The San Francisco 49ers lost one of their own on Wednesday as former head coach Monte Clark has passed away at the age of 72.
Clark shares the rare distinction of getting fired from the 49ers – under owner Eddie DeBartolo – after one season, in which the team went 8-6 in 1976. Clark had a long and storied career.
Clark was an offensive lineman for USC before being drafted by San Francisco in 1959; he spent thre seasons there before moving to Dallas for one season. He then finished his playing career with the Cleveland Browns, retiring in 1969.
Clark spent his early coaching career with the Miami Dolphins under head coach Don Shula and was the coach on the undefeated team of 1972. Clark then moved on to the 49ers, where despite sporting an 8-6 record, was fired; he would then become the Detroit Lions’ head coach in 1978 and would remain there for seven seasons, taking the Lions to the playoffs in 1982 and 1983.
He concluded his coaching career as offensive line coach at Stanford from 1993-94 and the University of California at Berkeley (1998).