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Ex-Bears line coach Haupt passes away

Former Bears defensive line coach Dale Haupt, who was on Mike Ditka's staff with the famed 1985 Super Bowl champions, passed away Tuesday after a long battle with an illness. He was 88.

Haupt spent eight of 18 years in the NFL coaching the Bears defensive line under head coaches Neill Armstrong (1978-81) and Mike Ditka (1982-85). In Chicago, Haupt coached Hall of Famers Dan Hampton and Richard Dent as well as Al Harris, Mike Hartenstine, Steve McMichael, Jim Osborne, Alan Page and William "Refrigerator" Perry.


Dale Haupt spent eight seasons as Bears defensive line coach.

Haupt coached a Bears defense that is still considered among the best in NFL history.

"It was an amazing collection of defensive linemen and he was very vital in the success that we had," Hampton told "He was an old-school coach. He didn't want to be your friend. He wanted to challenge you and work you and make you pay a price. Over the years me being old school you come to appreciate so much what he meant to us.

"He was such a great guy. He loved us and respected us. With so many coaches it's almost like their main preoccupation is, 'Where's my next job?" And 'How much am I going to get paid?' Dale Haupt wanted us to be the greatest defensive line. That's all that mattered to him. We loved him for forever and a day. He was such a great man."

When defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan left the Bears to become Eagles head coach in 1986, Haupt went along with him and spent 10 seasons as Philadelphia's defensive line coach through 1995. With the Eagles, Haupt coached Jerome Brown, Clyde Simmons and Reggie White.

Haupt entered the NFL after spending 18 years as a college coach at Tennessee (1960-63), Iowa State (1964-65), Richmond (1966-71), North Carolina State (1972-77) and Duke (1978).

According to his obituary:

Haupt was born in Manitowoc, Wis., and earned his toughness growing up on the family dairy farm and working in their restaurant, while playing football and baseball and participating in Gold Glove Boxing.

Haupt played college football at Wyoming, where he was a team captain, team MVP and all-conference selection.

His wife, Frances, is a native of Laurinburg, North Carolina, where she still resides. His son, Mac, a college football player and alum of Wake Forest University and Duke University, has four sons: David, Duncan, Daniel and Dylan. His daughter, Helen, a nurse and graduate of Wake Forest University, has three children: Barry, Spencer and Mary.

A celebration of Haupt's life will be held on Friday, April 20, at the First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC, at 2 p.m. with a reception to follow.

In lieu of gifts or flowers, donations to the Mary Claire Kaufman Scholarship Endowment will be accepted, in care of: The University of Wyoming Foundation, 222 South 22nd Street, Laramie, WY 82070." Online memorial gifts can be made on this secured webpage:

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