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Joe Dean (born April 26, 1930) is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, having been inducted in the 2012 class as a contributor to the game.
A native of New Albany, Ind., Dean was a starter on his high school team at New Albany High School, including a stint as the team's captain during his senior year. Following high school, he chose to attend LSU, where he was a member of the LSU basketball team from 1949 through 1952, earning All-SEC honors three times. He was also a three-time member of the SEC All-Tournament Team, the only player to earn such distinction prior to the tournament's suspension in 1953 (it was later resumed in 1979). In the Spring of 2008, Dean was voted on to the LSU All-Decade Team for the 1950s in an online vote by fans at the school's official website. The next year, he was voted onto the LSU All-Century Team.
Dean was the very first LSU player to be selected in the NBA Draft, taken 10th overall by the Indianapolis Olympians in the 1952 NBA Draft. He instead chose to play for the Bartlesville Phillips 66ers of the National Industrial Basketball League. In the 1956 U.S. Olympic Trials, the 66ers won the tournament and were awarded five players to the U.S. Olympic Team. Dean, despite being fourth on the team in scoring in the tournament, was not one of the five choices. He was subsequently named an alternate to the team. In 1958, he was an NIBL All-Star.
In 1966, Dean began a basketball camp just outside of Baton Rouge, La., at Lake Side Oaks. Later, in 1974, he moved the camp to Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, Miss., where the camp has been held each July ever since. It is believed to be the longest running basketball camp in the United States. The camp will be in its 48th year in 2013 with Joe Dean, Jr., serving as the camp director.
Dean is most famous for his work as a color analyst for Southeastern Conference basketball games, which he covered for 18 years. He coined the phrase "String Music" and is also known for other phrases such as, "el stufferino" and "Lexington, K-Y." During his run, he worked with NBC, TBS, ESPN, TVS and Jefferson Pilot.
Dean gave up announcing in April 1987, when he took over the athletic director post at his alma mater, LSU. He served from April 1987 through the end of the 2000 calendar year, with the LSU's 2000 Peach Bowl victory over Georgia Tech being his last official event as athletic director. During his tenure, Dean oversaw arguably the greatest athletic era in school history. The LSU baseball team won five national championships (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000) while the men's and women's track teams accounted for 22 national championships combined, including an unprecedented 11-consecutive NCAA Outdoor Track and Field championships by the women's team. At the time of his retirement, the 27 national championships under Dean's guidance were an SEC record.
The LSU football team won one SEC Championship (1988), two SEC Western Division Championships (1996, 1997) and four bowl victories (1995, 1996, 1997, 2000) in his 14 years. Among Dean's final major decisions at the helm of the athletic department were to hire Nick Saban as the football coach and John Brady as the men's basketball coach.
Saban led LSU to SEC Championships in 2001 and 2003 as well as the school's first national championship in 45 years in 2003. Brady guided LSU to the 2000 SEC Championship and 2006 Final Four before being fired during the 2008 season. After Dean's 14 years, he was succeeded in 2001 by former baseball coach Skip Bertman.
In the Summer of 2007, Dean was named the 18th most influential person in the history of the SEC by the Birmingham News. He was also chosen as one of the top voices in the history of the conference, placing seventh according to the Birmingham News. The lists were created in honor of the league's 75th Anniversary.
Dean married the former Doris Hall of Marksville, La. in 1952 and the two were together for 50 years. He is the father of three children, Joe Jr., Mardi and Mark. Joe Dean, Jr., is a well-respected athletic director at Division III Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Ala., and played college basketball at Mississippi State. Mark played college basketball at UL-Monroe (then Northeast Louisiana).