Frank Kush, the most famous coach in Arizona State history and synonymous with the school’s rise from a college to a university, died early Thursday, a school spokesman confirmed.

Kush was ASU’s football coach from 1958-79, winning a school-record 176 games, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995. He was 88.

Kush's health deteriorated in the last two years particularly, his oldest son Dan said Thursday, and he suffered from dementia. "He started to run out of gas," Dan Kush said. "Everybody remembers this great individual from the '70s. You think of Ronald Reagan or John Wayne, these great public figures in their prime, and that's the image everybody has. At times it was tough because people had high expectations and realized where he was at. That's just part of life."