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49er Coach Succumbs to Cancer

Pro football: McKittrick worked with five Super Bowl-winning teams in 21 years as offensive line coach.

March 16, 2000|From Times Wire Services

PALO ALTO — Bobb McKittrick, the San Francisco 49ers' gritty offensive line coach who worked with five Super Bowl-winning teams in 21 years, died Wednesday of cancer. He was 64.

McKittrick was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in January 1999 and died at Stanford University Medical Center.

The former Marine Corps officer was known for taking his military training onto the field, instilling the virtues of hard work and dedication in his players. He favored shorts and T-shirts on the sidelines during practice, no matter the temperature.

"Bobb McKittrick has been universally acclaimed as one of the great coaches of our time," 49er General Manager Bill Walsh said. "He was the most successful offensive line coach the game has ever seen. His spirit and standard of excellence will always be a part of the 49ers' tradition."

McKittrick's on-field coaching duties were assumed by Pat Morris last season, but McKittrick stayed involved with the 49ers despite undergoing surgery and chemotherapy.

A native of Baker, Ore., McKittrick started his coaching career in 1961 as an assistant with his alma mater, Oregon State. He also coached at UCLA and with the Los Angeles Rams before returning to Oregon State for graduate work in 1973. He returned to the NFL as an assistant with the San Diego Chargers the next year and joined Walsh's staff with the 49ers in 1979.

The 49ers honored McKittrick with a special halftime tribute during a home game against the Tennessee Titans last season.

The longtime assistant is survived by his wife of 42 years, Teckla, his sons Mike and Ladd, and two grandchildren.

Memorial services were scheduled for Monday at St. Pius Church in Redwood City.

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