Blanton Collier decided to go home on Feb. 10, 1954.
Collier, a Kentucky native and the most trusted and valued member of head coach Paul Brown’s staff since the Browns’ inaugural season of 1946, announced that he was leaving to take the head coaching job at the University of Kentucky.
He was replacing the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant, who had gotten the job at Texas A&M. Four years later, Bryant would go to Alabama.
In their eight seasons together, Brown and Collier coached the Browns to eight league championship games and five titles -- four in as many tries in the All-America Football Conference, from 1946-49, and then in the NFL in 1950.
As good as Collier was, Brown and the Browns moved on without him, capturing the NFL championship, in both 1954 and ’55, and making it to the league title game again in 1957.
Collier was dismissed at Kentucky following the 1961 season and returned to Brown’s staff in Cleveland as an assistant the next year.
After the 1962 season, Brown was dismissed and Collier was named head coach. He stayed on the job for eight years, guiding the Browns to the 1964 NFL title, before having to retire because of an acute hearing problem following the 1970 season.
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