Former USC Assistant Phil Krueger Dies

Phil Krueger, who was one of the few surviving members of the John McKay era, died Monday in Florida. He was 90.

Krueger was an assistant at USC from 1966-70. He was the head coach at Fresno State and Utah State, compiling a 31-22 record. McKay hired him as an assistant at Tampa Bay in 1976 and he eventually became the Bucs’ general manager in 1991.

Krueger was a defensive assistant at USC. He coached running backs, linebackers and special teams at USC.

Members of the 1970 USC Coaching Staff are (left to right) kneeling: Rod Humenuik, Phil Krueger, John McKay, Willie Brown, Pete Yoder; standing: Joe Gibbs, Craig Fertig, Dave Levy and Marv Goux.

11 thoughts on “Former USC Assistant Phil Krueger Dies

  1. RIP, Phil. Sounds like he led a very full life. That was an amazing coaching staff who worked with the best college football players of their time.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Coach Krueger was my LB
    Coach during my years at SC.
    Adrian Young, Jim Snow, John Blanche, Steve Swanson, Greg Slough, John Papadakis and me. We ran a 5-2 defense and a 6-1 goaline.
    We had great results.
    29-2-2… All 3 years we led the nation in team defense.
    Our 1969 Wild Bunch was fantastic. Great Athletes and our DC was Dave Levy..
    Krueger was more analytical in coaching and was not the vocal passionate guy like Marv Goux. As the 1969 defensive Captain, I gravitated towards Levy and Goux. They connected with me.
    Coach Krueger had great credentials and ended up with Coach Mckay in Tampa Bay in the Administration side…
    He was a very good man and loved football
    And respected his players.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for the kind words and memories of my Dad. He loved his days and players at USC! In his final years , he proudly showed off his Rose Bowl and Championship rings to everyone he could. I had a wonderful and emotional conversation with your teammate Charlie Weaver this week. He stayed in touch with my Dad all these years! I suspect Dad and John McKay are reunited and comparing football stories right now!


  3. “He was a very good man and loved football and respected his players.”

    Thanks, Bob Jensen.

    And for what it is worth, if your ’69 team had played #1 ranked Texas that year, I suspect that it would have been as much of devastation as the ’70 game in which Trojans beat ‘Bama.

    Your defense was tailored to play against the TX wishbone offense. Gunn and Weaver were both much faster than Jim Bertelsen, their leading and fastest rusher. I recall Coach McKay saying that Jimmy was so fast he could double cover the QB and the pitch man. Steve Worster was their inside runner but I can’t see him getting much yardage.

    Only way to have competed against your D was to have thrown the ball exceptionally well, but James Street threw just 80 passes the entire season, with 10 intercepted. Michigan tried to do that in the RB – they threw a ton of passes that day – but still scored just 3 points.

    ’69 team was a unicorn. Sad that the front line has all passed; you guys were remarkable. Fight on brother.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much for the kind kudos for our Great Team… Like I said before, the 1969 went 10-0-1 .955 winnings percentage. 5th best in the 132 year history of USC football. I think we got robbed in the final polls. We beat the team (Michigan) 10-3, who beat the current National Champion (1969) Ohio State to get to the 1970 Rose Bowl.
      I was honored to be the defensive and Team CoCaptain with the great Jimmy Gunn.
      I was surrounded by great athletes, all of them turned pro.. With Jimmy Gunn and Charlie Weaver setting the edge, and Bubba Scott, Al Cowlings,Tony Terry and Tody Smith on the inside, my job at strong LB was fun!!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. That 1969 team is responsible for my becoming a Trojan, and I can never thank them enough. As a wee 8 year old, I was “learning” about football and playing Pee Wee tackle FB. I tuned into the USC UCLA game in Nov 1969 to see how the big boys played. We all know how that one turned out. I’ve said it before, I enjoyed the game so much that I watched the replay on KTLA (or KTTV–whichever had the Trojans) the next day! I was hooked.

        Watched the Ohio State–Michigan game, and wondered how USC would fare. Everyone made a big deal over the Woody-Bo rivalry, and it seemed like Michigan was the favorite in the RB. Watched that Rose Bowl, and indeed it was a “throttling.” I could tell at that time that the Big 10 was never going to be competitive with the Pac 8.

        As it came time to think about University, I consider a few others including Harvard.
        (Coach Restic thought I could probably play for the Crimson and would likely be admitted to Harvard.)

        Glad I never wavered from my lifelong choice.
        Fight on, boys.
        Fight on Dr. Jensen.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Great Coaches and Teammates..
    We were absolutely confident that we would never lose.. and we didn’t..
    Just a 14-14 tie mid season vs ND kept us from being National Champions!
    No overtimes back then.
    Cheers Robert

    Liked by 2 people

  5. he was coach at our small school in Berkeley, MO., I always wondered where he went, he taught economics and sociology was the most handsome teacher to grace out halls!! all the girls had a crush on him!!


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