Posted: Saturday February 9, 2013 12:53 AM

Longtime Fresno State coach Sweeney dies at 83

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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Jim Sweeney, who coached Fresno State's football team for 19 seasons and retired with a school-record 144 victories, has died. He was 83.

The school announced Sweeney's death on Friday night. It provided no further details.

Sweeney also coached Montana State and Washington State before he was hired by Fresno State in 1976. He finished with 200 wins in 32 seasons as a head coach.

During Sweeney's time with the Bulldogs, they had 35 players selected in the NFL draft. Trent Dilfer and Henry Ellard were among his most prominent players.

Sweeney also spent time as an assistant coach with the NFL's Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Cardinals.

Fresno State athletic director Thomas Boeh calls Sweeney "a man of vision, toughness and character.''

 
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