Frederick Rudolph "Fred" Dean (born February 24, 1952) is an American football player in the National Football League. His career started with the San Diego Chargers in 1975 and ended with the San Francisco 49ers after the 1985 season. Dean was born in Arcadia, the seat of Bienville Parish in north Louisiana. His family moved twenty miles west to Ruston, where he graduated from Ruston High School.
Dean was a standout at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, having spurned an opportunity to play for legendary coach Eddie Robinson at nearby Grambling State University, which at the time was sending African American players to the NFL on a yearly basis. Dean excelled as an All-Southland Conference defensive tackle during his collegiate football career at Louisiana Tech.
Dean was drafted by the Chargers in the 2nd round (33rd overall pick) 1975 NFL Draft. Dean recorded 15½ sacks in 1978 . In 1979, the Chargers won the AFC West division while leading the AFC in fewest points allowed (246) and Dean was named to the All-AFC team. The Chargers again won the AFC West in 1980, with Dean teaming with fellow 1975 Charger draftees Gary "Big Hands" Johnson and Louie Kelcher as the Chargers led the NFL in sacks (60). Dean and Johnson were named 1st-team All-Pro, with Kelcher being named 2nd-team All-Pro. The trio, along with Leroy Jones formed a defensive frontline that was locally nicknamed the Bruise Brothers, coined from a popular act at the time, The Blues Brothers. In 1981, Dean, was traded to the San Francisco 49ers due to a contract dispute with Chargers' ownership . Dean contends he was making the same amount of money as his brother-in-law who was a truck driver . The Chargers' defense would not be the same afterwards, and Don "Air" Coryell's Chargers teams are now most remembered for its high-scoring, pass-oriented offense that did not have enough defense to make it to a Super Bowl.