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Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Mirko Jurkovic, a defensive tackle who played for Notre Dame on its last national championship team, died on Wednesday.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the 42-year-old Illinois native lost a 28- month fight with colon cancer, passing away at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Mishawaka, Indiana -- one town east of South Bend, where Notre Dame's campus is located.

Jurkovic was a freshman defensive tackle on the Irish's 1988 squad, which bested West Virginia for the title. He later switched to guard and also participated in two Orange Bowls and a Sugar Bowl before graduating.

A ninth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1992, Jurkovic suffered a knee injury which derailed his rookie season and he never played in the NFL.

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