Original 49ers player passes away

Bob Titchenal, a charter member of the 49ers and former San Jose State head coach, died Sunday in Santa Rosa. He was 91.

Mr. Titchenal, a native of Ventura, was a football and basketball star at San Jose State earning varsity letter awards from 1937 through ’39.


A 6-foot-2, 190-pound center on the football team, Mr. Titchenal helped the Spartans compile a 35-3-2 win-loss record in three seasons. As a senior, he was an honorable mention All-America player and captained the 1939 team that finished with a 13-0 record. Dudley DeGroot was the head coach with legendary Pop Warner serving as the advisory coach.


Mr. Titchenal played professional football as a center and end for the Washington Redskins (1940-42) of the National Football League (NFL). In ’42, he played on the Redskins’ NFL Championship game and he was named to the Pro Bowl.


He played for the first 49ers team in 1946. The 49ers played in the All-America Football Conference. The next season he played for the Los Angeles Dons of the AAFC.


Mr. Titchenal interrupted his professional football career to serve in the Navy during World War II and attained the rank of lieutenant.


Mr. Titchenal’s coaching career began in 1948 at West Virginia as an assistant to DeGroot. He made stops as an assistant coach at New Mexico (1949-50) and Denver University (1951-52). He was the freshman team’s coach at the Southern California in 1956.


Before Mr. Titchenal returned to San Jose State in 1957 as head coach, he served as New Mexico‘s head coach for three seasons (1953-55). The Lobos were 5-3-1 in his first season and he was named the Skyline Conference Coach of the Year.


Mr. Titchenal coached eight seasons at San Jose State compiling a 33-54-1 win-loss record. His overall record as a college football head coach was 45-61-2.


Super Bowl-winning coach Dick Vermeil, a quarterback on the 1957 Spartans, and quarterback Chon Gallegos, the 1961 NCAA passing leader, are among the best known players he coached at San Jose State.


The late Bill Walsh (1931-2007), a San Jose State graduate and three-time Super Bowl winning coach, assisted Mr. Titchenal in his first year as the Spartans’ head coach according to Barbara Titchenal, his wife of 67 years.


His wife, Barbara; three sons, Gary, Alan, and Robbie; and three grandchildren, Michael, Christy and Matthew, survive Mr. Titchenal.


A memorial service is planned and details will be announced in the near future.


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