The football world is mourning locally, and nationally over the passing of Fred Dean at the age of 68.
No official cause of his passing has been announced. Last week it was reported that Dean was hospitalized from COVID-19.
Tributes have poured in on social media. Former Louisiana Tech trainer Billy Belding posted this once learning of Dean’s passing:
Longtime friend of Dean, and Bulldog supporter Steve Lee remembers the legend:
Dean a native of Arcadia, later moved to Ruston. He donned a Bearcat uniform all four years in high school, before extending his career at Louisiana Tech.
During his time in a Bulldog uniform, Dean was an All-Southland Conference defensive tackle.
The NFL had their eyes on the 6-foot-3, 230 pound player. Dean was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 1975. He remained with the team, until he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 1981.
In the Bay Area, Dean helped deliver two Super Bowl Championships. The four-time Pro Bowler retired in 1985. But, during his time in San Francisco, he was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1981.
Dean’s post playing career saw him earn a spot in Canton, Ohio. In 2008, he was enshrined into the National Football League Hall of Fame.