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Ricky Byrdsong

Age: 43

former head basketball coach at Northwestern University; took Wildcats to their second postseason appearance in school history after the 1993-94 season; compiled 87-165 record as a head coach, including 34-78 in four seasons with Northwestern; fired with seven games left in the 1996-97 season; remembered for leaving the bench during a game in Minnesota during the 1993-94 season and climbing up into the stands to chat with fans and exchange high-fives before taking a seat in the aisle; two members of his 1994-95 team were later convicted in a point-shaving scandal; played at Iowa St. and began his coaching career there as an assistant; had coaching stints at Arizona, Eastern Illinois, Western Michigan and Detroit Mercy. Byrdsong died of gun shot wounds he received during a violent hate crime near Chicago in which a white supremacist apparently targeted minorities in a drive-by shooting spree.

Died: Skokie, Ill., July 3, 1999

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