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Former Notre Dame quarterback Frank Tripucka, 85, dies

Frank Tripucka, a former quarterback at Notre Dame, died Thursday, the university announced. He was 85.

Tripucka led the Irish to a 9-0-1 record in 1948 after being behind 1947 Heisman Trophy winner John Lujack for his first three seasons with the team.

Tripucka completed 80 of 141 passes, for 1,122 yards, with 14 touchdowns and one interception with Notre Dame.

He was drafted in the first round by Philadelphia in 1949 and played for the Eagles, Detroit Lions, Chicago Cardinals, Dallas Texans and Denver Broncos in the NFL. He also played for Saskatchewan and Ottawa of the Canadian Football League in a pro career that spanned from 1949 to 1963.

The Broncos retired his No. 18 jersey until it was offered to former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, and Tripucka was one of the four original selections to Denver's Ring of Honor in 1984. Tripucka's best season in Denver came in 1960, when he completed 248 of 478 passes for 3,038 yards with 24 touchdowns.

Tripucka's son Kelly played basketball at Notre Dame, helping the Irish to the 1978 NCAA Final Four and earning All-America honors in each of his final three seasons.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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