Dec. 9, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut Division of Athletics lost a great friend on Saturday with the passing of Arnold Dean - the long-time sports director of WTIC NewsTalk 1080.
Dean's warmth on the air was matched by his geniality off-air. He was a thoughtful and comfortable person. Dean's broadcast career spanned 64 years, starting as a teenage broadcaster in his home town of Cortland, N.Y.
He cut back his work schedule in recent years, but never really retired -- taking "Husky Extra Points" calls in-studio two weeks before his death and co-hosting the "Tailgate Show" at Rentschler Field in the 2012 season.
Dean joined the WTIC family in July 1965 and often told the story of how Arnold D'Angelo came up with the air name, Arnold Dean, at the request of then-general manager Leonard Patricelli for a less ethnic name.
Starting in 1976, Dean hosted one of the earliest all-sports call-in shows, "WTIC SportsTalk with Arnold Dean," with a calm and even-handed demeanor. Over the years, Dean covered the range of sports in Connecticut, from UConn basketball and football, to the Greater Hartford Open from the Hartford Whalers to the Hartford Knights.
hough Dean may be best remembered as a sportscaster and sports talk show host, he was also an expert on the Big Band era, and hosted music shows, including "Meet Me on The Plaza," "Sunday Showcase," and "One Night Stand With the Big Bands." The Library of Congress now contains copies of his interviews with bandleaders and musicians featured on the program.
His wife, Helen, passed away last year. They had three children -- Arnold Junior, Mary, and Richie.
Here are some tributes to Arnold from the UConn family:
Former men's basketball coach and Special Advisor To The Director of Athletics Dee Rowe
"Arnold Dean was truly a treasure and one of God's special people. I have known Arnold since I came here over 43 years ago and I cherish those years. I don't think there could have been a kinder, gentler and more respected guy in his business. He so many lives in such a special way. The sports world has changed so dramatically over the years, but he helped keep it sane. He put everything in perspective and never made himself or his work bigger than the games. Arnold was devoted to Helen, his family, his faith and his profession. He was all about integrity, loyalty, dignity and style. He never changed and was always about what is good and right about sports. He always brought a purity and breath of fresh air to all of us and to be his friend is particularly special. I could never thank him enough for our friendships. I wish I had one more chance to tell him how much I care about him. There will only be one Arnold Dean."
Former men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun
"All of us at UConn are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Arnold Dean. Not only was he an icon of sports broadcasting in Connecticut, but also a true gentleman in every sense of the word. "The day I had my press conference after accepting the job at UConn, I was on Arnold's show that night and that began a wonderful 27-year relationship we both enjoyed. When Arnold Dean asked for an interview, I actually looked forward to it. He was extremely easy to talk to and listened to what you had to say. He was just an incredible guy. "His voice, so familiar to sports fans throughout the state, will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma
"Arnold is a reminder of an earlier age when gentlemen reporters were the norm. I had great respect for the work he did and more importantly for the person that he was. He was and always will be the Dean of Connecticut sports."