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Notable sports deaths of 2011

The Bruins point guard, who in 1964 helped John Wooden win his first national championship at UCLA, coached the team for four seasons. He was 69. Full obituary

Notable sports deaths of 2011 (Harold Matosian / Associated Press)
The heavyweight champ had epic bouts with Muhammad Ali. In 1971 he became the first fighter to defeat Ali, then lost two rematches. In his 37 professional fights, “Smokin’ Joe” won 32 times. But he never accepted his 1-2 record against Ali. He was 67. Full obituary

Notable sports deaths of 2011 (AFP / Getty Image)
Matty Alou won the National League batting title in 1966 while with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He and his brothers Felipe and Jesus became the only trio of brothers to play outfield together in a 1963 game. He was 72. Full obituary.

Notable sports deaths of 2011 (Diamond Images / Getty Images)
The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was killed in a 15-car wreck in the IndyCar series’ season-ending race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He was 33. Full obituary

Notable sports deaths of 2011  (Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images)
Al Davis, the controversial longtime owner of the Oakland Raiders, started as the team’s head coach and general manager and rose to become its principal owner. He is perhaps best remembered in Los Angeles as the sweatsuit-clad rebel with slicked-back hair and a secretive nature who successfully sued to relocate his team from Oakland to L.A. in 1982, then moved it back to Oakland in 1995. He was 82. Full obituary

Notable sports deaths of 2011  (Associated Press)
Gent, a standout basketball player in college who chose the NFL over the NBA, turned his vivid memories of a five-year career with the Dallas Cowboys into the blisteringly candid novel “‘North Dallas Forty” that became a bestseller. He was 69. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010  (Associated Press)
The NFL Hall of Famer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers teamed with his brothers to create a dominant defensive front and led Oklahoma to back-to-back national college championships. He was 56.  (J. Meric / Getty Images)
The NFL player, who was the No. 1 draft pick from Michigan State in 1967, played for the Baltimore Colts, the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Oilers. Later, he appeared in popular beer commercials and acted in films and on TV. He was 66. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010  (John Gwillim / Associated Press)
The Hall of Fame tight end helped revolutionize the position by blending speed and receiving ability over a 10-year pro career that included a Super Bowl win in 1971 and changed the way tight ends were perceived. In his final years, stricken by dementia, he became a symbol of the brutality of football. He was 69. Full obituary  (Associated Press)
The Hall of Fame manager, who won back-to-back World Series with the Oakland A’s, spent more than six decades in pro baseball, signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers on the day he graduated from Pasadena High in 1947. As a manager he also won pennants with the Red Sox and Padres. He is shown with Mets Manager Yogi Berra in 1973. He was 82. Full obituary  (Associated Press)
The professional wrestling star Macho Man Randy Savage had multiple reigns as a WWE (then WWF) and WCW champion. He was widely recognized for his colorful fashion and signature cowboy hat. He was 58. | Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010  ()
The Hall of Famer was one of baseball’s premier home-run hitters. Known for his towering drives, Killebrew hit 573 homers in 22 seasons that included an American League pennant with the Minnesota Twins in 1965 and a most valuable player award in 1969. One manager said he could hit the ball out of any park, “including Yellowstone.” He was 74. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (File photo)
The Hall of Fame fullback with the San Francisco 49ers was nicknamed ‘the Jet’ because of his speed. He became the first player to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. He was 84. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Associated Press)
The legendary Norwegian runner became the face of the New York City Marathon, winning the race nine times. She also set four marathon world records. She was 57. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Roald Berit / AFP/Getty Images)
Duke Snider, an eight-time All-Star, was a Dodger in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. One of the “Boys of Summer,” he helped the team to Brooklyn’s only World Series title as well as six National League championships. He was 84. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Associated Press)
Matson was an NFL Hall of Famer who played on some of the worst Rams teams. The Texas native blocked, caught passes and, early in his career, played defense as well as offense. Thanks to his Olympic-caliber speed -- he won two medals in the 1952 Helsinki Games -- he was known for his breakaway running with the ball. He was 80. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Associated Press)
A Southern California surfing and snowboarding enthusiast, Allen brought standards to surf and snowboard cultures, coaching Orange County high school surfing teams and establishing an organization to oversee snowboarding contests. He was 74. Full obituary (Peter Townend Collection)
Grannis photographs documented California surf culture of the 1960s and ‘70s. His images helped popularize and immortalize the sport -- and the life behind it -- at a crucial point in its history. “His photos captured the real thing,” wrote surfing journalist Steve Barilotti. He was 93. Full obituary (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
The spiritual father of the U.S. fitness movement, LaLanne opened what’s believed to be the country’s first health club in Oakland in 1936. In the ‘50s he started a TV exercise show geared toward housewives, and he sold a popular line of exercise equipment, supplements and health food. He was 96. Full obituary (File photo)
Dave Duerson, 50, a four-time Pro Bowl safety who played on Super Bowl winners with the Chicago Bears and New York Giants, killed himself on Feb. 18, 2011, at his home in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. He had struggled with a brain disease linked to repeated hits to the head and, prior to his suicide, had asked that his brain be studied after death for signs of damage. He was 50. Full obituary  (Chicago Tribune)