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Fabled local coach succumbs to leukemia

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Published on: Thursday, January 03, 2013

By Brandy L. Simms

Former Maryland football coach Joe Krivak has lost his battle with leukemia.

Krivak, who mentored several future NFL quarterbacks during his tenure at Maryland, died on Christmas Day. He was 77.

Krivak enjoyed a storied coaching career that also included stops at Syracuse, Navy and Virginia.

He began his coaching career in College Park in 1974 and served a two-year stint as an assistant under head coach Jerry Claiborne.

He then left Maryland to pursue a coaching opportunity at the Naval Academy. After a five-year stint at Navy, Krivak returned to College Park where he joined Bobby Ross’s staff as the quarterbacks coach.

At Maryland, Krivak worked with future NFL quarterbacks Boomer Esiason, Neil O’Donnell, Frank Reich, Stan Gelbaugh and Scott Zolak.

“I attribute the success that I’ve gained as a professional quarterback to Joe Krivak,” Zolak once said. “His system of developing quarterbacks provided me with the fundamentals, discipline and mental skills necessary to ease the transition from college to the NFL. Being such a close mentor, Joe not only helped me become a good quarterback, but more importantly, a good person.”

Krivak was promoted to head coach at Maryland after the 1986 season and compiled a 20-34-2 record during a five-year tenure.

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