Former Ohio Football Quarterback and Head Coach Cleve Bryant Dies at 75

Former Ohio Football Quarterback and Head Coach Cleve Bryant Dies at 75

ATHENS, Ohio – Former Ohio quarterback and head coach Cleve Bryant died Tuesday morning (January 31). He was 75 years old.

Bryant played for the Bobcats from 1965 to 1969, earning All Mid-American Conference honors in 1967 after leading Ohio to its third conference championship. The Bobcats won consecutive MAC championships, winning again in 1968, winning Bryant 1968 MAC Player of the Year. Bryant was drafted in the 11th round of the 1970 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He was inducted into the Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Citrus Bowl Hall of Fame in 1988.

Bryant returned to Ohio as head coach for the 1985 season, becoming the third black football coach in NCAA Division I history. He coached the Bobcats from 1985 to 1989.

Bryant began his coaching career in 1977 as an assistant coach at Miami. There he worked with quarterbacks and wide receivers. The following year, he accepted a position as quarterbacks coach at UNC Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels won the 1980 Atlantic Coast Conference championship and qualified for three bowl games from 1978 to 1981.

Bryant left Chapel Hill in 1982 to become running backs coach for the New England Patriots. Under his leadership, the Patriots finished second and fifth in the race in 1982 and 1983, respectively.

He had two more stints as wide receivers coach – Illinois (1990-91) and Texas (1992-94) – before returning to Chapel Hill as wide receivers coach and scouting coordinator where he worked for College Football Hall of Fame coach Mack Brown. from 1995-97. In 1998, Bryant was named assistant athletic director for the Texas Longhorns. In 2000, he became assistant athletic director for the Longhorns and remained in that position until his retirement in 2011.

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