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Browns defensive legend Bill Glass passes away

Glass, 86, spent seven seasons in Cleveland as a defensive standout


Bill Glass, a four-time Pro Bowler who spent seven seasons (1962-1968) with the Browns and is regarded as one of the franchise's all-time greatest defenders, passed away Sunday at 86 years old.

Glass, born in Texarkana, Texas, spent 10 years in professional football after a decorated college career at Baylor, where he became an All-American offensive guard in 1956 and was eventually voted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985. When Glass reached the professional ranks, however, he switched to the defensive side of the ball and opted to begin his career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League after the Lions drafted him 12th overall in 1957. Glass started his NFL career with the Lions one year later.

After four years in Detroit, Glass and two other players were traded to Cleveland in a deal that sent QB Milt Plum and two other players to the Lions. Glass was a premier player on the Browns' defense and was named a Pro Bowler in four of his seven seasons in Cleveland ('62, '63, '64, '67). He was also a pivotal player for the Browns when they won the NFL Championship in 1964. 

Sacks were not an official statistic during Glass' era, but he was regarded as one of the top edge rushers in the game and one of the most destructive defenders in franchise history. Glass retired after 11 NFL seasons in 1968 and was inducted into the Browns Legends program in 2007.

After retirement, Glass shifted his life focus toward providing services for prison fellowship — he founded his own ministry, "Bill Glass Behind the Walls," which has partnered with numerous communities and correctional facilities "to assist the Church by equipping and igniting Christians to share their faith in Jesus Christ." Glass also wrote multiple books about advising young men on life skills.