Tom Cousineau

Thomas Michael Cousineau (born May 6, 1957) is an American former college and professional football player who was a linebacker in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons during the 1970s and 1980s. He played college football for Ohio State University, and twice earned All-American honors. He was the first overall pick of the 1979 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the CFL's Montreal Alouettes and the NFL's Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers.

Cousineau is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, elected in the class of 2016.[1] He is also a member of the Ohio State Varsity "O" Hall of Fame, inducted in 1995, and St. Edward High School Hall of Fame. Cousineau was the recipient of the Silver Anniversary Butkus Award in 2003.[2]

Tom Cousineau
No. 45, 50, 57, 59
Position:Linebacker
Personal information
Born:May 6, 1957 (age 61)
Fairview Park, Ohio
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school:Lakewood (OH) St. Edward
College:Ohio State
NFL Draft:1979 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Sacks:6.5
Interceptions:10
Player stats at NFL.com

Early years

Cousineau was born in Fairview Park, Ohio, to Carol and Tom Cousineau Sr, who was the head football and a wrestling coach at Lakewood (Ohio) High School. Consequently, his mother did not want him to play football under the shadow of his father.[3] Thus, Cousineau played high school football for nearby St. Edward High School, which is several blocks away in Lakewood. He excelled and was one of the most highly recruited football players in the country in his senior year.[4] He graduated in 1975.[5]

Cousineau was also an accomplished wrestler. In 1975, under legendary coach Howard Ferguson, he lost to future NFL player Bob Golic from cross-town all-boys school rival St. Joseph High School in the Ohio state wrestling tournament semifinals in the heavyweight weight class. The match has been called "one of the most memorable,"[6] Golic would go on to win the state title and Cousineau would finish in third place.[7] Golic would go to be two-time All-American at heavyweight at Notre Dame. Cousineau and Golic would eventually became teammates in the NFL with the Browns.

College football career

Cousineau attended Ohio State University, where he played for legendary coach Woody Hayes' Ohio State Buckeyes football team from 1975 to 1978. During that span, Ohio State had an overall record of 36-10-2 and 28-4 in the Big Ten, were three-time Big Ten champs. The Buckeyes played four bowl games after each of the seasons he played: in the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Gator Bowl. They were a Top 5 team for 36 weeks over these four years and the No. 1 team in the nation for eight weeks in 1975, and ultimately finished fourth, sixth and 12th in the final Associated Press polls in 1975, 1976 and 1977, respectively.[8]

Cousineau majored in marketing.[9] He was a consensus first-team All-American, breaking the school record with 211 tackles in a single season in 1978,[10] an average of 17.5 a game. He also broke the school record for most tackles in a game with 29 against Penn State in 1978, and was the MVP of the 1977 Orange Bowl.

Cousineau's last game for the Buckeyes was the infamous 1978 Gator Bowl against Clemson, during which Coach Hayes punched Clemson linebacker Charlie Bauman in the final minutes of the game.[3] Hayes was fired the following day for the incident.

Cousineau still holds many of Ohio State's tackling records. As of 2016, he holds six of the top 10 single-game tackling records, 29 single-game tackles (since tied by fellow College Football Hall of Famer Chris Spielman), most solo tackles in a single game, (16 against SMU in 1978). He also ranks second on both the all-time OSU tackle list with 569 (three behind Marcus Marek) and on the career solo tackles list with 259.[11]

He was named an All-American in 1977 and 1978. The Chicago Tribune named him the MVP of the Big Ten in 1978.[3] He graduated from OSU in 1979.[8] In 2016, he became the 25th Ohio State player, along with seven Buckeye coaches, to be named to the College Football Hall of Fame.[12]

Professional football career

Cousineau was drafted first overall in the 1979 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, who acquired the pick as a part of a package of five draft picks from the San Francisco 49ers in a 1978 trade for O.J. Simpson.[13] However, he never played a game for the Bills. He instead signed with the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, who signed him for double the money originally offered by the Bills. Cousineau became a star for the Alouettes, becoming the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player in the 1979 season. He only played in four games in his third season because of an elbow injury while the Alouettes collapsed.[9]

