Former Lions and Michigan Wolverines head coach Gary Moeller has passed away

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One-time Detroit Lions head coach Gary Moeller has passed away, sad news confirmed by multiple outlets. Moeller was 81.

He had a brief but interesting tenure as the head coach of the Lions. In the 2000 season, Moeller moved up from LBs coach and assistant head coach to interim head coach when Bobby Ross stepped down. He went 4-3 in seven games but his Lions missed the playoffs at 9-7 when the Chicago Bears beat them on a last-second field goal in the finale.

Matt Millen took over thereafter and dismissed Moeller, replacing him with Marty Mornhinweg. Moeller would move on to be an assistant coach with the Jaguars and Bears through the 2003 NFL season.

He is better-known nationally for his lengthy stint at the University of Michigan. Moeller was the defensive coordinator for much of the 1980s and became the head coach of the Wolverines from 1990-1994. He also coached in Ann Arbor for several years before that, interrupted by a 3-year run (1977-1979) as the head coach at Illinois.

Details of Moeller’s passing aren’t immediately known. We wish comfort and offer our condolences to all who knew and loved coach Moeller.