Dave McClain, 48, the University of Wisconsin's football coach, collapsed in a sauna and died of cardiac arrest today. He had been working out on an exercise bicycle at Camp Randall Stadium.
"People like this are not replaced," said Wisconsin Athletic Director Elroy Hirsh.
Former Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes called McClain "the ideal coach," and said the two had lunch together two weeks ago.
"It's a hell of a thing," Hayes said. "Terrible. He worked hard. He was extremely popular. He had a dandy, dandy family."
Hayes and one of McClain's former players, Mark Shumate, said McClain's family had a history of heart trouble.
"He was somebody who would stand behind you when you needed some help," said Shumate, who played five seasons under McClain. "He could put you at ease right away."
McClain graduated from Bowling Green in 1960 and began coaching at Crestline (Ohio) High. He became an assistant at Bowling Green, Cornell, Miami (Ohio), Kansas and Ohio State.
He became a head coach at Ball State, where his teams were 46-25-3 in seven seasons. His teams were 46-42-3 in his eight seasons at Wisconsin.
He is survived by his wife Judy and their children, Tom, a freshman at UW-Platteville, Marcy and Mindy.