Dave Whitsell attended Shelby High School in Shelby, Michigan, a small town in West Michigan near Lake Michigan. He earned 16 high school letters in football, basketball, track, and baseball, graduating in 1954.
Professional Football Player. For twelve seasons (1958 to 1960, 1961 to 1966, 1967 to 1969), he played at the cornerback and defensive back positions in the National Football League with the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans Saints. Born David Andrew Whitsell, he attended Shelby High School in Michigan, and played collegiate football at Indiana University in Bloomington. He was chosen by the Detroit Lions in the 24th Round of the 1958 NFL Draft, and appeared in 36 career games with them. With the Chicago Bears he was one of the members of the 1963 winning National Football League Championship team which included Rosey Taylor, Richie Petibon, and future legendary coach Mike Ditka. The game which was played on December 29, 1963 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, pitted the visiting New York Giants against the Chicago Bears in the 31st annual event. The Bears beat the Giants 14 to 10. After three years with the Bears he became a Saint during the team's 1967 inaugural season. During the team's expansion draft, it was able to pick players from existing teams. He became the first member of the New Orleans franchise to play in the NFL's Pro Bowl Game. He also led the entire league in 1967 in interceptions with 10. After his retirement from football he became a real estate investor. He was also a member of the National Football League Retired Players Association and the Kenner North Kiwanis Club. He was inducted into the Western Michigan Hall of Fame in 1989 and the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 1996. He died from cancer.