Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Text Size

Dean Brittenham, 84 - June 25, 2015

Dean Ray Brittenham, 84, of Lyons, CO, originally of Brady, died at his home on his birthday, Thursday, June 25, 2015.
Services will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, at the Brady United Methodist Church with interment at the Brady Cemetery.
A visitation will be conducted from 1 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, with family members present from 5 to 7 p.m. at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel in Gothenburg.
Brittenham was born June 25, 1931, at Brady to Oliver (Jim) and Nevah Murphy Brittenham.
He graduated from Brady High School in 1949, and was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 for his outstanding athletic accomplishments in football, basketball and track.
After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Nebraska on a basketball scholarship for two years. He enlisted with the U.S. Navy and served for four years, after which he returned to the University of Nebraska to complete his bachelor’s degree in physical education.
Brittenham then continued his education at the University of Colorado where he received his master’s degree.
He was united in marriage to Beverly Ann Jones in Brady on Jan. 2, 1953.
Brittenham began employment with his first job as teaching high school physical education and coaching track in Bakersfield, CA. He was then hired as the assistant track coach at the University of Kansas. He went on to his first head track coach college position at Occidental College in Los Angeles, then joined the University of Nebraska as an assistant track coach and pioneered the strength and conditioning program for the football team.
Following the Cornhuskers’ two back-to-back national championships, Brittenham was considered the leading authority of strength and conditioning in the nation.
In 1972, he was hired by the University of Colorado football team as an athletic development coach and west coast recruiter. He later became the head cross country and track coach at CU.
In 1984, he left Colorado to coach for three professional teams including the Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots and the Indiana Pacers. He was also the director of Athletic Development at the prestigious National Institute for Fitness and Sport in Indianapolis.
Brittenham and his wife moved to San Diego in 1995 where he established the Shiley Elite Athletic Excellence Program at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla. He worked with professional athletes at Scripps until his retirement. Some of the notable professional and Olympic athletes he trained include Gale Sayers, Venus and Serena Williams, Jim Courier, Steve Finley, Dale Murphy, Art Burns and Abigail Spears. Some of the notable teams he trained were the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Orioles, New Orleans Saints, Utah Jazz and Chicago Cubs. He also worked with the USA Olympic volleyball, bobsled and gymnastic teams, and a synchronized ice dancing team as well. He led athletic development clinics in Iceland, Hungary, Israel, Czechoslovakia and Saudi Arabia, and also wrote several articles and co-authored the book “Stronger Abs and Back: with his son, Greg.
Upon his retirement in 2001, Brittenham and his wife returned to their home in Lyons. He never really retired as he continued to train high school, college and professional athletes on how to become better athletes and “whole brain” thinkers. He also founded “Brain in the Bag, LLC” to promote “brain breaks” for students throughout the school day to enhance learning.
His wife, Beverly, passed away in 2005. On April 7, 2007, he married Carolyn Kanka.
Brittenham enjoyed playing cribbage, driving in the mountains, hiking and exercising at the YMCA, said family members, as well as collecting antiques and spending time with his family and friends.
He was a member of LifeBridge Christian Church and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and served as the national director for FCA Summer Camps for numerous years. He faithfully served the Lord throughout his entire life, and his family have joy knowing that he is in Heaven with Jesus, according to family members.
Survivors include: his second wife, Carolyn of Lyons; two sons—Steve (Sue) Brittenham of Longmont, CO, and Greg (Luann) Brittenham of Haines, AK; a sister, Molly (Paul) Rundle of Brady; five grandchildren—Ben (Sarah) Brittenham of Denver, CO, James (Bethany) Brittenham of Firestone, Beau Brittenham of Portland, OR, Maxwell Dean Brittenham of Broomfield and Rachel Brittenham of Haines; four great-grandchildren—Josiah, Micah, Ella Beverly and Caleb Brittenham, all of Firestone; a special friend he considered as a granddaughter, Abigail Spears of Colorado Springs.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Dean and Beverly Brittenham Scholarship fund, which provides college scholarships for Brady High School graduates, and sent to: Ahlberg Funeral Chapel, 326 Terry St., Longmont, CO 80501.