Dean Ray Brittenham of Lyons Colorado and former Escondido resident, died at his home in Lyons on his 84th birthday. He was born June 25, 1931, in Brady, Nebraska to Oliver (Jim) and Nevah Murphy Brittenham. He married Beverly Ann Jones in Brady, Nebraska on January 2nd, 1953. Beverly died in 2005. Dean married Carolyn Kanka on April 7, 2007. He graduated from Brady High School in 1949. He was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 for his outstanding athletic accomplishments in football, basketball, and track. After graduating from high school he attended the University of Nebraska on a basketball scholarship for two years.
He enlisted in the Navy and served for four years, after which he returned to the University of Nebraska to complete his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. He continued his education at the University of Colorado where he received his master’s degree. His first job was teaching high school physical education and coaching track in Bakersfield, CA. He was then hired as the assistant track coach at the University of Kansas. He went on to his first head track coach college position at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He then joined the University of Nebraska as an assistant track coach and pioneered the strength and conditioning program for the football team. After the Cornhuskers’ two back-to-back national championships, Dean was considered the leading authority of strength and conditioning in the nation. In 1972 he was hired by the University of Colorado football team as an athletic development coach and west coast recruiter. He later became the head cross country and track coach at CU. In 1984 he left Colorado to coach for three professional teams: Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, and Indiana Pacers. He was also the director of Athletic Development at the prestigious National Institute for Fitness and Sport in Indianapolis.
Dean and Bev moved to San Diego in 1995 where he established the Shiley Elite Athletic Excellence Program at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla. He worked with professional athletes at Scripps until his retirement. Some of the notable professional and Olympic athletes he trained include: Gale Sayers, Venus and Serena Williams, Jim Courier, Steve Finley, Dale Murphy, Art Burns, and Abigail Spears. Some of the notable teams he trained were the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Orioles, New Orleans Saints, Utah Jazz, and Chicago Cubs. He also worked with the USA Olympic Volleyball, Bobsled and Gymnastic teams and a synchronized ice dancing team. He led athletic developments clinics in Iceland, Hungary, Israel, Czechoslovakia, and Saudi Arabia. He also wrote several articles and co-authored the book ‘Stronger Abs and Back’ with his son, Greg. Upon his retirement in 2001, Dean and Bev returned to their home in Lyons, Colorado. He never really retired, as he continued to train high school, college and professional athletes, how to become a better athlete and ‘whole brain’ thinker. He also founded ‘Brain in the Bag, LLC’ to promote ‘brain breaks’ for students throughout the school day to enhance learning. He enjoyed playing cribbage, driving in the mountains, hiking, exercising at the YMCA, collecting antiques, and spending time with his family and friends.
Dean was a member of LifeBridge Christian Church and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and served as the National Director for FCA Summer Camps for many years. He faithfully served the Lord throughout his entire life and we have joy knowing that he is in Heaven with Jesus. He is survived by his second wife Carolyn of Lyons; two sons, Steve Brittenham and his wife Sue of Longmont, Greg Brittenham and his wife Luann of Haines, Alaska; a sister, Molly Rundle and her husband Paul of Brady, Nebraska; five grandchildren, Ben Brittenham and his wife Sarah of Denver, James Brittenham and his wife Bethany of Firestone, Beau Brittenham of Portland, Oregon, Maxwell Dean Brittenham of Broomfield, and Rachel Brittenham of Haines, Alaska; 4 great grandchildren, Josiah, Micah, Ella Beverly and Caleb Brittenham all of Firestone; and friend Abigail Spears of Colorado Springs, whom he considered a granddaughter. Visitation will be from 5-7pm, Monday, June 29, 2015 at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel. A funeral service will be at 10am, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at LifeBridge Christian Church, 10345 Ute Hwy, Longmont. Nebraska funeral services will be Thursday, July 2, 2015 at Brady United Methodist Church in Brady, Nebraska with interment to follow at the Brady Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dean and Beverly Brittenham Scholarship fund (which provides college scholarships for Brady High School Graduates) and sent to Ahlberg Funeral Chapel, 326 Terry Street, Longmont, CO 80501. Visit www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com to leave condolences.