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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.
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:
The news of Liggins’ passing follows the death of former Arizona running back standout Jim Upchurch last October.
Funeral services are pending for Liggins.