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Friday, May 11, 2007

Former member of Lions 1950s offensive line, Charlie Ane, dies at 76

Former member of Lions 1950s offensive line, Charlie Ane, dies at 76
May 11, 2007

Charlie Ane, a key member of the Lions’ formidable offensive line in the mid-1950s, passed away Wednesday at the age of 76.

For seven seasons (1953-59), the versatile Ane played both center and tackle for the Lions and was a member of two world championship teams (1953 and 1957). On the ’53 championship squad, Ane played center as a rookie, and then in ‘57 he and Hall of Famer Lou Creekmur were the team’s bookend tackles, with Ane on the right and Creekmur on the left.

During his time in Honolulu Blue and Silver, Ane earned trips to the Pro Bowl following the 1956 season as a tackle and the 1958 season as a center.

As an offensive linemen, he protected Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Layne and paved running lanes for Hall of Fame running backs Doak Walker and John Henry Johnson.

Ane’s athletic success on the gridiron made him a pioneer for Hawaiian players since he was one of the first wave of players from the islands to open the pathway to the NFL.

Rockne Freitas, a tackle for the Lions from 1968-77 and a product of Hawaii, told the Honolulu Advertiser, “He was among the first to show what we could do. He left an impression.”

That impression still holds true today on several levels. Ane also coached high school football back in Hawaii after his playing days, and one of his former players was Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow.

Chow said in the Honolulu Advertiser that, “They [along with Ane’s high school teammate Herman Clark, Jr.] were among the first guys here to go to the pros and by what they did, they showed players from Hawai’i could make an impact.”

Chow played for Punahou High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, when Ane was an assistant coach. As a high school star, Ane was a two-way lineman who helped make Punahou a powerhouse in the 1940s.

After a standout prep career at Punahou, Ane went on to earn all-conference honors at Southern California before making his way to the NFL.

In 1953, Detroit made him the franchise’s fourth-round selection (49th overall) in the NFL Draft.

Ane is survived by wife Marilyn. Their marriage was nearing 56 years this June. He is also survived by son Kale, who played at Michigan State and for the Kansas City Chiefs for seven seasons, son Neal, daughter Malia and seven grandchildren.

Kale currently is the head football coach at Punahou, and he hired his father Charlie as the team’s offensive coordinator in 1999, a position he held for four year.

Services for Ane’s funeral will take place Mat 28 at the Punahou School chapel, but other details regarding the arrangements are still being finalized.

For more information, check out the following local stories from newspapers in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Isle football legend Charlie Ane dies at 76
By Dave Reardon - Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Friday, May 11, 2007
http://starbulletin.com/2007/05/11/sports/story03.html

Charles Ane, longtime coach, football legend, 76
By Ferd Lewis - Honolulu Advertiser
Friday, May 11, 2007
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070511/SPORTS04/705110362/1032/SPORTS

Ane would pave way to NFL
By Ferd Lewis - Honolulu Advertiser
Friday, May 11, 2007
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007705110363

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