December 3, 2008

Santa Clara Final Four Star Dallas Brock Passes Away

Dec. 3, 2008

One of the key members of the Santa Clara University 1952 Final Four men's basketball team, Dallas Brock `52, passed away on Sat., Nov. 29. He was 81. He is survived by his two sons and a daughter: David, Christian and Candyce '84.

The Brock family is having a small family-only service in Marin this weekend. The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, people make contributions to the Bronco Bench Foundation to support basketball scholarships.

"As far as basketball is concerned, his senior year, he was the best defensive player on the West Coast if not in the country," said former teammate Bob Peters `52. "His senior year, of all the games he played, he always guarded the highest scorer and only three ended up scoring double-figures against us. He was one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He was very unique."

Peters recalled a day the two went to lunch after the funeral of former coach Bob Feerick. "We went in for a one-hour lunch. Before I knew it we sat down with 15-20 guys we had met in the restaurant and we left at 5 pm that afternoon. That was Dallas. I don't remember even paying a bill. All we did was talk and eat. And by the way, he was supposed to go back to work," said Peters. "He had such an appeal as a people-person. People were so drawn to him. He will be missed. It's such a shock to me because he was a dynamic force in my life and to so many others."

The year Santa Clara went to the Final Four, Brock came off the bench and helped lead Santa Clara to a 68-59 first round win over No. 19 UCLA by shutting down UCLA's best player, Jerry Norman. The game was played in the first-ever West Regional in Corvallis, Ore. The win over the Bruins made it two straight wins over UCLA that year as Santa Clara won 66-59 on Feb. 2, 1952 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, Calif.

Santa Clara then defeated Wyoming 64-53 in Oregon to advance to the Final Four at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle. In Seattle, they were matched up with the No. 8 team in the country, the Kansas Jayhawks, who defeated Santa Clara 74-55 before moving on to the win the title. Jayhawk three-time All-American center Clyde Lovellette dropped 44 points on the Broncos that evening.

The Broncos fell 74-55 before losing to No. 2 Illinois, the Big Ten Champion, to finish as the fourth-best team in the country that season - the Broncos' best finish ever.

Brock lettered for the Broncos from 1949-52 and also graduated from USF law school. As a senior in 1951, he was listed as 6'3 and 185 pounds. He lettered three times for the Broncos as a varsity player and once with the J.V team. His senior year he played in 24 of the 29 games, scoring 4.4 ppg, hitting 28 of his 44 free throws.

He graduated from Lowell High School in San Francisco. He served 18 months in the U.S. Army prior to coming to Santa Clara and made 15 jumps as a paratrooper. He went to Menlo Prep his freshman year.

Bronco head coach Bob Feerick described Brock prior to his junior year as a good defensive player. "Dal is a good defensive man and rebounds well on the offensive back board. He is a good passer and sets his teammates and thus, leaves most of the scoring to them," said Feerick.