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Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

1730 East Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI

OBITUARY

Henry "Hank" Charles Bullough

January 24, 1934November 24, 2019
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(Born Jan. 24, 1934, in Scranton, Pa.; died Nov. 24, 2019, in Haslett, Mich.) For 85 years, Bullough was his name. Football was his game. And those who knew him will never be the same.

He was known as “The Doctor of Defense,” “Hurricane Hank,” “True Grit” and “The Patriarch.” But the names that meant the most to him were “Loving Husband” to Lou Ann for 57 years, proud “Dad” to Cheryl, Shane and Chuck and “Pa” to nine lucky grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Hank’s blood wasn’t actually green. But you would have had to cut him to prove it. Arriving on Michigan State's campus from Canton, Ohio, in 1951, he spent the next 68 years as No. 67, a starting guard for Biggie Munn and Duffy Daugherty; as a draft pick of the Green Bay Packers and the U.S. Army for four seasons; as a coach at MSU for 12 years and in pro ball for 22 more and as a key contributor to the Varsity “S” Club, the MSU Football Players Association and the well-being of Spartans long after their last snaps.

He contributed to a National Championship as a player in 1952, helped the Spartans win their first Rose Bowl the following season and coordinated one of the best defenses in history in 1965-66, including College Football Hall of Famers George Webster and Bubba Smith. Daugherty’s diversity-rich teams went 19-1-1 in the mid-'60s and did wonders for the integration of the sport and the character of the country.

In his first year as linebackers coach for the Baltimore Colts, Hank earned a Super Bowl ring in January 1971, tutoring perennial Pro Bowlers Mike Curtis and Ted Hendricks. Eleven years later, he nearly reached the football mountaintop again as defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI.

Equal parts innovator and taskmaster, he is widely credited as the co-developer of the 3-4 defense. Hank’s influence on the game we see today is unmistakable and lasting. But his ability to motivate without being murdered and to mix love and strength will never be forgotten.

Despite brief stints as a head coach of the Buffalo Bills and the USFL’s Pittsburgh Maulers, Hank was best known for his tireless work as a loyal assistant. He also served the New England Patriots, the Green Bay Packers twice, the Bills and the Detroit Lions with distinction before returning to MSU in 1994 for a final season with seven-decades friend George Perles.

That was after two sons and before three grandsons made “Bullough” synonymous with Big Ten football _ six players, all with wins over Michigan, as he loved to mention. But when you asked Hank about any of his kids or grandkids, you got an update on every one of them, especially those who had never worn a helmet. To him, each and every family member was an all-star. They remain his greatest triumphs.

That willingness to promote people and places he loved and to push strong ideas at every turn led coaching colleagues to suggest a hotline: 1-800-ASK-HANK. If that line was busy, you always got a callback.

His story began as the son of an English immigrant, a coal miner in Western Pennsylvania. When the mine shut down, Levi Bullough had to leave his wife and kids behind to find work at a factory in Canton. Hank, his mother and his sister had to battle to survive on their own, living with those who practiced kindness, not football.

If you understand that background, you get the mindset of a man who never quit working for causes and never acknowledged lost causes. That culminated in his critical role in the implementation of the George Webster Scholarship, helping MSU athletes return to campus to complete their degrees, and in his outreach to former players in need of a strong hand.

Hank is survived by devoted wife, Lou Ann; brother, Larry; daughter, Cheryl (Randy) Evans; sons, Shane (LeeAnn) and Chuck (Nicole); grandchildren, Corey (Christie), Kristi, Jake, Max (Bailee), Riley, Byron, Holly, Chloe and Annika; great-grandchildren, Charlotte, Caroline, Henry and Rocky Levi; nephew, Mark (Linda) Fox and niece, Diane (Virgil) Scott.

He was preceded in death by parents, Elizabeth and Levi Bullough; sisters, Doris and Annie (Robert) Fox and nephew, Alex Fox.

The family would like to thank the wonderful, caring staff at Brookdale Meridian and Hospice of Lansing for all their support.

A Henry C. Bullough Celebration of Life will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, in the Huntington Club at Spartan Stadium, with a memorial service at 2:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the MSU Football Players Association to honor Hank’s memory (MSUFPA, P.O. Box 4897, East Lansing, MI 48826).

Arrangements by Gorsline-Runciman. Share memories at www.greastlansing.com

  • DONATIONS

  • MSU Football Players Association (MSUFPA)

Services

  • Celebration of Life Gathering Sunday, December 8, 2019
  • Memorial Service Sunday, December 8, 2019

Memories

Henry "Hank" Charles Bullough

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Tina Sager Pentecost

December 4, 2019

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, Love leaves a memory no one can steal"

Shortly after they'd moved to Okemos, on this particular day I had called my dad to see if he'd like to have lunch. He said he was having an informal meeting with with someone, but it would be wonderful if I could join them. When I arrived they stood up and the gentleman reached out to shake my hand and said, hello Tina, my name is Hank Bullough, it's a pleasure to meet you. Little did I know the majority of our conversation was going to be about football!

