Longtime sports editor Dan Creedon, whose Boulder Daily Camera sports section was annually recognized as one of the best in the nation, died Wednesday, July 3, 2013, while surrounded by many friends.
He was 75.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church, 3300 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO 80305. Immediately following Mass, burial will take place at Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church Cemetery, 6739 S Boulder Rd., Boulder, CO 80303. Following the burial, a reception will be held at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church.
Born March 17, 1938, to Daniel F. and Edythe G. Creedon in Glen Ridge, N.J., Dan's lifelong love for sports was cultivated as a youngster in places such as Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden, which he visited whenever possible with his father. A standout athlete in his own right, he earned a variety of accolades in his prep basketball career at Montclair (N.J.) State College High School, averaging 23 points per game as a self-confessed "gunner," and played in a New Jersey-New York all-star game his senior year.
Dan and his parents moved to Colorado in 1956 when Dan enrolled at the University of Colorado. He worked for the student paper at CU, where he discovered his passion for journalism.
Upon graduation, Dan worked briefly for the Grand Junction Sentinel before returning to Boulder in 1962 to join the Camera's sports department. He stayed at the Camera for 39 years, assuming the reins as editor in 1973 and holding that position until his retirement in June 2001.
Dan built the Camera's sports section into an award-winning product that annually earned Associated Press national recognition as one of the top 10 sections in the nation in its circulation category. His innovative approach kept the Camera's sports section at the forefront of the industry, and his groundbreaking ideas and strategies were copied by newspapers across the nation.
Dan was courted by larger newspapers from Kansas City to San Diego throughout his career, but he never wanted to leave Boulder, the University of Colorado and his home. He greeted each offer with a firm, "Thanks but no thanks." His only goal was to build the Camera's sports section into the best it could be, and he worked tirelessly toward that goal.
Dan was very proud of the young sports writers he hired, and he built a staff that was the envy of sports editors everywhere. Dozens and dozens of quality journalists launched their careers under Dan, and when those reporters chose to leave the Camera for new opportunities and challenges, he was their biggest supporter. Dan's protégés are currently spread throughout the nation, working at major metropolitan newspapers, national magazines and television networks.
Dan also built an incredible network of sources at every level in the sports world, from commissioners of major conferences to high-level NCAA officials to administrators at universities and colleges throughout the nation. Young sports writers who worked for him were always amazed at the number of people he knew and could call upon for information for a story in the Camera.
Dan also penned a popular column, "Looking Them Over," that became a must-read for Boulder sports fans.
While the Camera's sports section was known for its great coverage of college and professional sports in Colorado, Dan never let his emphasis on community sports wane. From Little League to youth swimming to high school sports, Dan made sure as many teams and as many sports as possible were covered in the Camera. He also stressed coverage of unique Boulder events, from the Bolder Boulder to the Coors Classic, believing that coverage of such events strengthened the community.
His belief that the Camera was first and foremost a community newspaper built a loyal following that made the paper a beacon for its owners and required reading for Boulder County residents.
To reach his high standards, Dan was known to routinely work seven days a week, sometimes going more than a year without taking a day off. That was despite him not driving for much of his career, instead often getting around by bike or on foot.
Among those who worked for him, Dan was always viewed as a demanding mentor who brought out the best in every one of his staffers, and to this day, many of his former employees still call him "the best boss ever."
Among community members and the people the Camera covered, he was always viewed as a tough but fair editor who offered criticism when necessary and praise when deserved.
Dan's special love for the University of Colorado was clear. He developed close relationships with administrators there, from Eddie Crowder to Fred Casotti to Bill Marolt, and his advice and counsel were sought on more than one occasion. Six different CU sports information directors who served during his time as reporter and editor will all say Dan was the consummate professional, a man they could take into their confidence, as they valued his opinion. He never took cheap shots, anything critical was researched and well-thought out ? and they will be the first to tell you that Dan was correct.
But Dan's world was by no means limited to sports. A voracious reader, he could debate everything from politics to economics with great intelligence, and was also a music aficionado, with his tastes covering the spectrum from classical to country.
More than anything else, however, Dan's love for his parents was unsurpassed. He cared for them throughout their retirement, making sure their every need was met.
A season ticket holder for the Colorado Rockies from Day One, both in Denver and at their spring training home in Tucson, Dan seldom missed a home game. He was also a season ticket holder for Buff football and basketball games (men's and women's), and was regularly seen at the Events Center in his perch high above the arena floor when the Buffs were playing.
There, Dan often "held court" with his friends and acquaintances, and anyone who stopped by to say hi. It was the same at the coffee shops Dan and his friends frequented.
While he never had a family of his own, Dan's true family extended across the nation. In particular, two young ladies, Jacey and Calena Lawson, became his "adopted" granddaughters, and he took great pride in attending their softball games, cross-country meets and other events.
Dan was preceded in death by both of his parents; and two aunts, Nora Creedon and Margaret Creedon.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Colorado Rockies Charity Fund, 2001 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80205-2000. All monies go towards youth programs in the Rocky Mountain Region for health and education.
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Published in www.denverpost.com on July 10, 2013
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