Ross Browner, 2-time Notre Dame All-American and former Cincinnati Bengals, dies at 67

Ross Browner, a double All-American at Notre Dame and one of four brothers who played in the NFL, has died. He was 67 years old.

Browner’s son, former NFL offensive lineman Max Starks, posted on Twitter early Wednesday morning that his father had passed away.

“The world has lost a Titan,” Starks said. “Our hearts are heavy but he is at peace now.”

Hailing from Warren, Ohio, Browner was part of a family of accomplished footballers. The defensive end was the oldest of six brothers who were high school football stars in Ohio. Three others – Jimmie Browner, Keith Browner and Joey Browner – followed Ross into the NFL.

Starks played the offensive line in the NFL for a decade, winning the Super Bowl twice with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Ross Browner’s youngest son Rylan played college football in Arizona.

Ross Browner was a starter at Notre Dame for four years, helping the Fighting Irish to national titles in 1973 and 1977 under coach Ara Parseghian.

Browner was an All-American in 1976 as a junior, winning the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top lineman.

As a senior in 1977, Browner was again an All-American. He won the Maxwell Award for the country’s best player, Lombardi, which goes to the country’s best lineman, and was fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Browner still holds the school records for career tackles by a defensive lineman at 340 and career tackles for loss at 77.

The Cincinnati Bengals selected Browner eighth overall in the 1978 NFL Draft, and he immediately became a starter on their defensive line.

Former Cincinnati wide receiver Isaac Curtis told he fondly remembers Browner’s big laugh.

“You could hear him everywhere. He brought sunshine into the locker room. He just had that energy that was contagious,” Curtis said.

Browner was part of the first Bengals team to reach the Super Bowl in 1981. He recorded 10 tackles and one sack against the San Francisco 49ers in a 26-21 loss.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

After football, Browner pursued several business opportunities, eventually working in real estate and settling in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ross is survived by his wife, Shayla, and two sons.

Comments are closed.