Longtime Patriots scout, executive, ‘Bucko’ Kilroy dies

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Francis “Bucko” Kilroy, a former New England Patriots executive who was known throughout the league as a top talent scout, died Tuesday, the team announced.

He was 86.

Kilroy was a six-time All-Pro guard for the Philadelphia Eagles during a 13-season playing career in the 1940s and 50s.

During a 64-season NFL career, including 36 years with the Patriots, Kilroy also worked in player personnel and scouting for the Eagles, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys, and mentored others who went on to lead NFL scouting departments.

He was one of the founders of the National Football Scouting Combine, and had been a scouting consultant for the Patriots the past 13 years.

Kilroy joined the team as personnel director in 1971, and selected two of New England’s Hall of Famers, John Hannah in 1973 and Mike Haynes in 1976. From 1976-78, Patriots teams he built compiled a 31-13 record including two playoff appearances. He was New England’s general manager from 1979-1982, and vice president from 1983-1993.

Kilroy, a Philadelphia native, began his playing career in 1943 with the wartime combined team of the Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers. With the Eagles, he played in a then-record 146 consecutive games and was named to the league’s all-decade team for the 1940s.

In his final three seasons with Philadelphia, he was a player/coach before becoming a fulltime line coach and director of player personnel for six seasons. He joined the Redskins as director of player personnel in 1962, and was a “super scout” for the Cowboys from 1966-1970, when Dallas won five straight division titles.

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