George “The Animal” Steele, a legend in the ring and in the Michigan coaching community, has died at 79, according to the WWE.
Steele — whose real name is Jim Myers — is a member of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, the WWE Hall of Fame, the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame and the Michigan Football Coaches Hall of Fame. He was a Michigan State graduate and played football briefly for the Spartans before suffering a knee injury.
— WWE (@WWE) February 17, 2017
At 6-foot-1, 288 pounds, Steele had a lengthy WWE career that reached its height in the 1980s and ’90s. Steele went up against Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and other big-name wrestlers.
“The Animal” was also a pop culture figure. He was featured in a handful of commercials and once was referenced on an episode of Seinfeld.
As a coach, Myers successfully led both the Madison Heights (Mich.) wrestling and football programs.