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2012 Notable Sports Deaths

Monday - 12/24/2012, 2:30am  ET

The Associated Press

Sept. 27 -- Bill Behm, 90, former longtime Detroit Tigers trainer who served in the position during both the team's 1968 and 1984 championship seasons.

Sept. 26 -- Robert Newton, 85, a philanthropist and the founder of a company that produced tires for NASCAR cars. Newton's Hoosier Racing Tire began as an operation in an old horse barn half a century ago, and it started supplying tires to NASCAR teams in the 1980s.

Sept. 28 -- Chris Economaki, 91, a journalist regarded as the authoritative voice in motorsports for decades. Economaki was known as the "Dean of American Motorsports Journalism," and worked in TV for more than 40 years with stints at ABC, CBS and ESPN. He was part of ABC's first telecast from Daytona International Speedway in 1961.

Sept. 28 -- Tony Reyes, 38, PBA Tour bowler. Reyes, who competed in 14 seasons on the PBA Tour, was killed in a car accident in California. Reyes won his lone Tour title in dramatic fashion in the 2006 Motor City Classic in Detroit where he bowled the 18th televised 300 game in PBA Tour history in the semifinal match against Parker Bohn III before going on to defeat Wes Malott in the championship match 255-238.

Sept. 30 -- Barbara Ann Scott, 84, only Canadian women's figure skater to win an Olympic title. Scott, who won the gold at the 1948 Games in St. Moritz, also won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's top athlete in 1945, 1947 and 1948. She was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1955 and the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1991.

Oct. 2 -- Dana Davis, 56, vice president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies. Davis had been with the franchise for 13 years, since it played in Vancouver.

Oct. 9 -- Budd Lynch, 95, a veteran radio broadcaster who spent more than 60 years working for the Detroit Red Wings and became the team's public voice. At 63 years, Lynch was the longest-tenured employee in team history.

Oct. 9 -- Donnie Butcher, 76, former NBA player who later coached the Detroit Pistons. Butcher averaged 6.1 points in 279 games with the Pistons and New York Knicks. He became Detroit's coach late in the 1966-67 season, replacing player-coach Dave DeBusschere.

Oct. 9 -- Tom Coyle, 62, co-captain for Michigan's football team in 1972. Coyle was a co-captain with Randy Logan in 1972 and a three-time letter winner for the Wolverines. Michigan went 30-3 in those three seasons. Coyle started 32 games at right guard in that span.

Oct. 10 -- Alex Karras, 77, a fearsome NFL defensive lineman who later gained more fame as an actor. The Detroit Lions drafted Karras 10th overall in 1958 out of Iowa and he was a four-time All-Pro defensive tackle over 12 seasons with the franchise. As an actor, Karras portrayed an adoptive dad in the 1980s sitcom "Webster," and punched a horse in the 1974 comedy classic "Blazing Saddles."

Oct. 11 -- John "Champ" Summers, 66, former major league baseball player. Starting in 1974, Summers played 10 seasons for the Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres.

Oct. 11 -- Beano Cook, 81, the college football commentator with an encyclopedic knowledge of the sport. Cook had worked for ESPN since 1986 and was the sports information director at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, from 1956 to 1966.

Oct. 11 -- Helmut Haller, 73, one of the first Germans to play soccer in Italy. Haller won Italian championships with Bologna and Juventus. He scored the first goal of the 1966 World Cup final for Germany, but England won the title 4-2 in extra time. Haller played 33 games for Germany and scored 13 goals.

Oct. 11 -- Bill Ezinicki, 88, former Boston Bruins player and three-time NHL Stanley Cup champion. The forward played for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1944-50), the Boston Bruins (1950-52), and the New York Rangers (1954-55). He won three Stanley Cups with Toronto in 1947, 1948 and 1949. Ezinicki became a professional golfer after retiring from hockey, winning several tournaments in the New England region including four state opens in 1960. He also competed in nine U.S. Opens.

Oct. 12 -- Doug Brecht, 62, longtime rules official for the LPGA Tour. Brecht played college golf for Oklahoma in the early 1970s and coached women's golf at the school from 1982 to 1985.

Oct. 12 -- Britton Chance Jr., 72, innovative yacht designer for three America

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