Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Theodore “Ted” William Connolly recently passed away in Gardnerville at age 82.
Connolly, who had been battling acute myelocytic leukemia, died on Feb. 24, 2014 at his Gardnerville home.
Connolly played in 92 games during 10 seasons in the NFL, nine with the 49ers from 1954-62. He earned All-Pro honors as right guard in 1962. Connolly retired after one season with the Cleveland Browns in 1963.
The 49ers compiled a 57-52-3 record during Connolly’s time with the franchise, highlighted by an appearance in the 1957 NFL championship game against the Detroit Lions. The 49ers — who then featured such stars as Y.A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny and R.C. Owens — lost that game 31-27 at Kezar Stadium after leading 24-7 at halftime.
The 1963 Browns were 10-4 with a lineup that included future Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who rushed for what was then a NFL single-season record 1,863 yards (still a Cleveland franchise record).
Connolly was born on Dec. 5, 1931, in Oakland, Calif., to William Eugene Connolly and Dora Ray Waterman.
He attended Piedmont High School (1946-49), where he was All-Alameda County for three years in football as well as track and field (he also lettered in baseball and basketball). He attended the University of Santa Clara, where he was an All-Catholic All-American tackle in 1951. When Santa Clara dropped football, he transferred to Tulsa University, Oklahoma, and graduated in 1953.
He was quoted about his attitude: “In high school, I was a believer in what you put out can happen to you. There’s no reason why it can’t. All it takes is total commitment, getting in touch with being 100 percent in everything you do. I’m not going for 100 percent. I’m actually starting from 100 percent.”