|John Brogan played from 1948-50|
John Brogan, a Coeur d'Alene native and standout athlete at the University of Idaho in the 1940s and 1950s, died at the age of 82 at a Las Vegas, Nev., hospital. Brogan still is Idaho's all-time punt return average leader at 16.5 yards per return and is tied for seventh in punt returns yards wtih 412 and is 13th on Idaho's all-time rushing list with 1,662 yards. He played for the Vandals from 1948-50. Here is the complete obituary as it appeared in the Coeur d'Alene Press:
John Brogan, a standout athlete at Coeur d'Alene High in his two years as a Viking in the 1940s, died Sunday morning in a Las Vegas hospital.
Brogan, 82, played football and basketball for the Vikings, and also excelled in baseball and track.
In a publication by the Coeur d'Alene Press sports department in 1996 called "100 for the Ages," Brogan ranked No. 2 all-time on the Press' list of "Greatest Male Athletes."
"He played all sports, and was an outstanding athlete," said Cecil Hathaway, a Viking teammate of Brogan's and who graduated with him from Coeur d'Alene High in 1947. "He was a very unpretentious guy, very humble about his accomplishments, and very honest about all aspects of his life."
Born in 1928, Brogan made his mark on Coeur d'Alene High athletics in 1945 as a junior after transferring back to Coeur d'Alene from Nebraska's famed Boys Town.
The first time he touched the ball as a Viking, he raced 60 yards for a touchdown. He went on to score four more touchdowns that day, leading Coeur d'Alene to a 32-19 win at Colfax (Wash.)
Brogan, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound left halfback, finished his two-year Viking career with 40 touchdowns - 25 rushing, 10 passing, two receiving and three on interception returns.
"I've seen every player since the war, or at least heard of them, and Johnny Brogan is the best," former Viking athlete and coach Don Haynes told the Press back in 1996. Haynes played with Brogan in high school. "You can't find anyone my age in Coeur d'Alene who doesn't talk about Johnny Brogan in a hushed voice."
Brogan helped Coeur d'Alene go 13-2-1 in Elmer Jordan's first two years as football coach. He played guard on Jordan's first two Viking basketball teams, and was named first-team all-state as a senior.
Brogan then went on to star at the University of Idaho as a single-wing tailback and safety for three seasons. He also returned punts and kickoffs, and kicked field goals and extra points.
"In those days, you either played both ways or you didn't play," Brogan said in 1996.
Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brogan played half a season at safety before retiring. He said he was upset the Steelers never gave him a chance to play offense.
Brogan was inducted into the Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame many years ago.
Services are pending.