Naval Academy star, coach dies

Updated: April 3, 2013, 6:27 PM ET
By Field Yates | ESPNBoston.com

Henry Richard "Dick" Duden Jr., a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., died Sunday. He was 88.

Duden, who played and later coached at the Naval Academy, was drafted by the New York Giants and played professionally for a single season before returning to military duties.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

The Pottstown, Penn., native grew up in Englewood, N.J., before attending Phillips Academy, where he was a three-sport varsity athlete and is widely regarded as the best football player in the school's long history. He was inducted into the Phillips Academy athletics Hall of Fame in 2008, along with former U.S. president George H.W. Bush.

Duden began his coaching career in 1951 at the Naval Academy, serving as the head coach of the plebe squad (the school's team composed of freshmen). He would continue to serve in that role until 1954, at which point he spent six seasons on the staff of varsity coach Eddie Erdelatz.

During Duden's time working with the varsity staff, he coached alongside Steve Belichick, the father of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and a respected coach and scout for the Naval Academy for over three decades.

He would resume his duties as the coach of the plebe squad from 1960 until his retirement in 1973 and remained an active presence in the Annapolis community.

In comments to the Capital Gazette, Duden's son Dick Duden III remembered his father's sense of humor.

"What set my father apart was his tremendous sense of humor. That is what I'll always remember about him," he said. "Despite his many accomplishments, dad never took himself too seriously. He was a very funny individual and just had a great attitude and outlook on life."

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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