CAMDEN, NJ — Jeff Dean, the longtime athletic director of Rutgers University-Camden, died suddenly early Tuesday morning, according to the university. He was 58.

Dean joined the Rutgers-Camden athletic department in 1993, when he became head baseball coach. He was named interim athletic director on Dec. 31, 2002, when his predecessor, Edward Cialella, retired. The following April, the university made him the director of athletics and recreational services.

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The Haddon Heights resident took over an athletic department with 12 varsity teams. Under his leadership, the university added men’s and women’s indoor track teams and re-instated the long-dormant men’s and women’s tennis squads, according to the university

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The Division III athletic program now has 17 varsity teams.

Under Dean’s leadership, the Scarlet Raptors accomplished several program milestones. In 2003, the women’s basketball team captured the university’s first New Jersey Athletic Conference title — the first of several within the athletic department. The softball team clinched Rutgers-Camden’s first Division III national championship in 2006.

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Dean also oversaw all campus-recreational activities.

“Coach Dean was a cherished member of the Scarlet Raptor family for over 30 years, joining as head baseball coach in 1993 and rising to the role of athletic director in 2003,” the university said in a statement. “His decades of service in that position were characterized by athletic excellence and immeasurable impact as a colleague, mentor, and friend to so many in our Rutgers–Camden community.”

In 1987, Dean began serving as an assistant baseball coach for his alma mater — Bridgewater College in Virginia, where he lettered for four years. Dean then became an assistant coach at Salisbury State from 1989-93.

Dean succeeded Jack Hopkins as Rutgers-Camden’s head baseball coach in 1993. Two years later, he assumed another responsibility by accepting a 10-month assignment as coordinator of intramurals and recreational services.

With the program’s expansion and facility development, Dean became the full-time coordinator in June 1998. He stepped down as baseball coach to fully devote himself to the university’s intramural and recreation programs.

He was promoted to assistant director of recreational services in 1999.

A cause of death has not been shared. Funeral arrangements are pending, according to Rutgers-Camden.

He is survived by his wife Kate and sons Jack, Andrew and Jeffrey.

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