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Logan, 42, died from blood clot


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 14, 1999

TAMPA -- It was the highest-rated portion of the Buccaneers radio broadcast, and David Logan was the star.

For the past eight seasons, Logan roamed the locker room after every Bucs game armed with a microphone. Somehow, he always cajoled thoughtful responses from players, whether it was a glorious win or an embarrassing loss.

"He was one of the few people who could do that because the players respected him," said Jeff Ryan, executive producer of WQYK Buccaneers Radio Network.

Players, colleagues, friends and fans respected the man who provided analyses during Bucs games and answers afterward, but on Wednesday they had only questions.

Logan, 42, a former Bucs player, died Tuesday night of natural causes.

In addition to his radio work, Logan hosted Sports Connection on Bay News 9 and worked as a college football analyst and reporter on regional broadcasts for Jefferson Pilot and CBS.

He also was a devoted father to his two children in Tampa and a loving son and brother to his family in Pittsburgh, where he grew up.

"He was my best friend," Logan's mother, Louise, said. "He was considerate, responsible and very kind and very good and caring about all of us. Anything I needed done financially, spiritually, materially -- all I had to do was let my son know I had a need and he was there for me, for all of us.

"He was the kindest, most considerate, sensitive man I've had the privilege of knowing."

Logan was at his apartment in the West Shore area Tuesday speaking on the telephone with a friend when he complained of breathing problems. When he stopped talking, the friend called 911 and paramedics rushed to his home at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Logan was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he died at 8:36 p.m. News of his death shocked friends and family because Logan was physically fit. He ran almost every day and also routinely worked out with weights.

"It just befuddles me that a person that healthy could pass away," said Gene Deckerhoff, radio voice of the Bucs and Logan's on-air partner since 1991. "I think we sort of take things for granted. I don't know if it's because we live in such a fast-paced world or what, but I always thought he would be there doing games with me."

The Hillsborough County medical examiner's office performed an autopsy. Dick Bailey, operations manager at the medical examiner's office, said Logan died after blood clots from his left leg broke loose and went to his lungs. When the clots blocked the vein running from his heart to his lungs, Logan went into respiratory failure.

Doctors at the medical examiner's office said there were a number of risk factors generally associated with clots: obesity, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, smoking, genetics and trauma. Whether Logan suffered trauma to his leg or was genetically inclined to clots is unclear, but he certainly was active and did not smoke or have diabetes.

"He was so young," said Larry Bonetti, assistant news director at Bay News 9, where a scholarship fund has been established in Logan's name. Logan first displayed his energetic approach to Tampa Bay in 1979 after he was drafted by the Bucs out of the University of Pittsburgh.

The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder was considered undersized to play nose tackle, but he became one of the Bucs' best defenders during his eight seasons with Tampa Bay, eventually starting 103 consecutive games. In 1984, he was named All-Pro. He finished his Bucs career in 1986 with 39 sacks and 624 tackles.

After one final season with Green Bay in 1987, Logan pursued a broadcasting career. His first major job was with WFLA-Ch. 8, where he worked with Tom Korun, currently host of a sports-talk show on WZTM-AM 820.

"As a player he was described as an overachiever," Korun said. "But I don't look at David Logan as an overachiever, I look at him as an achiever. I know what David Logan was like in one capacity, and that was his heart. David certainly had a heart and a love for the game."

Logan's passion for football and the Bucs helped make him a natural for the role of Bucs radio analyst. He was never demonstrative or outspoken on the air, but he always tried to improve.

"David always wanted tape, and David and I spent a lot of time talking about things on the broadcast," Ryan said. "Sometimes I think we were were hard on ourselves, but he always took input.

"We're not only going to miss a good broadcast partner, we're going to miss a good friend."

Although much of his adult life was spent in the spotlight, Logan was a private person. He was never aloof or unfriendly, but he seldom revealed details about his family. In 1990, he married Maxine Candace Myers and they had two children: David, now 12, and Katie, 7.

"You thrust a person in front of a camera and they perform for that period of time, but then there's that private side and the person needs to be alone," said Maxine, who was separated from David.

Said Louise Logan: "He was a private man and we were private people. There are some things that we owe the public and some things we don't."

David Logan also is survived by his sister Angela and brother Arthur. A memorial will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall, 8436 N Lois Ave., Tampa.
-- Times researcher Cathy Wos and staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this story.

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