68-year-old Fred Dean passed away on Oct. 14, 2020, after being hospitalized for the coronavirus approximately seven days ago. The Pro Football Hall of Fame released a statement on October 15, according to ESPN.
L. Cruz tweeted:
Fred Dean, HOF DE for the Chargers and 49ers, has died at age 68. The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Dean’s passing on Thursday morning. No official cause of death has been announced, Dean had been admitted to the hospital and was on a ventilator due to the coronavirus.
Dwight Hicks, a fellow former-49er, used Facebook to relay that his friend, Dean, was in the hospital and needed help breathing due to the coronavirus. Other posts stated he is now on a ventilator and in a hospital intensive care unit.
Fred Dean’s Football Career
Dean first played football as a sophomore in high school. As a junior, he began attracting attention from prospective colleges — Louisana Tech and Grambling specifically.
He decided to attend Louisana Tech in Rushton. He played defensive tackle for the Bulldogs and earned an All-Southland award.
During the second of the 1975 NFL Draft, he was picked up by the San Diego Chargers. He swiftly was moved to defensive end and developed a reputation as “one of the league’s best edges rushers,” writes Jack Wagoner for ESPN. In 1979, he landed his first Pro Bowl berth. In 1980, he had a place on the All-Pro and Pro Bowl.
He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 1981. The defensive end was known for power and quickness; he made his mark racking up 12 sacks in 11 games during his first season. The Niners won Super Bowl XVI, and he was considered for an All-Pro Bowl.
While a defensive end for the 49ers, the team won two Super Bowls — XVI in 1981 and XIX in 1984. Dean proved his mettle and was rewarded by being selected for four different Pro Bowls.
In 1985, bad headaches caused him to retire, which in retrospect may have been due to concussions. He waited 23 years after retiring to hear he was about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
ESPN: Hall of Famer, San Francisco 49ers great Fred Dean dies at 68; Nick Wagoner
amarklamiss.com: The life and career of NFL Hall of Famer, Louisiana Tech alum Fred Dean ahead of 49ers’ date in Super Bowl LIV; Jose Sanchez
KTVU 2: Former 49er defensive end Fred Dean hospitalized with the coronavirus; Chris Bumbaca
Featured and Top Image by Erik Drost Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of David Matthews’ Flickr Page Creative Commons License