After learning a little bit about his family, history and what his profession was, I could better appreciate this gentleman sitting across from me. His personality was magnetic to the point where you couldn't help but befriend him.

It was it was a great honor and privilege to know Hank. I will miss him greatly and cherish the memories of our friendship. The Godfather will forever be a legend.

My thoughts, prayers and heart go out to Lou Ann and the family.

With greatest sincerity, Tina Sager Pentecost

David Techlin

December 3, 2019

Mrs. Bullough and family,

I was an offensive lineman on the 65&66 teams....there were many times I was very happy to be on the “other side” of the ball as I heard Hank roaring “encouragement “ to Gallinagh, Webster, Bubba, and the other D personnel.

While I was critical of Hanks methods and “ encouragement “, I never questioned his love for his charges and his passion for the game and especially his LOVE for MSU.

One other LOVE of Hanks that I discovered much later was his passion and love for his family....as a former cross country coach I knew of his granddaughters career and when I would ask Hank....he positively BEAMED and was so proud of all his grandchildren. If I asked, I knew I was in for a 20 minute update...grades and GPA’s included.

Henry was both a proud and humble man, the older I get the more I respect Hank and realize the positive impact he had on my life.

Sincerely,

Dave Techlin

Ernie Pasteur

December 1, 2019

Coach Bullough was more than just my coach, he was a special friend to me and my family. Working with Hank for many years on the executive committee of the MSUFPA and George Webster Scholarship Fund gave me a special appreciation for Hank's love for MSU and his ex-players. We organized many reunions for the 1965-66 championship teams that produced over 95% attendance of teammates and coaches who shared his love of MSU and fond memories. When George Webster was down and out with home and health problems , Hank organized a massive fund raiser at MSU that raised a substantial sum to help him out. Hank always told me that if people remember you as a "Good Guy" after you are gone, that was the ultimate compliment. Hank was the ultimate "Good Guy"! Our sincere condolences go out to the entire Bullough family. With Love, Ernie and Micki Pasteur

John Shinsky

December 1, 2019

Coach Bullough was so much more than a coach to me. He recruited me out of Cleveland and was a Father figure, Mentor, and supporter all throughout my career, and beyond. During our recruitment meeting, Coach Bullough impressed my Foster Parents in many ways, especially with his sincerity, honestly, and character. I knew when I signed my Football letter of intent to MSU, that Coach Bullough was there for me not just on the field, but off the field also. He was an excellent coach, but even more, an exceptional person. He has impacted my life in so many ways . I would not be where I am today without Coach Bullough. He has not only been a blessing to me and my wife Cindy, but to so many others also. We Thank God for Coach Bullough being a significant part of our lives, and are so grateful for the many years we had together. Our lives are so much richer because of Coach Bullough. Cindy and I send our deepest sympathy to the Bullough Family during this time of sorrow. Coach Bullough will always have a special place in our hearts. With Deepest Sympathy, John & Cindy Shinsky

CHRIS & LARRY CONROY

December 1, 2019

What a beautiful tribute to Coach Bullough. Our deepest regrets to LuAnn, and the entire Bullough family.

Cindy Slattery

November 30, 2019

Dear Mrs. Bullough, Cheryl, Shane, and Chuck,

Please accept condolences on behalf of the Slattery family. We have so many fond memories of Mr. Bullough and the years on Baltic Avenue in Easton.

We were just watching the Patriots this past Sunday with my parents. It was a terrible rainy game and one of the Patriots players finally had a good run. My mother exclaimed, "See, he tucked the ball away - protect the ball - that's what Henry always said. He taught me all about football." She was very proud of herself. Then she went on to share some great, funny stories about the times they had together with your parents. Little did we know this was the very day he went to heaven.

We are so sorry for your loss. Please know that we keep you all in our prayers.

With love,
Cindy

Susan (Campanini) Tansey

November 29, 2019

Dear LouAnn, Cheryl, Shane & Chuck,
My brothers HP & Steve and sister Liz have fond remembrances of many Thanksgivings shared with you in West Springfield with our family. Your Dad was a larger than life man who we were happy to have known. We are sure your memories will sustain you in the sad days to come.
Warm Regards, Susan, HP, Steve and Liz Campanini

Terry Perles

November 27, 2019

A great man and a great friend and mentor to
thousands. he will live forever in the character of his family and players and the rest of us who were blessed to know him

Roger Hailey

November 27, 2019

Sorry to hear about Coach Bullough. He was a great coach and a great person. He actually recruited me to MSU and I've always been grateful for that. When I brought my grandkids up to MSU for a visit, Coach let them try on his championship rings. That was fifteen years ago and they still talk about it. I have been blessed to know him. My condolences to the entire Bullough family.

john greenslit

November 27, 2019

Bullough Family,
Deepest condolences and sympathy in the loss of Hank, truly a legend in the Spartan and football world, he had a sense of community and contributed more than most knew. If there is a Mt. Rushmore for Coaches, Hank will be there. The Doctor of Defense touched us all.
John/Pat Greenslit

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