October 16, 2014

TORONTO (AP) Nobby Wirkowski, the star quarterback who played for Woody Hayes in college before leading the Toronto Argonauts to the 1952 Grey Cup title and later coaching the CFL team, has died. He was 88.

His death was confirmed by the team Thursday.

Wirkowski also played for Hamilton and Calgary in the 1950s before returning to Toronto in 1960 when a knee injury during an exhibition game ended his career. He became an assistant coach that year and the head coach midway through the 1962 season until 1964.

Wirkowski played at Miami (Ohio) University under Hayes, who later went to Ohio State. Wirkowski led the RedHawks to victories over Texas Tech in the 1948 Sun Bowl and Arizona State in the 1951 Salad Bowl, later known as the Fiesta Bowl.

Wirkowski helped found the York University football team. He was its first head coach and was also the athletic director while serving on the faculty. He retired from York in 1992.

Drafted by the Chicago Cubs as a youth, Wirkowski served overseas as an engineer with the U.S. Army during World War II.

He was born in Chicago and lived in Mississauga, Ontario.

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