Fred Dean, Sack Specialist Who Ignited 49ers Dynasty, Dies at 68

Fred Dean, Sack Specialist Who Ignited 49ers Dynasty, Dies at 68

This obituary is a part of a sequence about individuals who have died within the coronavirus pandemic. Examine others right here.

After two shedding seasons with a brand new head coach and an unproven younger quarterback named Joe Montana, the San Francisco 49ers in October 1981 had a modest 3-2 document and had been on the point of face the Dallas Cowboys, who had overwhelmed them in each recreation for nearly a decade.

However one thing concerning the 49ers had modified. They’d simply acquired a defensive finish, Fred Dean.

Within the first half of that recreation in opposition to the Cowboys, Dean relentlessly pursued the Dallas quarterback, Danny White; on one play he flipped 360 levels over an offensive lineman en path to a sack.

Throughout halftime within the locker room, Dean pulled out a pack of Kools and beginning smoking. Your entire group simply stared at him, the San Francisco defensive again Ronnie Lott recalled.

Roused by Dean’s aggression and easy confidence, the 49ers crushed the Cowboys, 45-14.

“He’s an inspiration to the remainder of the group,” Coach Invoice Walsh advised The New York Occasions the subsequent month. “Not that they had been ragtag, however he gave us the only greatness we’ve to have.”

The group would go on win the Tremendous Bowl that season, its first, and would stay a dominant drive within the N.F.L. for practically 20 years.

Dean died on Oct. 14 whereas being airlifted from a hospital in West Monroe, La., to Jackson, Miss. He was 68. The trigger was problems of Covid-19, his son Mason mentioned.

At 6 ft 2 inches and 227 kilos, Dean was “a shrimp” for a defensive finish, based on The Occasions. He compensated for his dimension with velocity and with energy in his fingers that he had gained via coaching impressed by martial arts.

Dean was an All-Professional starter for the San Diego Chargers earlier than San Francisco acquired him throughout the 1981 season. The 49ers made him right into a pass-rushing specialist, enjoying him solely when the protection took a 4-3 formation. He’d line up on the weak facet, normally leaving a lone defender between him and the quarterback.

Dean had six sacks in a recreation in opposition to the New Orleans Saints in 1983, a document that stood till 1990. He helped lead the 49ers to a 26-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals within the 1982 Tremendous Bowl, and to a different championship in 1985 over the Miami Dolphins, 38-16. The Occasions attributed that victory principally to stress the 49ers introduced in opposition to Miami’s quarterback, Dan Marino.

Dean retired after the 1985 season and entered the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2008. Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., the previous proprietor of the 49ers, credited Dean with beginning the 49ers’ run of success within the Tremendous Bowl: They received the championship 5 instances in a 14-year interval.

“We wouldn’t have received 5 if we hadn’t received the primary two,” he mentioned. “We might not have received the primary two if it weren’t for Fred Dean.”

Frederick Rudolph Dean was born on Feb. 24, 1952, in Arcadia, La. His father, Rual Dean, was a dairy farmer, and his mom, Rosie (Giles) Dean, was a homemaker.

Fred’s upbringing, in close by Ruston, La., was strict.

“Mother would whip me earlier than she would depart and I hadn’t performed something,” he recalled in an interview with the 49ers. “I’d ask her why. She mentioned, ‘Simply in case.’”

At Louisiana Tech College, Dean led the soccer group to a number of nationwide and convention titles. He was drafted by the Chargers in 1975.

His marriage to Irene Bolds resulted in divorce. In 1990, he married Pamela Massie.

Along with his son Mason, from Dean’s second marriage, she survives him, as do 4 youngsters from his first marriage, Fred Dean Jr., Fredricka White, Fredia Stringfellow and Keith Bolds; two different youngsters, Brandon Dean and Amanada Seashore Dean; a brother, James Earl Dean; two sisters, Dessie Pruitt and Dorothy Dean; 15 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

After retiring from soccer, Dean suffered monetary setbacks and developed medical points, together with diabetes. To pay his payments, he needed to promote his Tremendous Bowl rings.

His life stabilized after he obtained a grasp’s in theology from United Theological Seminary and Bible School in Monroe, La. He grew to become pastor of New Nature Ministries church in Ruston.

In his Corridor of Fame acceptance speech, Dean mirrored on the basic wrestle of being a defensive finish.

“You get used to getting down within the filth, getting your garments soiled and wallowing a little bit bit,” he mentioned. “I mentioned to myself, ‘Hmm, I just like the filth.’”

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