Rose Bowl MVP Dr. Don Bunce Dies of Heart Attack at 54
April 15, 2003
Dr. Don Bunce, an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and 1972 Rose Bowl MVP for Stanford, died today of a heart attack at the age of 54. Bunce, a three-year letter-winner, was the 'Indians' starting quarterback in 1971. He led Stanford to its second straight Pacific-8 Conference championship and second consecutive appearance in the Rose Bowl.
A backup to Jim Plunkett in 1969 and '70, Bunce finally got his turn as the starting quarterback in 1971. He guided the Cardinal to a 9-3 record and a stunning 13-12 upset win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Bunce was named the game's Most Valuable Player after completing 24-of-44 passes for 290 yards. For the season, Bunce threw for 2,265 yards and 13 touchdowns and was named First-Team All-Pac-8.
Dr. Bunce received a bachelor's degree in Human Biology at Stanford in 1972. After one year playing professional football in Canada, he left the game for the Stanford University Medical School, where he received his M.D. in 1977. He served as a team doctor for Stanford for 11 years.