Former Montana State football coach Cliff Hysell died on Sunday at age 72

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BOZEMAN, Mont. — Cliff Hysell, who spent 20 years with the Montana State football program as a player, assistant coach and head coach, died on Sunday of natural causes.

Dokken-Nelson Funeral Home says Hysell died at his Bozeman home. He was 72.

Hysell was part of MSU’s first Big Sky Conference championship team as a junior lineman in 1964 and was an assistant on the 1976 NCAA Division II national championship team.

In December 1991, he was brought in to turn around a Bobcat program that had posted seven consecutive losing seasons. His 1993 team went 7-4 and four of Hysell’s eight teams finished over .500.

Hysell retired after the 1999 season and consulted with several college football programs. He was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.

Hysell — a Helena, Montana, native — began his coaching career at Great Falls High School in 1996 and was a defensive assistant at Fresno State from 1982-1991.

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