The Robert Morris athletic department announced on Thursday that former defensive coordinator and assistant head coach Dan Radakovich has died at the age of 84.
Radakovich, who was born in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, was the first assistant hired by Joe Walton when the Colonials football program was formed back in 1993. Radakovich was a member of the football program in 1994 and then again from 1996-2007.
Radakovich was known for his defensive expertise and the 2006 Robert Morris defense led NCAA Division I-AA in total defense, allowing only 289.3 yards per game. The Colonials led NCAA I-AA in pass defense three times under Radakovich (1999, 2002 and 2006).
“Dan, as much as anybody, is responsible for the building of the Robert Morris football program,” said Walton at Radakovich’s retirement from Robert Morris back in 2008. “Any success we had goes equally to him. He was the best on-the -field coach I’ve ever seen.”
“Bad Rads” football career started long before coming to Robert Morris and it included time with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The 1957 graduate of Penn State started his coaching career at his alma mater from 1957-69. From there, Radakovich spent time with Cincinnati (1970), the Steelers (1971, 1974-77), Colorado (1972-73), San Francisco 49ers (1978), Los Angeles Rams (1979-81), NC State (1982), Denver Broncos (1983), Minnesota Vikings (1984), NY Jets (1985-88), Cleveland Browns (1989-90), St. Louis Rams (1995) and Westminster (2014-19).
“Along with head coach Joe Walton, Dan Radakovich helped legitimize a fledgling football program at Robert Morris in 1994,” Robert Morris athletic director Chris King said. “He was an integral part of building the program and helping the Colonials have instant success, both on the field and off. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
Radakovich is survived by his wife, Nancy and daughters Lisa, Leslie and Lori.