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Former Penn State Running Back Gary Brown Dies at 52

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 02: Wisconsin Badgers Runnning Backs coach Gary Brown looks into the crowd durning warmups prior to a college football game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Wisconsin Badgers on October 2nd, 2021 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI. (Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire)

Former Penn State running back Gary Brown died Sunday at his home in Williamsport after a battle with cancer at the age of 52.

Brown played at Penn State from 1987-90, rushing for 1,321 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was moved to defensive back in 1989 before moving back to running back as a senior. 

Brown was selected in the eighth round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. He was a part of the run and shoot offense led Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon. His best season in Houston came in 1993 when he rushed for 1,002 yards and scored six touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards a carry. After a brief stint with the San Diego Chargers in 1997, Brown again eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in 1998 with the New York Giants. His last NFL season was in 1999.


After his playing days, Brown went on to be an assistant coach at Williamsport High School from 2000-02, then became the running backs coach at Lycoming College from 2003-05. After leaving Lycoming, Brown spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Susquehanna University and spent 2008 as the running backs coach at Rutgers. 

He then became the running backs coach for the Cleveland Browns from 2009-12, where he helped Peyton Hillis rush for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011. He went on to be the running backs coach for the Dallas Cowboys from 2013-19, where he helped Demarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliot win NFL rushing titles in 2014 and 2016, respectively. 

Browns last coaching stop was at the Wisconsin, where he coached the running backs last season  before his medical issues forced him to take an off-field role with the program.

Brown is survived by his wife Kim, and his three children.


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