MINNEAPOLIS - Former University of Minnesota men's basketball player Corky Taylor has died due to complications from lung cancer, according to U of M's Athletic Department.
Taylor played for the Gophers from 1970-1973.
"We are so saddened by the loss of Corky Taylor," said Gopher head basketball coach Tubby Smith. "I had the opportunity to get to know him over the last five years. He was as nice of a man that I have met since coming to the University of Minnesota and certainly a Gopher through and through."
Taylor was a three-year letterwinner for the Gophers and member of the 1971-72 team that captured the Big Ten Championship.
He played 51 total games in Maroon and Gold, finishing his career with averages of 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
Smith said that Taylor was a mentor to many of the team's former players.
"I know that helped tremendously in my transition here at the University of Minnesota," Smith said. "We are grateful to have had the opportunity to know him. He certainly helped my job run a lot smoother because of his guidance and encouragement."
Smith dubbed it a sad day for the Golden Gopher family.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Corky's family and friends," Smith said.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)