Nov. 30, 2011
CLEMSON, SC – Former Clemson All-ACC defensive tackle and NFL Pro Bowl player Chester McGlockton died in California on Wednesday morning. He was 42 years old.
The announcement was made by Stanford University, where McGlockton was in his second season as a defensive assistant. The cause of death was not immediately announced. Funeral arrangements are pending.
“Everyone in the Stanford football family is deeply saddened by the passing of Chester McGlockton,” Stanford coach David Shaw said in a statement. “For the past two seasons, Chester has been a valuable member of our football staff and a wonderful friend to us all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chester’s wife, Zina, and their two children.”
McGlockton entered Clemson in 1988 and red-shirted that season. He then played with distinction from 1989-91. The Tigers posted a 29-6-1 for the three years he played, including a 9-2-1 record in 1991 when the Tigers won the ACC Championship.
McGlockton made first-team All-ACC in 1991 and was a freshman All-American in 1989. He tied for the regular season ACC lead in sacks as freshman in 1989 with six, then had a seventh in the bowl victory over West Virginia. He sacked West Virginia quarterback Major Harris, then recovered the ball in the end zone of a touchdown.
The native of Whiteville, NC finished his career with 20.5 sacks, still eighth in Clemson history even though he played just three years. Clemson led the nation in total defense in 1990 and led the nation in rushing defense in 1991 with McGlockton starting on the defensive line along with future pros Brentson Buckner, John Johnson and Levon Kirkland. He turned professional after his junior season and was the 16th pick of the April 1992 draft by the Oakland Raiders.
McGlockton’s final NFL season was 2003 with the New York Jets. He also played with the Denver Broncos and Kansas Chiefs, as well as the Raiders. He registered 555 tackles, 51 sacks, 14 forced fumbles and four interceptions in his career. He played 12 years and 179 games in his NFL career, the top 10 totals among former Clemson players in the NFL.
He made four straight Pro Bowl trips starting in 1994, when he had a career-high 9½ sacks with three forced fumbles and 48 tackles for the Raiders.
McGlockton had a legendary high school career and was a second-team USA Today All-American at Whiteville High. He still holds the North Carolina Prep record for interception returns for touchdowns in a career with nine.
After turning pro in 1992, he bought shoes and uniforms for the Whiteville basketball team for more than a decade. He also purchased cleats annually for the football team. In 2000, in the twilight of his NFL career, he purchased state championship rings – estimated to cost $450 each – for the entire basketball team and the cheerleaders.
McGlockton was recruited out of Whiteville, NC to Clemson by current Clemson Associate Athletic Director for Football Operations Woody McCorvey, who was an assistant on Danny Ford’s staff in 1988.
“We had grown very close over the last five years,” said McCorvey. “In fact I talked with him yesterday. He didn’t talk a lot when he was younger, but he had developed a strong faith in recent years.
“Chester wanted to go into coaching. At the National Coaches Convention last January he told me he wanted to go into coaching because he wanted to give back to people who had done so much for him. He felt that was the best way to do it.
“We spent a lot of time at that convention together and I felt like I was with my son, helping him get into the profession. We also spent a lot of time together when he was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame last May.
“He was smart, a good husband and father. And, he was a great football player, the best defensive linemen I have ever been around.”
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