Nov. 23, 2005
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Pro Football Hall of Famer and Marshall legend Frank "Gunner" Gatski passed away Tuesday night at his home in Grafton, he was 83.
Marshall University's Department of Athletics released the following statement today.
"Gatski's passing is a huge loss for the entire Marshall family," Marshall University Director of Athletics Bob Marcum said. "He will always be remembered as one of the greatest football players to ever wear the Green and White. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family and the Marshall community."
Marshall head football coach Mark Snyder also stated the following.
"We are deeply saddened by this loss," Snyder said. "He was a legend in his own time and one of the best football players to ever step on the field. He was a class act and a great human being who will be greatly missed."
The former Cleveland Browns and Marshall standout was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on January 19, 1985 and formally enshrined on August 3 of that year along with Joe Namath, Pete Rozelle, O.J. Simpson, and Roger Staubach.
Gatski, who played center at Marshall from 1940 to 1942, was the first player in Marshall history to have his number retired earlier this season in a ceremony against UAB on Homecoming, Oct. 15.
"I know that when we honored Frank earlier this year he was truly happy and had a wonderful time here," Marcum said. "That is a lasting memory we will always cherish."