Dean Weber, who trained Razorbacks for decades, dies at 78

Arkansas trainer Dean Weber is shown during a game against Missouri State on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005, in Fayetteville. (Andy Shupe/NWA Democrat-Gazette)

FAYETTEVILLE — Dean Weber, one of the longest-serving employees in University of Arkansas athletics history, passed away Tuesday evening, school officials confirmed to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Weber, 78, had been in poor health for a long period of time, a close friend of the family said. A native of Chantilly, Va., Weber took a job on the training staff with the Razorbacks in 1973, replaced head athletic trainer Jim Bone after spring football that year and went on to serve in that role for eight head football coaches over the next 35 years.

Weber went on to work in the Razorback Foundation for several years and at the time of his induction into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 his 41 years of service was believed to be the third-longest tenure of anyone in Razorback athletics behind the legendary Frank Broyles and Norm DeBriyn.

“Sad, sad day for so many former RazorbackFB players and coaches in the death of our trainer, Dean Weber,” former Arkansas player and assistant coach Tim Horton posted on X. “The greatest ever, who loved, cared and served so many Razorbacks for over 50 years!”

Weber did not miss a football game during his tenure as head athletic trainer, working 416 games through the Cotton Bowl after the 2007 season.

Marvin Caston, former Arkansas fullback and Razorback Foundation senior associate director called Weber a “true legend” in a text message with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

“Dean Weber was a dear, dear friend we lost today. We are so heartbroken,” added long-time ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen.

Weber was well known within the UA athletic department by not only caring for but befriending hundreds of athletes over the years, including close friend Darren McFadden, the two-time All-American and College Football Hall of Fame inductee.

“That’s one of the things that brought us closer together,” McFadden said of Weber’s humor in 2018.

Weber was inducted into the UA Sports Hall of Honor in 2000 and he had an endowed scholarship in his name, created by the seniors on the 1979 Southwest Conference championship team, in the master’s program for athletic training.

“I’m more proud of that than anything,” Weber told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2018. “That’s a big deal to have a scholarship named after you.”