September 15, 2017
Sept. 15, 2017
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Former Michigan State All-American center Dan Currie, who helped lead the Spartans to National Championships in 1955 and 1957, died on Sept. 11 in Las Vegas. He was 82 (1935-2017).
Currie earned first-team All-America honors his senior year at center in 1957 as selected by the Associated Press, Football Writers Association, International News Service, Football Coaches Association and NBC. He was also named recipient of the Governor’s Award, which is annually awarded to the team’s most valuable player, and was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection. In addition, the Football Coaches Association named him the most outstanding college player of the year.
A stalwart performer on both sides of the ball, Currie’s blocking helped the Spartans to a No. 1 ranking in the Big Ten in both total offense and scoring. Defensively, he was the catalyst from his linebacker post of a group that stood No. 1 in the league in rushing defense and total defense. The Spartans finished the season ranked No. 3 in the final Associated Press and United Press International polls with an 8-1 record (5-1 Big Ten) and were crowned National Champions by Dunkel.
Former MSU Hall of Fame Coach Duffy Daugherty said in 1957 that Currie was “the finest center in collegiate football and perhaps the best ever at Michigan State.”
A three-year letterwinner for the Spartans from 1955-57, Currie was a three-year starter on the offensive line, playing guard as a sophomore (235 minutes) and junior (272 minutes) before playing center his senior season.
During his first season earning a letter, Currie helped the Spartans to a win in the 1956 Rose Bowl over UCLA as MSU went 9-1 overall and finished No. 2 in the national polls (AP, UPI). The Spartans were also selected National Champions by Boand. He was one of four sophomores on the Spartans to start in the 1956 Rose Bowl Game and played 56 minutes in the victory over the Bruins, more than any other Spartan in the game, and also recorded an interception.
As a junior in 1956, Currie was named second-team All-Big Ten as a guard as the Spartans closed the season ranked No. 9 by AP and No. 10 by UPI with a 7-2 record.
Following his All-America senior season, Currie appeared in the North-South All-Star Game and also the College All-Star Game on Aug. 15, 1958, in Chicago, as the college all-stars defeated the 1957 pro champion Detroit Lions, 35-19.
Currie was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by Green Bay (No. 3 overall) in 1958. He earned first-team NFL All-Pro honors three times at linebacker (1961-63) during a seven-year stint with the Packers (1958-64) and was a member of two NFL Championship teams (1961, 1962) under legendary coach Vince Lombardi. He also played in the Pro Bowl in 1960.
Currie had a 30-yard interception return in the 1962 NFL Championship Game as the Packers defeated the New York Giants, 16-7, in Yankee Stadium. He also started at linebacker in Green Bay’s 37-0 shutout over the Giants in the 1961 NFL Championship Game.
Currie finished his nine-year pro career with the Los Angeles Rams (1965-66).
A native of Detroit who attended St. Anthony high school, Currie was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1984.