Brad Van Pelt was found by his fiance yesterday at their home in Harrison, Michigan, slumped in a chair, having passed away at age 57 of an apparent heart attack. The couple had been together for 15 years.
The Owosso native did not have a history of heart problems, but his father did pass away prematurely from heart issues. Van Pelt was considering career options with his former NFL team, the New York Giants.
Van Pelt won seven letters in baseball, basketball and football while at MSU and his final football season was 1972, Duffy Daughtery's final year as head coach. He won the 1972 Maxwell Award as college football player of the year.
Van Pelt was named the New York Giants' greatest player for the decade of the '70s. He turned down offers from the Tigers and Angels to play baseball and not enroll at Michigan State.
Hs returned to MSU to complete his degree in 1998 and was elected to the MSU sports hall of fame in 2000. He was named to the college football hall of fame in 2001. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.