49ers legend Dave Wilcox passes away at 80 years old

San Francisco 49ers linebacker (64) Dave Wilcox Mandatory Credit: Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY NETWORK
San Francisco 49ers linebacker (64) Dave Wilcox Mandatory Credit: Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY NETWORK /

The 49ers lost one of their own legends on Wednesday, as Hall of Fame linebacker Dave Wilcox passed away at the age of 80 years old.

The San Francisco 49ers have boasted plenty of legendary linebackers over the years, but only a handful of them have ended up being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

One of those illustrious few, Dave Wilcox, sadly passed away on April 19, 2023, at the age of 80 years old from an announcement from the Hall of Fame and shared by NFL.com’s Grant Gordon.

From the press release:

"“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,” Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a statement on Wednesday. “He transformed the outside linebacker position — one of the many feats that earned him a forever home in Canton.“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s wife, Merle, and their entire family. We will preserve his legacy for generations to come.”"

Wilcox was enshrined in Canton, Ohio, with the Hall of Fame class of 2000.

Dave Wilcox had a legendary career, all with 49ers

Hailing from the University of Oregon, Wilcox broke into the league as a third-round pick of the Niners in the 1964 NFL Draft. He was simultaneously drafted in the sixth round that same year by the Houston Oilers in the AFL Draft but ultimately chose San Francisco.

Wilcox subsequently spent 11 seasons with the 49ers, finishing his career with seven Pro Bowl nods and two first-team All-Pro selections during that span.

Read More: Creating the Niners’ all-time team across franchise history

It’s unfortunate he predated the Niners’ glory years of the 1980s, as his career came to a close after the 1974 season.

Still, Wilcox played in 153 games and started 144 of them, and he also managed 36.5 sacks and 14 interceptions during his storybook career.

He’ll be missed and will forever be part of The Faithful.

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