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Lou Saban

Lou SabanLongtime football coach Lou Saban dies.

Lou Saban, the longtime college and pro football coach who led the Buffalo Bills to a pair of AFL championships, died early Sunday morning at the age of 87.

Saban coached professional football for 16 years, and most notably led Buffalo to back-to-back AFL titles in 1964-65. He also coached the Boston -- now New England -- Patriots for their first two seasons, in 1960-61 before moving on to Buffalo from 1962-65.

He spent five seasons with Denver (1967-71), overseeing the team through the AFL-NFL merger, and returned to the Bills from 1972-76. Saban's pro teams went 95-99-7.

Away from football, Saban was also president of the New York Yankees from 1981-82.

"He has been my friend and mentor for over 50 years, and one of the people who helped shape my life," Yankees owner and chairperson George M. Steinbrenner said in a statement. "Lou was tough and disciplined, and he earned all the respect and recognition that came his way. He spent a lifetime leading, teaching and inspiring, and took great satisfaction in making the lives around him better. This is a tremendous loss to me personally, and I extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Joyce, and the entire Saban family."

Saban's coaching career also included stints at numerous colleges, Northwestern, Western Illinois, Maryland, Miami, Army and Central Florida.

Saban played college football at Indiana and was with the Cleveland Browns from 1946-49 before moving onto coaching.

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