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Dimler, USC Lineman in Mid-70s, Dead at 44

October 03, 2000|DAVID WHARTON

Rich Dimler, the rough-and-tumble New Jersey native who played nose guard for USC's 1978 national championship team, died Saturday of pancreatitis. He was 44.

Dimler was the anchor of the Trojans' defensive line in the mid-1970s, big and bearded, his words thick with the accent of Bayonne, N.J. He was a four-year letter winner who served as co-captain of the championship team.

"Where he came from, you had to be tough just to walk down the street for breakfast," said Marv Goux, a former USC assistant coach. "He was the kind of guy you'd want on your side when the fight started."

But Dimler also was remembered for being popular with teammates and an accomplished student. As a senior, he was chosen for both all-conference and academic All-American. His performance on the field earned him a spot in the 1978 East-West Shrine game.

After college, Dimler spent a season each with the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers before ending his playing career with the Los Angeles Express of the USFL. For the last 15 years, he owned a trucking and air freight delivery business in Inglewood.

He is survived by his wife, Tracy.

Goux kept in contact with Dimler and last saw him with former USC All-American Brad Budde at a football function about a year ago.

"Rich didn't say anything [about being sick]," Goux said. "But that sounds like Rich. He wouldn't say anything. He had all the qualities of a real man."

A viewing will be held on Friday from 2 to 9 p.m. at Green Hills Mortuary in Rancho Palos Verdes. The memorial service will be Saturday at 1 p.m.

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