How did Paul Hoolahan die? Former Sugar Bowl CEO cause of death Explained

Paul Hoolahan, who modernized Sugar Bowl, passes away at the age of 72. Let’s see How did Paul Hoolahan die and Paul Hoolahan cause of death in detail.

How did Paul Hoolahan die?

At the age of 72, Paul Hoolahan, who had been in charge of the Sugar Bowl organization for 24 years, tragically passed away on Wednesday.

In 1996, Hoolahan assumed control of the Sugar Bowl and led it through one of its most prosperous periods.

Paul Hoolahan Cause of Death

Paul’s family did not disclose any details about Paul Hoolahan cause of death.Paul Hoolahan cause of death is still unknown. There is no information available about Paul Hoolahan cause of death at the moment.

Medico topics have been trying to reach out to the family and relatives for comment on the incident. So far no responses have been received. We will update the page once enough information is available. More information on Paul Hoolahan cause of death will be added soon.

Who was Paul Hoolahan?

Hoolahan arrived at the Sugar Bowl in 1996 from Vanderbilt University, where he served as the athletic director, just in time for the Sugar Bowl to be included in the Bowl Championship Series’ rotation of four bowls.

The BCS Negotiations 

Hundley remembered first observing Hoolahan’s leadership. The conference commissioners who were creating the BCS were meeting with bowl representatives in Dallas in the summer of 1996 to select the four bowls where the BCS games would be held.
”We went in and made our presentation, and they told us, ‘We’ll give it some thought and get back to you'” Hundley recalled.
“Paul said, ‘Gentlemen, I’m authorized by my board to make a deal, and I’m not leaving this room until we have one.’ That day, we left with a handshake on it. That was Paul.”

Group of Five schools

The commissioners struggled to come up with a strategy in 2004, when a group led by then-Tulane president Scott Cowen helped force increased access for what are now known as the Group of Five schools.

Wright Waters, who was then the commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference, based in New Orleans, remarked that “we were barely speaking to each other.”

“Paul came in and said, ‘Whatever it costs, the Sugar Bowl is prepared to pay it.’

“That was the beginning of the end of the logjam, and we came up with double hosting. Paul was just so smart and always had the big picture in mind.”

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte (left) with Paul Hoolahan (right)

Hurricane Katrina

The Superdome was left unusable by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the offices for the Sugar Bowl were also damaged.

However, Hoolahan persuaded commissioners that the bowl could shift its operations to Atlanta and play the game there, which it did, employing a strategy he compared to “selling snake oil.”

“Everything was in a state of flux, and it was hard to be confident about anything,” Hundley said. “But Paul was confident that not only could we do it but do it in grand fashion.

“I had to scratch my head sometimes, but we wound up with a great game and even threw in a Mardi Gras-style parade.”


Deals with the SEC and Big 12 were less pleasing because they required the Sugar Bowl to hand over ownership of the event to those leagues.

However, by doing so, the bowl was guaranteed eight appearances by teams from those leagues throughout the 12-year contract, in addition to four CFP semifinals.

Hoolahan loved his job 

“Paul was determined that the Sugar Bowl was going to be part of the process, and the result has been a great partnership,” said former Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

To Jeandron. through it all Hoolahan loved his job.

“Paul was so dedicated to what he did because he always enjoyed it so much,” he said. “He really loved working with the members of our organization and the leaders of college football.”

His Retirement

By the time he retired in 2018 and handed over control of the company to longtime deputy Jeff Hundley.

The Sugar Bowl had played the 2006 game in Atlanta despite Hurricane Katrina, played a significant role in the development of the BCS’s double-hosting system, and led the way in forging a partnership with the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 in the College Football Playoff rotation.

The CFP title game between LSU and Clemson was played at Caesars Superdome the summer before his retirement, which took place in New Orleans.

At the time, Hoolahan added, “I feel very good about it. The best thing is leaving the job in good order.”


Hoolahan spent a lot of time working with the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame before being elected into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

He received the National Football Foundation’s Legacy Award in 2018, which recognizes people and groups who have made outstanding contributions to the NFF and/or exemplify its objective.

He also received a Legacy Award in 2019 from the Football Bowl Association, an organization he presided over, for “distinguished service within the Bowl industry.”

Tributes to Paul Hoolahan 

Social media is blazing with tributes to Paul Hoolahan as his friends and family remember him.

Joe castiglione tweeted,

“Heartbreaking news.  Paul was a great friend, colleague and leader who helped so many throughout his career.  He went out of his way to treat our teams so well during our appearances in the @SugarBowlNola RIP🙏“

Ralph D.Russo tweeted,


Ang tweeted,

”very sad. Good man.”

Charles Bloom tweeted,

Paul cared about college football, New Orleans & the Sugar Bowl. In meetings when the bowl was relocated to Atlanta for a year, the point was clear: Sugar Bowl was a prized possession to be handled with care & professionalism (it was) & it was going to come back to N.O. #RIPPaul”

We wish him eternal peace and send our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones,family,friends.May he rest in peace.


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