971. Donahue remained an assistant at UCLA when Rodgers was replaced by Dick Vermeil, then became the head coach at UCLA in 1976 when Vermeil left to coach the Eagles.

In 20 years as head coach at UCLA, Donahue became the winningest coach in the history of what is now the Pac-12 conference. Donahue’s UCLA teams won three Rose Bowls.

After Donahue left UCLA, Jerry Jones offered Donahue the Cowboys’ head-coaching job in 1998, but Donahue turned it down. The next year Donahue was hired by Bill Walsh as the 49ers’ director of player personnel, and when Walsh retired, Donahue became the 49ers’ GM. Donahue served in that role from 2001 to 2005. After the 49ers fired him he went into broadcasting.