Chris Dufresne, heralded college football writer, dies at 62


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Dufresne, an award-winning former sports writer for the Los Angeles Times, has died. He was 62.

He died suddenly Monday while dining with his family at home in Chino Hills, 30 miles east of Los Angeles, according to a Times staff memo posted Tuesday on Facebook.

“Chris had been awaiting the results for what appeared to be a late-stage melanoma recurrence,” the memo said.

Dufresne got a job working on the loading docks at the Times after graduating high school in 1976. His father worked in the newspaper’s transportation department for 37 years.

In 1981, he became a clerk covering high school sports at the Times’ Orange County bureau. Dufresne continued rising at the paper, serving as national college football and basketball columnist from 1995-2015, when he accepted a buyout and left. In 2011, he was selected California Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

“He was a good guy and had a national reputation as being an exceptional college football writer,” said John Nadel, a retired Associated Press sports writer who worked many of the same games with Dufresne over the years.

In 2016, Dufresne co-founded, teaming with other former newspaper sports writers Tony Barnhart, Mark Blaudschun and Herb Gould on the subscription website dedicated to college football.

“College football probably is the only thing I’m attached to as a writer,” Dufresne told “I love it because it is all interconnected with every aspect of society and life. Everyone went to a school somewhere. There’s nothing else like it.”

Born in Fullerton, Dufresne grew up in La Habra and graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1981 with a degree in journalism.

He is survived by wife Sheila and sons Drew, Daniel and Joey.


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