Dr. Daniel Garza, a leading researcher in concussion and brain-related injuries at Stanford University and the medical director and team physician of the 49ers, has died.

The university said in a news release Wednesday night that Garza died at his Bay Area home on Tuesday night. The cause of death was not immediately available.

Garza, 43, lived in Redwood City, the San Mateo County coroner's office said.

"The 49ers organization has been informed of a tragedy," the team said in a statement. "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."

Garza was 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.

Garza conducted extensive studies on the risk of concussions by fitting athletes, including Stanford football players, with mouthpieces that measure the impact and frequency of collisions.

"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 Dr. William Maloney, a professor and chair of Stanford's department of orthopedic surgery. "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."

  • Cal freshman swimming sensation Missy Franklin was named the Sportswoman of the Year for an individual sport by the Women's Sports Foundation at the 34th Salute to Women in Sports gala Wednesday in New York.

    Franklin was one of eight finalists for the award, a list that included Serena Williams, the top-ranked women's tennis player in the world. Others nominated were golfer Inbee Park, pole vaulter Jenn Suhr, figure skater Mao Asada, snowboarder Kelly Clark, skier Tina Maze and Paralympic track star Tatyana McFadden.

    Franklin followed up her performance at the 2012 Olympics, when she won four gold medals and a bronze medal, with a record-breaking six gold medals at 2013 FINA World Championships.

  • Sixth-ranked Washington (14-1, 6-1 Pac-12) swept visiting Cal 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 in women's volleyball. Adrienne Gehan had 16 kills and 11 digs for the Bears (10-6, 3-4).

    High schools

    Pittsburg running back Harris Ross has flipped his college commitment to Oregon State. The senior, who has 1,368 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in six games this season, had orally committed to Hawaii.

    Horse racing

    Golden Gate Fields' fall season, a 36-day affair, starts Thursday, with first post at 12:45 p.m. The meeting ends Dec. 15. Racing will be on a Thursday-through-Sunday schedule. There will be a Monday program on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

    Staff and wire services contributed to this report.