Baton Rouge, LA – Paul Dietzel, who led the LSU Tigers to their first football national championship in 1958, passed away early Tuesday morning after a brief illness at the age of 89.
Dietzel served as LSU's football coach from 1955-61 and he returned to LSU in 1978 as athletics director, serving until 1982. He also coached Army (1962-65) and South Carolina (1966-1974).
Dietzel was the last living member of the 1958 staff that guided LSU to an undefeated season.
"Coach Dietzel was a man of great honor and integrity. He was the perfect role model for young people, and I will always cherish the moments that I was able to spend with him," said LSU vice chancellor and athletics director Joe Alleva. "Looking back at what he accomplished here at LSU, he was way ahead of his time as a football coach. His 1958 national championship set LSU on a path of being what it is today. We will be forever grateful for Coach Dietzel and what he meant to this university. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will be missed."
His overall record as a college head coach was 109-95-5. He was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1988 and the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame 2010.
Dietzel served as the Gamecocks' director of athletics from 1966-75. He held the same position at Indiana from 1975-78.
Dietzel served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and became an All-American center at Miami (Ohio) University before getting into coaching.