BATON ROUGE, LA (WVLA) — His name is synonymous with LSU Sports. Both as a basketball player and later athletic director, Joe Dean certainly made his mark. Dean passed away Sunday.
Passionate, fun-loving, and a leader are just a few words people, like Dan Borne, Ron Higgins, and Bud Johnson, who knew Joe Dean would describe him.
"I was shocked when I heard he had died. I think any time you lose a friend of this statue, of a Joe Dean, it becomes a shock. It's going to take some getting used to. I'm going to miss him," Borne said. "He was frank. He was a shaker and a mover. He was a guy when he decided to do something, he went ahead with it."
"He loved his family. He loved his profession. He had a love for people," Higgins said. "All the way from what he did at LSU to his broadcast career, to his shoe contract, to basketball camp that just finished it's 47th year in Mississippi."
Many people know Dean's name for a few reasons. He was an LSU basketball star. He was athletic director for more than a decade. He's the guy who hired Nick Saban, and he oversaw nearly 30 LSU National Championships and 40 SEC Championships. However, to those close to him, he was much more than that.
"He ran a basketball camp where two of my kids learned out to play basketball. It was Joe Dean and his sons and all of those coaches that helped develop my kids into basketball players and to young men," Borne said. "I'll always appreciate that."
"He's the kind of guy that won't be forgotten. He touched a lot of lives. He would always try to help somebody," Johnson said.
"The person that had the most profound effect on my life just died. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for him," Higgins said.
Visitation for dean will be held tomorrow from 6 to 8 P.M at Rabenhorst Funeral Home on Government Street. Funeral services are on Wednesday at 11 A.M. at First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge. Joe Dean was 83 years old.