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Story Archives: Chase dies at age 76
|Chase dies at age 76|
Dan Chase, who led Vidalia High's football team to its first-ever district championship in 1961, died June 1 at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.
Chase was 76 and a resident of Baton Rouge.
He was buried Saturday, June 4, at Resthaven Gardens of Memory in Baton Rouge.
Chase replaced Walter Stampley as football coach at Vidalia High in 1958 when Stampley took over has principal of the school.
"Dan was an excellent math teacher and usually when you find a good teacher you have a good coach," Stampley said. "He was a hard worker and very enthusiastic. He was a real go-getter. He was always interested in the kids. He was good for us."
Chase went 5-5 in his first season in 1958 and led the Vikings to a winning record, 5-4 in 1959.
Under Chase, the Vikings went 11-0 in 1961, including a perfect 5-0 record in district for the school's first district title.
Sicily Island also finished 5-0 in District 3B and the two teams had to play each other to decide the championship. Vidalia won the game, 32-6.
The Vikings had to play Plain Dealing two days later and fell in the first round playoff contest, 13-7.
Vidalia repeated as district champions the following year, going 7-3-1, but lost to South Cameron 14-13 in a first-round playoff contest.
In Chase's final year in 1963, the Vikings went 10-1, losing a district game to Newellton.
Chase was in his first head coaching job at Vidalia High and was the youngest high school head coach in Louisiana football history at the age of 23. He compiled a 44-16-2 record at Vidalia.
Chase coached the 1962 Vidalia team which shut out Ferriday 13-0 at Melz Field, the first time in about 20 years the Bulldogs were held scoreless on their home field.
Chase was replaced by Fred Foster, who was an assistant coach under Chase.
"Dan was the best I ever coached with," Foster said, attempting to hold back the tears. "He was a good teacher and a disciplinarian. He didn't have to tell something but once. He was a good motivator and had his players ready to play. He believed in fundamentals."
Chase played football at Northwestern with Ferriday's James "Red" McNew in the 1950s.
Chase was a guard, while McNew played quarterback.
"Dan was a hard worker and a real student of the game," McNew said. "He did a lot of good things for Northwestern. We played against each other in high school, then were teammates after that. I am really going to miss him."
Chase was brought to Vidalia by former Ferriday head football coach Hugh Bateman because Bateman was looking for a math teacher.
Chase was also the founder of Dan Chase Taxidermy Supply and enjoyed success as an entrepreneur by pioneering the mass production of polyurethane mannequins for taxidermy uses.
Chase is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lilly Waltman Chase, two daughters, Martha Chase Bryant and spouse Kevin, and Lisa Chase Potter and spouse Gary; grandchildren, Jason and Jeremy Blakeney, Jake Causey and wife Christon, Josh Causey and wife Melinda, and Jared Causey; great-grandchildren, Jade Blakeney, Emmie Cooper, Trent, Jaycee, and Brant Causey; siblings, Martha Chase Moss and Edgar "Poop" Chase; sister-in-law, Louise Cooley; brother-in-law, William Waltman and wife Faye; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family asked that donations may be made to the Hope Center in Marksville or the Natchez Children's Home in Natchez.
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