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Leading concussion expert, 49ers medical director dies unexpectedly

By Ryan Wilson |

Dr. Daniel Garza, the 49ers team medical director and one of the leading researchers in concussion research, died unexpectedly Tuesday at the age of 43.

Garza, who attended every 49ers game and was responsible for diagnosing concussions on the sidelines, was also an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and emergency medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine. His primary research focused on the prevention of traumatic brain injury in athletes.

"Dan Garza was very dedicated to sports medicine, to teaching human physiology and to his research to improve recovery and treatment outcomes for athletes," said William Maloney, professor and chair of the department of orthopaedic surgery (via "He was persistent in his desire to find solutions to one of the most concerning areas in our field, the prevention of concussions and head trauma. We are saddened by his loss and the loss to our profession."

The 49ers issued a statement following Garza's passing.

"The 49ers organization has been informed of a tragedy. We were saddened to learn Dr. Dan Garza died unexpectedly Tuesday. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this trying time."

According to, Garza did extensive research on the risk of concussions by fitting athletes in football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey with mouthpieces to measure the impact of their collisions.

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