Striking Gridiron

Chuck Klausing as coach of the Braddock (Pa.) High Tigers during their 55-game unbeaten streak spanning 1954-1959. Klausing, who later served on Bobby Browden’s staff at WVU from 1970-75, died Thursday at age 92.

 

INDIANA, Pa. — College Football Hall of Fame member Chuck Klausing, who served as Bobby Bowden’s top assistant during their six-year run at West Virginia, died Thursday night at age 92.

The Mountaineers went 42-26 from 1970-75, appearing in two bowl games. Klausing served as assistant head coach for three seasons and added the role of defensive coordinator from 1973-75.

His college playing career at Penn State was interrupted by a stint in the armed forces during World War II, and Klausing returned to finish his studies at Slippery Rock in 1948.

IUP photo

Before joining the WVU staff, Chuck Klausing coach IUP for six seasons to a 47-10 record

He first rose to coaching prominence by building a Braddock High School dynasty that claimed six consecutive WPIAL championships from 1954-59. The stretch included a 55-game unbeaten streak that was the nation’s longest at the time and remained the longest in Pennsylvania until 2009.

Klausing served as a Rutgers assistant in 1960, followed by three years on the staff at Army before taking on the head coaching post at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where his teams went 47-10.

Late in the 1975 season, in one of his final games at West Virginia, Klausing’s defense spearheaded a 17-14 upset of then-No. 20 Pitt by holding down future Heisman winner Tony Dorsett and All-American quarterback Matt Cavanaugh.

After Bowden left for Florida State, Klausing became head coach at Division III Carnegie Mellon, going 77-15-2 during a 10-year stretch that included six conference titles and four trips to the NCAA playoffs.

Klausing spent 1986 on the Pitt staff under Mike Gottfried before finishing his coaching career in the high school ranks with seven seasons at The Kiski School in Saltsburg, Pa.

When the College Football Hall of Fame inducted him in 1998, Klausing described it as “one of the greatest honors a coach can receive.” He accepted on behalf of the players and coaches that made up his winning teams at Carnegie Mellon.

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