LOS ANGELES (AP) — Peter Dalis, who served as athletic director at UCLA during a 19-year stretch in which the school won 39 NCAA championships, died Saturday. He was 76.
The school said he died of complications from multiple myeloma at his home in Pacific Palisades, where he was surrounded by his family.
Dalis' tenure from 1983-2002 made him the Pacific-10's longest serving athletic director. The football team played in 12 bowl games and won eight during his tenure. The men's basketball team made 15 NCAA tournament appearances, winning a national title in 1995 and reaching the regional final twice and the Sweet 16 five other times.
Dalis was associated with UCLA either as a student or an employee since 1955. Before becoming AD, he was director of UCLA's Cultural and Recreational Affairs department. He earned undergraduate and master's degrees from the school.
As AD, he oversaw construction of the J.D. Morgan Center, which provided private offices for coaches and administrators, a new academic and counseling center for athletes and a new Hall of Fame. Dalis helped guide a $14 million project to double the size of the current weight room, a medical training facility for athletes, a new football locker room and video rooms, and locker rooms for other sports.
Dalis helped guide construction of the John R. Wooden Center, another athletic facility that opened in 1983.
As chairman of the Pac-10's television committee, Dalis helped negotiate new long-term contracts with ABC and Fox Sports Net that paid the league over $200 million, a large boost from previous deals.
"Pete's passing is a great loss for the UCLA family," current AD Dan Guerrero said. "Pete was a great representative of this university and an outstanding athletic director who always put the welfare of student-athletes at the forefront. On a personal note, he was very gracious with his time during my early days as athletic director and I always appreciated it."
Born in Los Angeles on December 8, 1937, Dalis was the son of Greek immigrants.
He was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010 and the school's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret Wigmore Dalis, whom he married in 1993; her two children; a brother Gus; and three nephews.
Services will be Wednesday.
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