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Texas Tech assistant coach, ex-NFL player Brown dies

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech assistant coach Dave Brown, who played for the Seattle Seahawks and other NFL teams for 16 seasons, died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack suffered while he played basketball on campus, the school said.

"Dave lived a great life that anyone could be proud of," Tech coach Mike Leach said in a statement. "He will be missed, but we are honored to have had the opportunity to know him."

Brown, who had coached the Red Raiders' secondary since 2001, would have turned 53 on Monday.

"This is a tremendous loss to not only the Texas Tech family but also to the many lives Dave touched throughout his life," Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers said. "He had a tremendous influence on everyone he came in contact with, including the student-athletes and people he worked with here in our department."

He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers during his pro career. He coached cornerbacks for the Seahawks from 1992-98.

At Pittsburgh, Brown was part of the Steelers team that won Super Bowl X against the Dallas Cowboys. He was picked up by Seattle in the 1976 expansion draft. He remained in Seattle for 10 more seasons before finishing his pro career with the Packers in 1990.

A 1984 All-Pro selection, Brown holds the all-time record in Seattle with 50 career interceptions. He finished his career with 62 career interceptions, tying with Dick LeBeau for seventh-most all-time in the NFL. Brown tied an NFL record with two interception returns for touchdowns Nov. 4, 1984, against Kansas City.

Brown had hoped to be in Seattle this Saturday for a reunion of members of the Seahawks' "Ring of Honor" at Qwest Field but an obligation in Lubbock was keeping him from attending. The ceremony will take place at halftime of the Redskins-Seahawks NFC divisional playoff game.

The Seahawks announced Tuesday night they will observe a moment of silence for Brown at Saturday's game "to reflect upon not only a great football player but also a great man," said Seahawks chief executive officer Tod Leiweke.

Brown was one of seven members of the "Ring of Honor." He was the defensive captain on the last Seahawks team to win a playoff game in 1984.

Quarterback Jim Zorn played with Brown from 1976-84.

"I'm totally numb. It really is a shock," said Zorn, now Seattle's quarterbacks coach. "I just talked to him recently, while he was out on the recruiting trail for Texas Tech. Obviously, there were no signs anything was wrong.

"We just lost a really good friend," he said.

Tight end Charle Young, who played with Brown from 1983-85, also remembers Brown as supremely fit.

"He stayed in shape, even into his 40s," Young said, adding Brown was one of the best racquetball players anyone in Seattle ever knew.

"I loved Dave Brown," said Gary Wright, vice president for administration for the Seahawks. "I didn't know anyone who didn't love Dave Brown."

Brown was a unanimous All-America in 1974 at Michigan and garnered All-Big Ten honors for three years there. He was also named to the school's All-Century team. He garnered All-Big Ten honors from 1972-74.

He is survived by his wife, Rhonda, and two sons, Aaron and Sterling.