A man who led the LSU athletics department for fourteen years and played for the school before that has died. Joe Dean was 83 years old.
LSU released the following:
LSU basketball great, athletics director, Converse salesman, longtime television analyst and National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame member Joe Dean died early Sunday in Baton Rouge at 83.
Funeral services to be held this week in Baton Rouge are pending. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations be made to First United Methodist Church at 930 North Blvd. in Baton Rouge.
Few men have influenced the game of basketball as diversely as Dean. Born April 26, 1930, the New Albany, Ind., native was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference and three-time All-SEC Tournament Team member at LSU from 1949-52, and was drafted by the Indianapolis Olympians in 1952. He was an alternate on the 1956 U.S. Olympic team and played on the first U.S. team to tour Russia. Dean was named to LSU Basketball's All-Century Team in 2009.
Dean led the Tigers in scoring in 1950 and '51, and was second to fellow Hall of Famer Bob Pettit in 1952. In 1952, he became the second player to score 1,000 career points at LSU.
Dean not only loved the game of basketball, but had a unique talent of sharing that passion. As a promotions and marketing executive with the Converse Rubber Company, from 1959-87, he was an advocate not only for the Converse products but promoting the game wherever he traveled. Dean signed promotional contracts with the top coaches nationally, with numerous hall of fame players including Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and was a highly sought speaker and clinician.
Dean died one day before the anniversary of his National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame induction. On Nov. 18, 2012, Dean was part of a 10-man class of players and contributors who entered the prestigious hall in Kansas City, joining Pettit and Pete Maravich as the only LSU representatives.
Beginning in 1987, Dean served his alma mater as director of athletics for 14 years, longer than any person in the history of the school. During his tenure, the athletics department donated more than $7 million to the academic side of the university and added more than $50 million in facility improvements. LSU won 27 national championships and 40 SEC titles during Dean's tenure.
Additionally, Dean served alongside former Voice of the Tigers the late John Ferguson and later Tom Hammond as the analyst for SEC basketball, starting on TVS and including such networks as NBC, Lorimar, ESPN, Turner Sports and Jefferson Pilot/Raycom from 1969-1987. There, he coined the legendary phrase "String Music" to describe a jump shot that swished the net. This catch phrase was passed on to his son, Birmingham-Southern Athletics Director Joe Dean Jr., who continues his father’s tradition on the SEC-TV broadcasts of the league.
In the summer of 2007, Dean was named the 18th most influential person in the history of the SEC by the Birmingham News. He was also chosen as one of the top voices in the history of the conference, placing seventh.
One of his most famous basketball teaching events, the Dixie Basketball Camp that he started just outside Baton Rouge in 1966, continues today as one of the oldest and most popular summer camps in America at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, Miss., now under the direction of Joe Jr.
Along with the Naismith Hall of Fame, Dean is a member of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Dean married the former Doris Kernan Hall of Marksville, La., in 1952 and the two were together for 50 years before her death. Dean is survived by his three children: Joe Jr., Mardi and Mark; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.