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After a stellar career at Clemson, where he tied the school record with 28 career sacks, Adams was the fourth pick in the 2007 draft. He had 12½ sacks in his first two seasons as a Buccaneers end, but when his playing time dwindled early in '09, he was traded to the Bears. In January, 14 days after Chicago's finale, Adams died of cardiac arrest caused by an enlarged heart, a genetic condition that had gone undetected.
Roy Skinner, 80
A year after he led Vanderbilt to within a game of the 1965 Final Four—still the deepest tournament run the Commodores have made—Skinner made history by signing the SEC's first black varsity athlete, Perry Wallace. (Alabama won the league eight years later with an all African-American starting lineup.) In 19 seasons at Vandy, Skinner was the SEC coach of the year four times, and his 278 wins remain the school record.
Maurice Lucas, 58
It didn't take long for Lucas to announce his intentions to the pro basketball community after leaving Marquette. As a rookie for the ABA's Spirits of St. Louis in 1974--75, the 6'9", 215-pound power forward decked 7'2" Artis Gilmore and got into a fight with the league's iconic superstar, Julius Erving, an act SI called "roughly akin to spitting on the flag." But Lucas was no thug. "I play clean physical," he said. "Never hit anybody in the face. I keep my blows between the neck and the belly button.... I never try to hurt a guy. Just maybe wake him up." When he wasn't waking up opponents, Lucas was lighting them up. He averaged 20.2 points and 11.4 rebounds for the Trail Blazers in 1976--77, when they won their first and only NBA championship. Portland lost the first two games of the Finals, but the Blazers swept the last four games thanks to a momentum-shifting scuffle late in Game 2 that Lucas had with 76ers center Darryl Dawkins, one of the few players in the league bold enough to confront Lucas. "To tell you the truth, I don't really know which players are dirty," Lucas, a five-time All-Star, said in 1977, "because a lot of cats don't do to me what they do to everybody else. Which I like."
Jack Tatum, 61
Embracing the outlaw ethic that defined the Raiders, Tatum had a reputation as a fearsome tackler, boasting in his 1980 autobiography, They Call Me Assassin, "My best hits border on felonious assault." His most notorious shot came in a 1978 exhibition game, a collision that left Patriots receiver Darryl Stingley paralyzed. Tatum never apologized, saying that he was merely doing what had earned him three Pro Bowl nods.
Ralph Houk, 90
When the Yankees tapped Houk—who had played just 91 games during his eight-year career as a catcher—to succeed Casey Stengel in 1961, they knew he could lead: A major in World War II, Houk was awarded the Bronze Star, Silver Star and Purple Heart. He guided New York to the World Series in his first three seasons (winning twice) before becoming G.M. Houk later managed the Tigers and the Red Sox, finishing with a record of 1,619--1,531.
Fran Crippen, 26