Remembering 49ers Receiver Dwight Clark

Basketball certainly has our attention, as the Golden State Warriors continue their quest to win a third NBA championship in four years. We must, however, pause for a moment to remember Dwight Clark — a 49er — who passed away from ALS earlier this week.

Joe Montana may have put it best in a statement he issued shortly after Dwight’s passing, describing him as a “vibrant charismatic soul!!” Sports talk radio stations were inundated with calls from people who just happened to meet him, and found him incredibly gracious  — always taking time to chat with earnest attention. We found that very same thing to be true when we ran into him at the San Jose airport. A desire to simply say thanks for all the incredible memories turned into prolonged and delightful conversation.

A native of Kinston, North Carolina, Dwight played collegiately at Clemson before he became a 10th-round pick of the 49ers in the 1979 NFL draft. As the story goes, legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh discovered Dwight when he was at Clemson to scout quarterback Steve Fuller. As Dwight was heading out to play golf, he got a call from Coach Walsh asking him to handle receiving duties for Fuller in the workout. The coach came away so impressed with Dwight, who had just 33 catches and three touchdowns in 34 college games, he decided to draft him.

Dwight spent his entire nine-year career with San Francisco, earning two Pro Bowl berths and a pair of Super Bowl titles. He still ranks third on San Francisco’s receiving yards list (6,750), fourth in receptions (506) and seventh in touchdown receptions (48).

It is said that in his first training camp, he and Joe Montana tried to hide from coaches, both fearing that they might be cut from the team any minute. Neither knew then the legends they would become.

To learn more about Dwight and his career, please click here.

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