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Former Michigan, Lions coach Gary Moeller dies at 81

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Former Michigan and Detroit Lions head coach Gary Moeller died Monday, the university announced.

He was 81.

Details of his death are not yet known.

Moeller spent five seasons leading the Wolverines from 1990-94, and compiled an impressive 44-13 record while picking up a share of the Big Ten title three times and earning Big Ten Coach of the Year honors twice. He won four of five bowl games and won 19 straight conference games at one point, which set a then-Big Ten record.

Moeller first joined Michigan as a defensive ends coach and defensive coordinator in 1969. He left briefly for three seasons starting in 1977 to take the head job at Illinois before returning to Ann Arbor in 1980.

Former Michigan coach Gary Moeller
Former Michigan coach Gary Moeller, seen here with Washington coach Don James before the 1992 Rose Bowl, died on Monday. He was 81. (Bernstein Associates/Getty Images)

“Gary Moeller was a great family man, great friend, great coach and a man of integrity and high character,” former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said in a statement. “I admired him, I respected him and I loved him.”

Moeller eventually resigned in the spring of 1995 after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer and committed alleged disorderly conduct at a suburban Detroit restaurant. He eventually made the jump to the NFL, where he worked as an assistant with the Cincinnati Bengals, Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears before retiring in 2003. He spent part of one season leading the Lions in 2000 after replacing Bobby Ross at the midway point.

Moeller is survived by his wife, Ann, and four children. His son, Andy, was a former captain at Michigan.