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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One of the best football players in the history of the Cape Fear region has died. Whiteville High School alum and former NFL Pro Bowler Chester McGlockton is dead at the age of 42. He died overnight in California.

McGlockton was in his second year as an assistant football coach at Stanford University.

Whiteville has a rich sports history. McGlockton is a huge part of that tradition. In fact McGlockton earned All-America honors during his time in Whiteville.

He went onto play college football at Clemson. He was a first round NFL draft pick in 1992 of the Los Angeles Raiders. McGlockton played 12 seasons in the NFL.

Two years ago he was inducted into the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame. At the news conference prior to the event the four-time Pro Bowler was more than happy to talk about his hometown and his weight when he played for the Whiteville Wolfpack.

“This is what I weighed actually in my last year in high school,” McGlockton said in May 2009. “I was 285 my last season in high school, and this is exactly what I weigh now. I played at about 330 in professional, which nowadays is an average NFL lineman, but at the time I came in was a big lineman.”

According to reports, McGlockton was at home with his family in California early this morning when he woke up short of breath. Shortly after that he the 42-year-old appeared to suffer a heart attack.

McGlockton is survived by his wife Zina and their two children.

“Everyone in the Stanford Football family is deeply saddened by the passing of Chester McGlockton,” Stanford head coach David Shaw said. “For the past two seasons, Chester has been a valuable member of our football staff and a wonderful friend to us all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chester’s wife Zina and their two children.”

McGlockton played in the NFL with the Raiders (1992-97), Kansas City Chiefs (1998-00), Denver Broncos (2001-02) and New York Jets (2003). He made all four of his Pro Bowl appearances while with the Raiders (1994, ’95, ’96 and ’97). McGlockton finished his 12-year NFL career with 51 sacks including a career-best of 9.5 in 1994.

A three-year standout at Clemson, McGlockton earned his undergraduate degree from Tennessee-Martin in 2010.

Before earning all-ACC status at Clemson, he earned All-State and All-America honors at Whiteville High School.

McGlockton led the ACC in sacks as a freshman in 1989 and helped Clemson to a top-10 ranking in 1990. In 1991, he earned first team All-ACC honors while spearheading Clemson’s top-ranked rushing defense which helped the Tigers to the ACC title. He had 20.5 sacks in his three-year Clemson career.

McGlockton spent 2009 as an intern coach at the University of Tennessee under current USC and former Raiders coach Lane Kiffin. McGlockton accepted a defensive assistant position at Stanford in 2010 under current 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest7890

    Even if you didn’t go to Whiteville HS, you’d heard of him. RIP.

  • LAM

    OMG I’m in tears….while living in Whiteville, my ex-husband who is from Whitevilee, NC coached him in high school and I remember him telling me he knew for sure Chester would make it to the pros and he was in like 10th or 11th grade then….so sad. My prayers are with his wife and children.

  • Guest1966

    You’re absolutely right, I moved to Wilmington in November of 86′, and even I had heard of him out there in Whiteville, tremendous talent, for an athlete, tremendous loss, as a person!

  • Pigford’sworker

    I remember Chester in High School when he would come by the fastfood restuarant where I worked. He loved his double cheeseburgers. During that time he was a well-mannered, polite young man who seemed to be everybody’s “buddy”. Chester McGlockton was one of the best things ever to come out of Columbus County. I know everyone in Whiteville and Columbus County is sending their thoughts and prayers to his family.

  • Guest574

    During my school days, Chester McGlockton and Patrick Lennon were some of the greatest athletes to ever play h.s ball.In the same company as Michael Jordan and Kenny Gattison. The 80’s were the glory days in Southeastern N.C for turning out superb talent.RIP.

  • J

    I played at Fairmont High School and when Chester came to town or we played Whitevill everyone got nervous. He was the most dominent highschool player I’ve ever seen.


  • sweet p

    I will never forget the 1987 state championship game. Chet scored a td and whiteville went on to capture the state championship. It was a time and place I’ll never forget. RIP Chet!


    I just can’t believe it, a legend, a star, and just an all around sports icon. This hits hard, living in the Wilmington area for so many years and learning his sibling from college, made me a great fan of his. You will be missed. RIP Chester…

  • Guestlastnitte

    I played against him in High School 3rd round of the 1987 2a playoffs, ED vs Whiteville. My prayers go out to his family

  • friends way back

    Very sad news. He was a friend to all and he never forgot where he came from. After making it in the pros, he did what he could to help others have a chance. He never forgot those that helped him-how many do that these days. All of the countless shoes that he donated to the high school basketball program (yes, he played basketball too), golf fundraisers, the list goes on. He gave with no strings attached.
    He was a bit of a prankster back in the day. The two of us shared a class together in a mobile unit.
    When it would rain, we would race to get there first and lock the other one out to get soaked. It was funny then and still funny thinking about it. There are many and I do mean many funny stories that most everyone from Whiteville can share with you if you went to school with him. He was the POSITIVE INFLUENCE on the circle that he ran with back in the day.
    On the field he was called “a Man Among Boys”. He effortlessly moved players to the side, literally single handedly clearing the field. It was a privilege to be your friend. Rest in peace.

  • Guest22

    Sorry about the loss. He was a great guy. That being said, it is interesting that he did not graduate from Clemson but intend got a “degree” years later from an unknown place called “Tennessee-Martin”. College sports has ruined the notion of academics or being a “student-athlete”.

  • Guest2345

    A pleasure to watch if you like watching dominating and rare, talented players. My school, Fuquay Varina, played against him in 1987 2A high school football playoffs in second round. I remember how hard he and his other lineman team mates hit that night and how they looked like a championship football team. We didn’t have an answer for him that night. Like all of the Whiteville teams throughout the 80’s, he was an imposing force to be reckoned with. We ran into Whiteville a few times in the playoffs during that decade and they were always a tough and extremely talented group of players and you knew you were going up against a team that had a tradition of winning and dominating. We met them twice also previously in the early eighties and later on in 89′.


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