SOUTH BEND — Frank Tripucka, who led Notre Dame to a 9-0-1 record and a No. 2 ranking in 1948, has died. He was 85.His son, Kelly Tripucka, a former Notre Dame basketball standout, said his father died of congestive heart failure at his home in Woodland Park, N.J.
Before becoming the starter, Tripucka was a backup to Heisman Trophy winner John Lujack, who led the Irish to back-to-back national championships. As a senior, he completed 53 of 91 throws for 660 yards and 11 touchdowns as the Irish won all their games except a 14-14 tie with USC.
Tripucka was the ninth pick overall by Philadelphia in 1949. He played for the Eagles, the Detroit Lions, the Chicago Cardinals, the Dallas Texans and the Denver Broncos.