Jerry Armstrong, a key member of the 1966 Texas Western Miners National Championship team, died this morning at the age of 76. Armstrong's nephew Matt from North Carolina called into the Dan Patrick radio show this morning and relayed the news. According to a source, he had been battling cancer and had been receiving treatment.

Armstrong played three seasons for Don Haskins and developed a reputation for his defensive play. He started against Kansas in the 1966 NCAA regional finals and his defense against Utah star Jerry Chambers in the second half of the National semifinals helped propel the Miners into the title game against Kentucky. Armstrong he did not play against Kentucky, which head coach Don Haskins later apologized for.

UTEP Athletics
UTEP Athletics

Following his career at Texas Western, Armstrong returned home to Missouri and went into education. He spent the next 30 years as a teacher, high school basketball coach, and later a principal. In 21 seasons, he compiled a 329-195 record as head coach. Armstrong was also inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. He and his wife Mary have two sons and four grandchildren.

Armstrong is now the fourth player from the 1966 team who are no longer with us, following Bobby Joe Hill, Harry Flournoy, and Orsten Artis respectively. Coach Don Haskins passed away in 2008.

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