Dave Wilcox passed away at the age of 80: On Wednesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the passing of Dave Wilcox, an NFL linebacker who played for the San Francisco 49ers during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Wilcox was 80 years old at the time of his death.
Throughout his 11-season career, Wilcox made a name for himself as a standout player on the 49ers. He earned seven Pro Bowl selections and was a part of three consecutive playoff teams from 1970-72. His contributions to the game of football did not go unnoticed, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Wilcox was known as “The Intimidator” on the field, a name that reflected his aggressive playing style. In a quote from NFL Films, Wilcox said, “Defensively, I had an area. And I did not like people in that area. So when I prepared to play the game, it was to keep everybody out of that area. Nobody was going to run in my area, nobody was going to pass in my area. This is my spot, and nobody was welcome there.”
Wilcox was named first-team All-Pro in 1971 and 1972 and was a force to be reckoned with on the field. Roman Gabriel, the MVP quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, compared Wilcox’s style of play to that of legendary middle linebacker Dick Butkus.
Despite his aggressive playing style, those who knew Wilcox off the field spoke of him as a kind and humble man. Chris Long, a former defensive end for the Rams and son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, tweeted, “Sad to hear of Dave Wilcox passing. That dude was awesome. Down to earth and an absolute badass. Went into the Hall with my pops and loved being around him. Was so cool to us. His family is awesome. Rest easy.”
Wilcox’s legacy in football extends beyond his own playing career. His sons Justin and Josh both played college football at the University of Oregon, and Justin is now the head coach for the California Golden Bears.
In a statement released by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, President Jim Porter said, “While Dave Wilcox was nicknamed ‘The Intimidator’ for his aggressive style of play, he was a kind, humble, and gracious man in all other aspects of life.
He transformed the outside linebacker position – one of the many feats that earned him a forever home in Canton.” Wilcox’s impact on the game of football will not be forgotten, and his memory will continue to live on.