Buddy Cruze, a former Tennessee All-American football player, died on Saturday at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn., according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. He was 84.
Cruze was a multi-sport athlete at Knoxville High School and East High School, before beginning his college career at SMU. He later transferred to Tennessee, where he played wide receiver and was named a 1956 All-American.
Cruze was a three-year starter for the Vols from 1954-56. In 1956, Cruze helped them go 10-1, which included an undefeated season and an SEC championship win.
When Cruze caught 12 passes in 1955, he became just the second receiver in Tennessee history to catch double-digit passes in a season. In 1956, he became the first in program history to catch more than 20 passes and to collect more than 300 receiving yards in a year.
After his career with the Vols, Cruze played two seasons in the NFL from 1957-58 with the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Colts.
Cruze was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
Cruze’s wife of 62 years, Charlotte, died in 2016. He is survived by his sister and four children.
Tennessee posted a video tribute to Cruze on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. Watch below:
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) March 13, 2018