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Subject: Don Bunce, Ex-Stanford Quarterback, Orthopedic Surgeon

heart attack @ 54
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Date Posted: April 16, 2003 5:16:12 EDT

Don Bunce, who led Stanford to an upset Rose Bowl victory in 1972 as the Cardinal's starting quarterback, died of a heart attack Monday. He was 54.

Bunce, an orthopedic surgeon at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, was voted most valuable player of the 1972 Rose Bowl after Stanford beat undefeated Michigan 13-12. Bunce completed five consecutive passes during the last 1:48 of the game, setting up the winning field goal with 12 seconds remaining.

During a 1999 interview with a Palo Alto newspaper, Bunce recalled the pressure he felt as he took the field with his team, then known as the Indians, trailing 12-10.

"I just remembered telling myself, `This is it. My college football career comes down to what happens in the next 1:48,'" Bunce said. "It was like a movie and there was a part of me that felt like I was acting out a role."

Bunce was a backup to Jim Plunkett during the 1969 and 1970 seasons, but led Stanford to its second consecutive Pac-8 conference championship when he became the starter in 1971.

After graduating, Bunce played one year for the Canadian Football League's British Columbia Lions. He returned to Stanford to attend medical school, and served as a football team doctor for 11 years.

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