PASSINGS: Paul Dietzel, Luciano Vincenzoni

Paul Dietzel in 1958
National champion LSU football coach Paul Dietzel during workout for Sugar Bowl game against Clemson in 1958.
(Associated Press )

Paul Dietzel

Coached LSU football team

Paul Dietzel, 89, who led Louisiana State University to an undefeated season in 1958 and its first college football national championship, died Tuesday after a brief illness, the university announced. He was a resident of Baton Rouge, La.

Dietzel coached LSU from 1955 until 1961. In his first three seasons, the Tigers were 3-5-2, 3-7 and 5-5. But among the players he recruited as freshmen in 1956 were Billy Cannon, who became a Heisman Trophy-winning running back.


The 1958 regular season ended with a 62-0 victory at Tulane before 83,221 people, then a Southeastern Conference attendance record. LSU then beat Clemson, 7-0, at Tulane Stadium in the 1959 Sugar Bowl to finish 11-0.

Paul Dietzel: A brief obituary of former Louisiana State football coach Paul Dietzel in the Sept. 29 California section said that he moved from his birthplace of Fremont, Ohio, to Mansfield, La., where he attended high school. It was Mansfield, Ohio. —

Dietzel left LSU to coach at Army and South Carolina, finishing with a 109-95-5 overall record. He also helped create Samford University’s athletics department before returning to LSU as athletics director from 1978 until 1982.

Dietzel was born Sept. 5, 1924, in Fremont, Ohio, and moved with his family to Mansfield, in northwest Louisiana, where he played football, basketball and track in high school.


He was a freshman engineering student at Duke when he got a draft notice and left school to enlist in the Army Air Forces, beginning pilot training in January 1944 on a Stearman biplane and that fall on a B-24 bomber. His bomber was among 300 that firebombed Tokyo in May 1945, according to his memoir.

After the war, he enrolled as a pre-med major at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he played football under Sid Gillman. He worked as an assistant for Gillman at Miami, West Point and the University of Cincinnati, becoming plebe coach at West Point instead of enrolling in medical school at Columbia University.

At Cincinnati, he named his defense the Chinese Bandits — a name that later became famous at LSU — after bad guys in the comic strip “Terry and the Pirates.” He left Cincinnati in 1951 for Kentucky, as Bear Bryant’s offensive line coach.

Luciano Vincenzoni

Italian screenwriter and script doctor

Luciano Vincenzoni, 87, an Italian screenwriter and script doctor best known in the United States for collaborating with director Sergio Leone on the spaghetti westerns “For a Few Dollars More” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” died Sunday in Rome, Italian media reported. The cause was not stated.

Although Vincenzoni had a long career working with Billy Wilder, Dino De Laurentiis and other international film veterans, he was most closely associated with Leone. Vincenzoni wrote the scripts and helped sell to United Artists Leone’s mid-1960s westerns that featured the eerie film scores of Ennio Morricone and the minimalist acting of poncho-wearing actor Clint Eastwood as the Man with No Name.

Vincenzoni had a long association with De Laurentiis on such films as “The Great War” (1959) and “The Best of Enemies” (1961) and, although not listed in the credits, he worked with Wilder on the screenplay for his 1972 comedy “Avanti!”


Times staff and wire reports