Arizona Football

Liggins, one of Arizona’s best safeties in school history, dies at 58


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Arizona safety Dave Liggins was named the Fiesta Bowl Defensive Player of the Game with his two interceptions of Dan Marino in the 1979 Fiesta Bowl (YouTube video capture)

Arizona safety Dave Liggins was named the Fiesta Bowl Defensive Player of the Game with his two interceptions of Dan Marino in the 1979 Fiesta Bowl (YouTube video capture)

Dave Liggins, one of Arizona’s most decorated safeties who intercepted hall of fame quarterback Dan Marino twice in the 1979 Fiesta Bowl, has died at age 58.

Dave Liggins

Dave Liggins

Former Arizona teammate Tony Neely announced the news of Liggins’ passing on Facebook tonight.

“We lost a Wildcat today,” Neely wrote. “Heaven needed a safety for their team. They got a great one. RIP Dr. D. #26. DAVID LIGGINS you will be missed . BEARDOWN.”

Neely did not provide a reason for the death although it was recently reported by Greg Hansen of The Arizona Daily Star that Liggins was in need for a second liver transplant.

Hansen reported on Dec. 19 that Liggins underwent a liver transplant earlier in 2015 but was back in a Cleveland hospital for further examination. Liggins’ family asked for donations to help pay for his treatment.

Liggins transferred to Arizona from Cincinnati, where Tony Mason coached before taking the Arizona job in 1977. Liggins lettered for the Wildcats from 1978-80.

Among his achievements at Arizona:

— Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP in 1979 when Arizona lost to Pittsburgh and Marino 16-10 despite his two interceptions.

— All-Pac-10 selection in 1980

— No. 7 on school’s career interception list with 13. He had seven of those interceptions in 1980.

— Liggins was recently selected to the AllSportsTucson.com All Bowl Team for his performance in the Fiesta Bowl:

AZALLBOWL

The news of Liggins’ passing follows the death of former Arizona running back standout Jim Upchurch last October.

Funeral services are pending for Liggins.




ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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