Machinery accident leaves former football assistant who coached four NFL players in critical condition

Dick Dichiara coach four future NFL players during his Delta tenure -- Facebook
Dick Dichiara coach four future NFL players during his Delta tenure -- Facebook

The heroic act of a local sheriff's officer may have helped save the life of a beloved former assistant football coach from the Sacramento, Calif., area.

Dick Dichiara, 70, who coached several future NFL players on Clarksburg (Calif.) Delta High's sectional titles teams of the 1970s, remained in critical condition on Wednesday following a machinery accident over the weekend, according to a Sacramento Bee report.

While drilled holes on his olive orchard, "a massive push auger" fell on and pinned Dichiara, severing his left leg above the knee, the report said. First responder El Dorado County Sheriff's Officer Bill Turnbull applied what could be a life-saving tourniquet.

Dichiara also suffered two broken ribs and a cardiac arrest as paramedics attempted to revive him, the paper reported. The loss of large amounts of blood had left Dichiara unconscious as brain activity tests returned inconclusive on Wednesday.

"He's my hero," Dichiara's daughter, Lisa Kramer, told The Bee of her father, "and to hear so many others talk about what this man means to them means a lot to us."

Dichiara was as an assistant under Joe Miller in the 1970s and '80s, when future NFL players Scott Barry, Tony and Bo Eason, and Dan McQuaid led the Saints football team to back-to-back small-school sectional titles. He also served as principal at Delta until 1990.

After retiring as principal, he continued to mold young minds as a counselor and coach at nearby Shingle Springs (Calif.) Ponderosa High, according to the report.

"Coach has no sense of the impact he's had on people's lives," a member of Delta's 1977-78 sectional title teams, Jeff Dominguez, told The Bee. "He thinks no one remembers him. We all remember him."

Dominguez established a "Dick Dichiara Recovery Page" that already has nearly 400 supporters on Facebook. Here are the two most recent post from that page.

  • "Just a quick update. He had a stable night. Will know more later. Thank you all for the continued support."

  • "Not much new to report. They are checking his lungs for an infection. But he is stable and his blood pressure has come down."

Another area coach, Sacramento (Ca.) Rio Linda High track and field coach Marion Adams, recently died during another horrifying freak accident, impaling himself on a metal swing gate in the school's parking lot while riding his bike.
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