Former NFL defensive lineman and Bob Elias Kern County Sports activities Hall of Fame member Spain Musgrove died Friday early morning in Washington, D.C., his close friend Robert Bethea informed The Californian. Musgrove was 76.
Musgrove attended Bakersfield Superior College, Bakersfield School and Utah Condition University, where by he is the only Aggie ever to don No. 00. A next-spherical decide in the 1967 NFL Draft, he started off 19 video games across a four-calendar year vocation in Washington and Houston, including 8 video games for the 1969 Washington staff coached by Eco-friendly Bay Packers legend Vince Lombardi. Musgrove was inducted into the Bakersfield High University Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Bob Elias Corridor of Fame in 2013.
“I saw him have a push that was unreal,” his youthful brother Wendell Musgrove said.
Bethea, who grew up with Musgrove in Bakersfield and attended BC with him, explained his success did not arrive as a surprise: “It was anything we approved, and envisioned, out of a lot of the athletes from Bakersfield.”
But it did not get to his head. Bethea reported he utilised to contact Musgrove “the humble giant”: Musgrove would appear again to Bakersfield after or 2 times a year, and loved to get out to soccer games at BHS and talk to the players.
“He never forgot where by he arrived from… We received so a lot of athletes that have gone professional, and they under no circumstances return, in no way contribute,” Bethea explained.
Mike Keese, a prior president of the board of directors of the Bob Elias Hall of Fame, played with Musgrove at BHS and BC. In these days, Musgrove was peaceful, Keese reported, but beloved.
“I really do not know of any individual that did not like Spain,” Keese explained. “He was enjoyable to be close to.”
As nicely appreciated as Musgrove was in Bakersfield, he managed to lead to his adopted community of Washington, far too, carrying out loads of humanitarian function there immediately after his pro football job ended.
Though coaching the defensive line for the University of the District of Columbia in 1977, he served as director of a area Boys Club (now Boys & Women Club).
“Wherever he went with individuals little ones, he manufactured certain that they acquired respect,” Wendell Musgrove explained.
Later in lifestyle, Musgrove was also an elder statesman in the NFLPA Former Gamers Washington chapter. Kurt Pierce, a fellow chapter member, remembers Musgrove (“very variety, patient and a small little bit foolish and fun”) working in a sort of treasurer job, and enthusiastically building logos and clothing for the group.
“He was one particular of the oldest gamers in our chapter that in fact participated,” Pierce said, “so he had a really large coronary heart for being engaged with other former gamers.”
The players association issued a statement on Monday: “We are deeply saddened at the passing of Spain Musgrove. Spain spent four many years in the NFL for Houston and Washington and was a fixture at (Washington) Chapter Activities. Our views & prayers go out to his household and pals all through this tricky time.”
Wendell Musgrove reported he and his brother argued playfully about who would die earlier for a long time: “We took it as a race.” In the long run, Spain finished initial, but his brother reported Spain was well prepared.
“He wasn’t afraid of demise,” Wendell Musgrove reported, “and I appreciated him for that.”
Reporter Henry Greenstein can be achieved at 661-395-7374. Adhere to him on Twitter: @HenryGreenstein.