USC Gamecocks Football

Blood clot killed Gamecock football great Max Runager, coroner says

Max Runager
Max Runager Provided photo

Former Gamecocks punter Max Runager’s death was caused by a blood clot from a recent injury, Orangeburg County chief deputy coroner Sean Fogle said Wednesday,

The 61-year-old’s death was accidental, the coroner’s office concluded. That office did not provide details about the clot or the injury, and a message seeking additional comment was not immediately returned Wednesday evening.

Runager fractured a vertabra when he fell from the roof of his parents’ home in December while cleaning pine straw from the roof, his father, Geb Runager, told The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg. He reportedly refused to have his back treated.

While using a walker, Runager fell and fractured his leg, his father told the newspaper. It was unclear Wednesday if either of these injuries contributed to his death on June 30.

A former NFL player and Gamecock great, Runagerwas hailed as one of the best punters in South Carolina football history. He still holds the single-game punting average USC record at 47 yards per punt in a game vs. Ole Miss on Oct. 21, 1978.

An Orangeburg-Wilkinson High graduate, he was a three-year starter for the Gamecocks and team captain in 1978, starring for coach Jim Carlen’s teams of the late 1970s. He is tied for fourth in school history with a career punting average of 41.1 yards.

He was a 2007 inductee into the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame, a 2013 inductee into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame and an SEC Football Legends pick, also in 2013.

After South Carolina, Runager was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1979 and spent 11 years in the NFL with the Eagles, 49ers and Browns. He punted for two Superbowl teams, the 1980 Eagles and 1984 49ers.

The funeral is planned for Thursday, July 6 at 11 a.m. in the Chapel at Dukes Harley Funeral Home in Orangeburg.

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