Former Tulane, Packer great McGee dies at 75

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NEW ORLEANS, La.-Former Tulane University football standout Max McGee died on Saturday, Oct. 20, following a tragic accident at his home in Deephaven, Minn. He was 75-years old.

According to published reports, McGee was blowing leaves off the roof of his home when he fell to his death. The police were called to his home around 5:20 p.m. (CST) on a report of an unconscious man who had fallen. Emergency crews arrived and performed CPR, but efforts were not successful and he was pronounced dead.

&#8220The Tulane community extends our condolences and prayers to the entire family, and joins with them in celebrating the life of Max McGee, whose legacy includes his experiences at Tulane as a student-athlete,” Tulane Director of Athletics Rick Dickson said.

A star halfback for the Green Wave from 1951-53, McGee went on to have a long and illustrious NFL career as a wide receiver with the Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the Tulane Hall of Fame in 1980.

McGee came to Tulane from White Oak High School in Longview, Texas, where he was a four-year letterman and was named All-Texas twice. A member of Tulane’s Freshman Team in 1950, he led the SEC with 125 yards per game. As a member of the Tulane varsity, McGee led the Green Wave in rushing in each year with 543 yards in 1951, 428 in 1952 and 430 in 1953. His best day running the ball came against The Citadel when he galloped for 132 yards on only nine carries on Sept. 19, 1953.

An accomplished receiver out of the backfield, McGee completed his career with 34 receptions for 437 yards and four touchdowns. He also was a weapon on special teams where he saw time as a punt and kickoff return man, as well as serving as the team’s primary punter. McGee averaged 13.3 yards on 12 career punt returns, 21.3 yards on 36 career kickoff returns and 36.4 yards on 142 career punting attempts.

At the conclusion of his collegiate career, McGee held Tulane career records for kickoff returns (142), kickoff return yards (766), kickoff return average (21.3), total punts (142) and punting yardage (5,174). His 1,401 career rushing yards ranked fourth in team history at the time of his graduation, and still ranks 14th in the Tulane record book.

In addition, McGee currently ranks 10th in Tulane history in career kickoff return average, total punts and yards per rush (4.46).

Following his Tulane career, McGee was drafted in the fifth round of the 1954 NFL Draft by Green Bay and went on to star at wide receiver and punter for the Packers for 12 seasons. After hauling in 36 passes for 614 yards and a career-best nine touchdowns as a rookie, McGee missed the next two seasons while serving as a pilot in the United States Air Force. Upon his return to the team, McGee led the Packers in receiving from 1958-62.

After the legendary Vince Lombardi took over as the team’s head coach in 1959, McGee helped the team to six NFL championship appearances, five NFL championship victories and two Super Bowl wins during the remaining years of his career.

McGee hauled in at least 30 passes eight times, had at least 600 receiving yards on seven occasions and averaged at least 15.0 yards per grab in all but his final season in the NFL. In 1961, he was named to the Pro Bowl after posting career high-water marks in receptions (51) and receiving yards (883) while scoring seven touchdowns.