Ex-Nevada QB Heath dies at 83
Stan Heath, an all-America quarterback at Nevada who finished
fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1948, has died. He
Heath died at his home in Jesup, Ga., on Sunday. That’s the same
day Nevada cracked The Associated Press poll for the first time
since that 1948 team.
Heath had been battling cancer. The family plans a private
memorial service but the date has not been set, Ray Howard of
Howard-Jones-Nobles Funeral Home in Jesup said Tuesday.
Heath was an inaugural member of the University of Nevada
Athletic Hall of Fame and one of the quarterbacks on Nevada’s Team
of the Century, sharing the honor with Chris Vargas.
”When I played here, he was my idol,” said Nevada coach Chris
Ault, who was the Wolf Pack’s quarterback in the early 1970s.
”He played on that 1948 team, was the first all-American this
university ever had,” Ault said Tuesday. ”He loved this
university. He followed us and was an avid fan of our football
program. He was a very, very special Wolf Pack guy who now gets to
look down on us from above.”
Heath led the nation in passing, total offense and touchdown
passes in 1948. The Green Bay Packers made him the fifth pick in
the NFL draft that year at a salary of $15,000 per year. He played
one year in Green Bay before moving to Canada, where he played for
the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Calgary Stampeders.
Heath starred on Nevada’s 1947 and 1948 teams that went a
combined 18-4 and played in bowl games both years under coach Joe
In a 1948 game against Oklahoma City, Heath threw five touchdown
passes, a school record that stood unmatched for 30 years and
unbroken until Vargas threw seven against UNLV in 1993.
Heath spent 20 years as a cattle rancher in Nebraska and became
close friends with longtime Nebraska coach Bob Devaney, starting a
”Beef Club” for the Cornhuskers.
He and his wife, Jeanette, lived in Palmer, Alaska, for nine
years before relocating to Georgia six years ago to be near
Jeanette’s son and his family.
Heath is survived by his wife, daughters Heather Heath-Certo and
Holly Heath; and stepsons Kenneth, Craig and Sid Allen.