Greg Clark, a former 49ers and Stanford tight end, passed away Wednesday after battling a brain condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, his family announced.
Clark was 49. No further details of his death were immediately available, including how and where it occurred, although a family statement hoped his passing would lead to more insight on CTE.
“He was a phenomenal human being, with a burgeoning family, and I just feel terrible about the suffering he must have felt,” former 49ers quarterback Steve Young said in a phone interview with this news organization.
Clark’s family issued a statement that read:
“It is with great sadness we announce the unexpected passing of Greg Clark, 49, cherished husband, father, son, brother and friend to so many.
“Greg was a dedicated family man who was successful at everything he did, from his academic and athletic achievements as a Stanford scholar athlete to his role as a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, to the creation of a successful real estate platform throughout the Bay Area.
“Most importantly, he was a cherished and dedicated husband to his wife of 23 years. His recent suffering from CTE symptoms cannot extinguish the breadth and depth of his impact on us and others and we are forever grateful for the time we have had with him. It is our hope that through further research we can gain more knowledge surrounding CTE.”
Clark was a Danville resident and lived in the East Bay with his wife, Carrie, much of the past 20 years. Their son, Jayden, is a Dublin High graduate who’s played linebacker at Southern Utah since 2018.
Clark played at Stanford from 1995-96 and with the 49ers from 1997-2000. Primarily a blocking tight end, his 49ers career was highlighted by two touchdown catches in a Jan. 3, 1999 wild-card win over the Green Bay Packers, a victory clinched by Young’s last-minute touchdown pass to Terrell Owens.
Young, playing in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in South Lake Tahoe, was devastated as he learned of Clark’s death and how CTE may have factored into it.
“We’ve got to do better. We keep thinking we’re doing better I’m not sure,” Young said. “We’re working at it with the Golden Heart Foundation and reaching out. I just feel terrible.
“Greg was a great player. He was tough. A great teammate and a great 49er,” Young added. “And he’s gone way too early. It’s just devastating.”
The 49ers issued a statement expressing how they were “deeply saddened” to learn of Clark’s death, adding: “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
A Centerville, Utah native, he excelled at Viewmont High (Bountiful, Utah) before serving a Mormon mission in Illinois. He played at Ricks College before joining Stanford.
“Greg was an incredible person who touched everyone I’ve ever seen him meet,” said Steve Baker, Clark’s former agent and close friend. “He literally filled any room he was ever in with both warmth and integrity.”
So sad to lose a former teammate and a great man in Greg Clark. Anyone
who needs help, it’s out there. Please reach out to loved ones and let them know you care pic.twitter.com/4JfkQfxhMX
— Todd Husak (@ToddHusak) July 9, 2021
Former Stanford quarterback Todd Husak shared news on Twitter of Clark’s passing, adding: “So sad to lose a former teammate and a great man in Greg Clark. Anyone who needs help, it’s out there. Please reach out to loved ones and let them know you care.”
The family has yet to announce plans for a memorial service. A spokesman for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department would only confirm Clark’s age and residence but nothing further.