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RIP Monte Clark


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Ex-Brown Monte Clark dies

09.17.2009

Monte Clark, a former Browns offensive lineman and head coach of the Detroit Lions, died on Wednesday night at the age of 72 in Detroit.

 

Clark played with the Browns from 1963-69 and was considered a key part of the offensive line that helped the Browns win the NFL Championship in 1964. Jim Brown led the NFL in rushing from 1963-65, and Leroy Kelly led the league again in 1967-68.

 

After retiring as a player in 1969, he started his coaching career with the Dolphins under Don Shula. During his time with Miami, he assembled one of the finest offensive lines ever and the team became the first ever to have two backs rush for over 1,000 yards in one season.

 

During his six seasons with the Dolphins from 1970 to 1975, went to three Super Bowls, winning two, and had the only perfect season in NFL history at 17-0 in 1972.

 

Clark then took over as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers for the 1976 season and at the time was the youngest head coach. His team posted a record of 8-6, but the 49ers were sold after the season and Clark stepped down. Clark sat out the 1977 season, but was hired by the Lions in January of 1978. In his first season with Detroit, the team selected Al "Bubba" Baker, who later went on to be a Browns great, in the second round of the draft. Baker went on to record 23 sacks and won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

 

Clark went on to coach the team through the 1984 season and posted an overall record of 63-61-1. The team made the playoffs twice, capturing a division title in 1983, but was unable to grab a win in the postseason. Clark had returned to the Lions in 1999 where he had been working as a Special Consultant up until the time of his death.

 

Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 1958 draft, Clark spent 11 years in the NFL and appeared in 139 games total. He played his first three seasons with the 49ers as an offensive and defensive tackle. He was traded to Dallas in 1962 where he converted to an offensive tackle, a position he would play the rest of his career. After one season with the Cowboys, Clark finished his career in Cleveland.

 

Clark was born January 24, 1937 in Fillmore, California and played collegiately for three years at the University of Southern California. In 1958, he was named a captain of the squad, playing on both sides of the line with future Pro Football Hall of Famer Ron Mix.

 

He is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and his adult children Bryan, Randy, and Eric.

 

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