Tony Terry, Member of USC Football's Famous "Wild Bunch," Dies

    Tony Terry
    Aug. 9, 2016

    Tony Terry, a defensive tackle and middle guard who was part of "The Wild Bunch" USC defensive line in 1969, died on Saturday (Aug. 6) in Las Vegas, Nev., of cancer. He was 69.

    A funeral Mass will be held this Friday (Aug. 12) at 11 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Church, 1111 No. Michael Way, Las Vegas 89108. There will be a visitation on Thursday (Aug. 11) from 3 to 7 p.m., with a Rosary at 6 p.m., at Palm Cheyenne Mortuary, 7400 Cheyenne Ave., Las Vegas 89129.

    Terry joined with ends Jimmy Gunn and Charles Weaver, tackles Al Cowlings and Tody Smith and middle guard Willard "Bubba" Scott to make up "The Wild Bunch," who were named after the hit 1969 Sam Peckinpah Western movie of that name.

    Known for their reckless abandon and hard-nosed play, the defensive unit helped an undefeated USC go 10-0-1 in 1969, including a Rose Bowl win over Michigan. In the 1969 game against UCLA, "The Wild Bunch" sacked Bruin quarterback Dennis Dummit 10 times for losses of 75 yards. Playing in an era of powerful running games, the USC defenders allowed just 2.3 yards per carry all season.

    Although Terry had a hamstring injury for much of that 1969 senior season, he still recorded 43 tackles.

    A three-year (1967-69) letterman, Terry was a member of USC's 1967 national championship team and started in three Rose Bowls with Trojan squads that won conference titles each year.

    He came to USC from St. Anthony High in Long Beach (Calif.).

    He was a sixth round selection by the Detroit Lions in the 1970 NFL Draft. After stints with the Lions and Los Angeles Rams, he played for the World Football League's Portland Storm.

    After his football career, Terry was a long-time juvenile probation officer in Nevada's Clark County, as well as a volunteer youth coach.

    Terry is survived by his wife of 50 years, Emma, as well as sons Tony (Erica), Darryl (Christina) and Manuel (Lisa), eight grandchildren (Nia, Xavier, Laila, Carlos, Christian, Caden, Antonio and Maya) and siblings Cynthia, Janet, Michael, Gregory and Sandra. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Ruby, and his brother, Charles.