I am scrapping my normal 5 Burning Questions piece this week. Instead I am dedicating this to my father.

Growing up my dad was a tremendous athlete. He loved baseball, Mickey Mantle was his hero growing up, and he played it every chance he got. As he was nearing the end of high school he was good enough to have scouts from the Philadelphia Phillies come to town to watch him play, and offer him a contract to play for one of their farm teams. He did not sign that contract, instead he chose to stay in that small town and raise a family with his high school sweetheart.

Together they raised three children, a daughter and two sons. He taught them everything he knew, and passed along his love of athletics to each of them.

Whether it was cheerleading, football, or a baseball game he was there. He never missed anything. As a youngster I remember him telling me after a baseball game one day, "There's nothing that I enjoy more than to watch my kids compete."

And compete we did. My brother and I both played football in high school, quarterbacks, and then went on to play at the junior college level. Eventually I went into coaching, and my brother joined me on my coaching staff. Friday nigh lights belonged to our family. I can still see my dad hopping over the fence onto the field to congratulate us after winning a game that would send our team into the playoffs. I think he may have been more excited than we were.

Along the way he also shared his love for all of the local sports teams with us. Whether it was the 49ers, Giants, Warriors, or Stanford, we would go to games every year. He took me to see Willie McCovey, sat with my brother next to RC Owens, and took me on summer vacations to Rocklin where I was able to stand feet away from legends such as Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice and Bill Walsh as they went through training camp and at times scrimmaged.

It wasn't all perfect though. My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that effects the ability for nerves to talk to each other and eventually leaves the person unable to move their muscles. My father spent 20 years taking care of her every day. As a family friend reminded me of today, he would actually carry her from her wheel chair into the stands so she could watch our games. And believe me when I say that his devotion went much deeper than that.

He was always there for all of us, in good times and bad. And it wasn't just us. This was a man who would take water out to the garbage man on a hot day, mow the grass for an elderly next door neighbor without being asked. He never hesitated to help anyone else, never asking for anything in return.

A few years after mom had passed he remarried. Not long after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and soon after came another diagnosis of Parkinson's. As was true to his nature he met the daily challenges by competing with dignity and grace.

He lost his battle this morning. Leaving behind a legacy that makes his children, extended family and friends proud.

For this week I want to pass along to the 49ers the same advice that he would give me before every game: Do your best, have fun, and most importantly KEEP YOUR COMPOSURE.