By The Daily Item
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Often referred to as the "Man who saved Selinsgrove football," Tom Dean, who coached the Seals program back to prominence in the 1950s, died Monday. He was 83.
With a team of a just 15 players during his first season in '53, Dean led Selinsgrove to a 6-4 record, its first winning campaign in 10 years. The highlight of that first year was a 14-0 victory over arch-rival Sunbury (now Shikellamy).
In Dean's second and final year with Selinsgrove, with 52 players on the team, the Seals went 7-3-1. The tie was a 7-7 game against Sunbury.
After his two years at Selinsgrove, Dean migrated to William Penn H.S. in Harrisburg, and he turned a team that had not won a conference game in five years into eventual Central Penn League champions.
In 1959 Dean moved to New Jersey and he found similar success at East Orange H.S., where he produced Group IV champions as well as state titles.
Dean was elected to the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1995, and he was recently inducted into the New Jersey High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
Prior to his success coaching high school football, Dean was quarterback of the 1951 Bucknell football team that went 9-0. Dean would become the fourth member of that team's offensive backfield to be enshrined into the university's hall of fame.
Dean, who earned honorable mention honors on the All-Pennsylvania team in 1951, quarterbacked a Bison offense that set an Eastern Conference record of 462.6 yards per game. He passed for 1,224 yards and eight touchdowns in his career and averaged over 18 yards per completion while leading Bucknell to a combined 21-5 record.
A memorial service for Dean, a native of Washington, D.C., will be held at a later date in Silver Spring, Md.