December 15, 1980: The unexpected death of Proctor’s Terry Egerdahl

On this day in Duluth in 1980, noted Proctor athlete Terry Egerdahl collapsed and died from a heart attack while warming up to play a pick-up basketball game at the Duluth Air Base. He was 27 years old. According to Twin Ports baseball historian Anthony Bush, “Terry Egerdahl was an athlete par excellence. He was known as “Mr. Versatility,” “The Franchise,” or simply “Eggs.” He was an award-winning three-sport prep star at Proctor High School, an award-winning two-sport intercollegiate star at the University of Minnesota Duluth, and he donned the uniforms of the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears…. At various times [at UMD] Egerdahl played quarterback, running back, and wide receiver between 1972–75. He was also the punter, place kicker and punt returner extraordinaire. In 1975, he led all of NCAA Divison II in punt return average, at 27.7 yards…. He was named all-conference in 1973, ’74, and ’75; Associated Press Little All-America Honorable Mention in 1973 and ’74; and AP Little All-America First Team in 1975. He was the team MVP in 1973 and ’75, and Conference MVP in 1975. He helped the Bulldogs win their first conference title in 11 years in 1973. He held eight school records at the end of his career.” Egerdahl’s competitive nature is summed up in his own words: “I think if there’s one lesson I’d like to leave my players with, it’s to stick with what you’re trying to do. At some point in college, in the pros, everyone wants to quit. I know I did. My advice would be: if you want to do something, don’t quit.” Read Bush’s biography of Egerdahl here.

Terry Egerdahl. (UMD Hall of Fame)