Pete Elliott, an all-American back who played on two unbeaten football teams at the University of Michigan in the late 1940s and played or coached in three Rose Bowl games, died Jan. 4 in Canton, Ohio. He was 86.
His death was announced by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, where he was the executive director from 1979 to 1996. The cause was congestive heart failure, his son David said.
In addition to being a football star in college, Mr. Elliott was an all-Big Ten basketball guard and runner-up for the conference golf championship, playing four seasons in each sport.
He and his brother Bump, his Michigan teammate, were elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. They were also coaching rivals in the Big Ten during the 1960s, Pete at Illinois and Bump at Michigan.
Playing quarterback, Pete teamed with Bump, a wingback, and star halfback Bob Chappuis on Michigan's unbeaten 1947 team, which routed Southern California, 49-0, in the Rose Bowl.
That backfield was known as the Mad Magicians for their deceptive plays in coach Fritz Crisler's single wing.
"It was a tremendous offense," Bump Elliott said, recalling his brother as "a really good ball-handler" as well as a passer, though he was frequently a blocker.
After working as an assistant under Bud Wilkinson at Oklahoma, Pete Elliott was the coach at Nebraska in 1956. He coached at California for the next three seasons and took a team led by quarterback Joe Kapp to the 1959 Rose Bowl, which California lost, 38-12, to Iowa.
Mr. Elliott went on to coach an Illinois team featuring linebacker Dick Butkus, the future Chicago Bears star, to a 17-7 victory against Washington in the 1964 Rose Bowl.
After seven seasons at Illinois, Mr. Elliott resigned in 1967, together with the head basketball coach, Harry Combes, and his assistant, Howard Braun, after revelations that some football and basketball players had received small but illegal payments from a fund put together by alumni boosters.
Mr. Elliott was the coach at Miami in Florida in 1973 and 1974 and then served as the university's athletic director. He oversaw a major expansion of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995 as its director.
Peter R. Elliott (he had no middle name) was born Sept. 29, 1926, in Bloomington, Ill., where his father, J. Norman Elliott, was a physician and also played for, and later coached, the Illinois Wesleyan football team.
Playing for Michigan from 1945 to 1948, Pete Elliott was named an all-American for his play as a halfback on defense as a senior, when Michigan went undefeated for a second consecutive season and was ranked No. 1 nationally.