Dean (Coach) Porter
Died: January 19, 2015 (Columbus, Ohio)
Dean Porter signed with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Big Four at the end of a stellar college career in 1957. The 6-foot, 212-pound fullback played in several exhibition games for the Rough Riders in 1957, but was a late release as coach Frank Clair pared his roster to fulfill the limit on a dozen imports.
He was proclaimed “a happy acquisition” by the Ottawa Citizen when his signing was announced. Clair said the player went undrafted by the NFL because he had already declared his interest in playing north of the border. “They knew he was signed,” Clair said, “so they didn’t even bother to draft him.”
Porter received favourable notice by the Citizen in at least two exhibition games.
In 1961, he finished his playing career with the Columbus Colts of the semiprofessional United Football League. The Colts lost the league championship game to the Grand Rapids Blazers by 20-7.
He had made the varsity football team as a walk-on at the University of Miami at Ohio in 1954. He earned three letters and was the starting fullback on Miami’s undefeated season in 1955. He was named All-Mid American Conference in 1956, as well as All Ohio.
He had gone to college after a spectacular prep career, which culminated with him scoring four touchdowns in his final game as a senior for Mount Sterling (Ohio) High.
A real-estate salesman while he in college, he served as a high school football coach in his hometown for 27 years.
One of his high school players, Harold Dunn, started for Indiana University in the 1968 Rose Bowl. Business leaders in Mount Sterling raised money to send the coach to watch the game at Pasadena, Calif., which was won by the University of Southern California Trojans by 14-3. Trojans tailback O.J. Simpson was named player of the game.
Porter, a resident of Mount Sterling, died at age 80 at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus.