NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) George MacIntyre, who was the football coach at Vanderbilt from 1979 to 1985, has died. He was 76.
MacIntyre died Tuesday at home, according to his son Matt. MacIntyre was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis more than 20 years ago.
His best season was in 1982 when the Commodores went 8-4, 4-2 in the Southeastern Conference and finished with a win at the Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama. That was Vanderbilt's lone eight-win season between 1956 and 2011, and MacIntyre was named the SEC coach of the year and the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year.
''George MacIntyre made a significant contribution to the history of Vanderbilt football,'' Roy Kramer, former Vanderbilt athletics director and Southeastern Conference commissioner, said in a statement through Vanderbilt. ''MacIntyre cared about his players. He arrived at a time when the program was down, and he brought excitement back to the campus and city.''
That season also featured the Commodores' last win over in-state rival Tennessee until 2005 and Vanderbilt's last bowl team until 2008. The Commodores won the Music City Bowl and finished 7-6 in 2008. MacIntyre's 8-4 record stood as the Commodores' best until going 9-4 in 2012.
MacIntyre was 25-52-1 in seven seasons at Vanderbilt, which ranks fifth on the school's all-time list. He also was an assistant at Vanderbilt in 1973-74 and also at Clemson and Mississippi. He was head coach at Tennessee Martin from 1975-77. Former Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said MacIntyre was his role model when he started coaching after being Johnson's position coach at Clemson.
''Though fiercely competitive, his coaching style was to instruct rather than belittle,'' Johnson said. ''An approach which earned him the affection of his players and inspired those players to overachieve on the field.''
Will Wolford, an offensive lineman who was a first-round draft pick by Buffalo and played 13 years in the NFL, said MacIntyre told him he would play at least 10 years in the NFL when he was just a sophomore.
''Coach Mac was a true father figure away from home at a time before cellphones, when it was too expensive to call home,'' Wolford said. ''He treated us all fairly and we all had equal value in his eyes. He was a kind-hearted, southern gentleman.''
MacIntyre is survived by his wife, Betty, and sons Matt and Mike, who is Colorado's football coach.
Visitation is scheduled for Friday afternoon with the funeral Saturday at Forest Hills Baptist Church in Nashville.