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49ers Hall of Famer Dave Wilcox dies at age 80

“The Intimidator” had to wait 21 years, but he wound up in the Hall of Fame

2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Former 49ers outside linebacker Dave Wilcox died Wednesday at the age of 80. Wilcox, who played 11 seasons with the Niners, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000 after waiting 21 years.

Wilcox was known was one of the greats in franchise history and was believed to be ahead of his time, specifically in coverage, where he registered 14 career interceptions during his career.

But Wilcox wasn’t limited to just a coverage player, as his nickname “The Intimidator” speaks for itself. The 49ers released a press release for Wilcox:

The San Francisco 49ers are saddened to hear of the passing of former 49ers linebacker Dave Wilcox on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at the age of 80.

A Pro Football Hall of Fame selection (2000) and Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame inductee (2009), Wilcox was originally drafted in the third round (29th overall) by the 49ers in the 1964 NFL Draft. He played his entire 11-year career in San Francisco. Considered to be one of the best outside linebackers of his era, Wilcox, whose nickname was “The Intimidator,” was known for his ability to disrupt plays and not let his matchup get off the line of scrimmage, whether it was to block or get into a pass route.

Wilcox appeared in 153 games as a member of the 49ers (1964-1974), which is tied for the second-most by a linebacker in franchise history, missing only one game throughout his career. His 14 career interceptions are tied for the most by a 49ers linebacker. His best NFL season came in 1973, when he recorded 104 tackles, 13 for a loss, two interceptions, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times (1966, 1968-73) in addition to being named All-NFL by the Pro Football Writers of America three times (1971-73) and an Associated Press All-Pro three times (Second-Team – 1966, First-Team – 1971-1972). Wilcox was also the recipient of the team’s Len Eshmont Award in 1967, which is voted on by the players and given to the 49er who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont.

A native of Ontario, OR, Wilcox was born on September 29, 1942. He attended Boise Junior College, earning NJCAA All-America honors before transferring to the University of Oregon for his final two seasons. During his senior season at Oregon, Wilcox played guard and defensive end. His work at defensive end shined during the Hula Bowl when he earned Outstanding Lineman honors for the game. He also made appearances in the Coaches’ All-America Bowl and the College All-Star Game.