In 1982, Cousineau wanted to return to the NFL, choosing to forego two optional years with the Alouettes. The Houston Oilers attempted to sign him, but the Bills (who still held Cousineau's NFL rights) matched the offer. Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell had long been interested in signing him.[9] Cousineau was then traded from the Bills to the Cleveland Browns for a first-round draft choice (14th overall) in the 1983 NFL Draft, plus a second and a third draft choice in subsequent years.[14] That first-round pick was used on future Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. Cousineau signed a five-year contract for $2.5 million, the highest contract ever at the time by the Browns.[15]

In 1983, Cousineau was arrested in connection with minor collision with a police car on Saint Patrick's Day [16] He was charged with drunk driving, improperly using traffic lanes, and not having his driver's license. He was subsequently found not guilty of the drunk driving charge, but guilty of the moving violation (the driver's license charge was dropped).

During Cousineau's four seasons with the Browns, he led the team in tackles for three seasons. In the 1983 season, he intercepted 4 passes and was named a 2nd-team All-NFL by the NEA. He was also named 2nd-team all NFL by the AP in 1984, but never made the Pro Bowl in his career. He was considered an overpaid disappointment in Cleveland, while Bills fans fondly remember the fact that the man who once snubbed them for the CFL was traded for Jim Kelly. Cousineau signed with the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent after the 1985 season where he played two years as a reserve before retiring in 1987. Cousineau finished his NFL career with ten interceptions and 6.5 career sacks.

After retiring as a player

St. Edward inducted Cousineau to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.[17] He married Lisa June 16, 1990, and has 2 daughters Kyle and Kacey. On February 8, 2006, Cousineau announced plans to run for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives as a Republican in the Akron, Ohio area.[18] He won the May primary but lost the November election to Democrat Brian Williams by a margin of 58% to 42%.[19]

On April 20, 2009, Cousineau joined the St. Vincent – St. Mary High School football coaching staff as a linebackers coach. Cousineau later went on to be the linebackers coach at St. Edward High School (Ohio)

References

  1. ^ "NFF PROUDLY ANNOUNCES IMPRESSIVE 2016 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS". National Football Foundation. National Football Foundation. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Member Biography". National Football Foundation. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Where Are They Now? Tom Cousineau". ESPN.com. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  4. ^ Cousineau stayed close to home Archived 2005-08-17 at the Wayback Machine retrieved March 8, 2006
  5. ^ Staff Writer Pinned, St. Edward Magazine, Winter 2008 - vol. 6, issue 2, page 18
  6. ^ Kampf, John. "Pigskin pins: Wrestling is a football player's best offseason workout". The News-Herald. The News-Herald. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  7. ^ Galbincea, Pat (3 March 2010). "Ohio's state wrestling tournament has produced more than its share of memorable moments" (3 March 2010). Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  8. ^ a b "FORMER OHIO STATE GREAT TOM COUSINEAU ELECTED TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME". Eleven Warriors. Eleven Warriors. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Wallace, William N. "TOM COUSINEAU PLAYS MARKET AND WINS". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  10. ^ Cousineau college bio retrieved March 8, 2006.
  11. ^ "Ohio State, Tom Couiseau bio". Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State Buckeyes. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  12. ^ Landis, Bill (6 October 2016). "Tom Cousineau, new College Football Hall of Fame member, to be honored at Ohio State's game vs. Indiana". Cleveland.com. AdvanceOhio. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  13. ^ "1978 NFL Draft Pick Transactions". Pro Sports Transactions. Pro Sports Transactions. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  14. ^ Burnett, Thomas M. "The trade for linebacker Tom Cousineau has given the..." UPI Archive. UPI. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  15. ^ Cousineau Signs Rich Browns' Pact retrieved March 8, 2006
  16. ^ Staff (15 June 1983). "Cousineau Is Cleared". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  17. ^ http://alumni.sehs.net/?page=SEHS_HOF_Home
  18. ^ Brothers in the house? Archived 2006-05-09 at the Wayback Machine retrieved March 8, 2006
  19. ^ Ohio election results, AP, November 28, 2006. Accessed March 8, 2006

External links

1976 All-Big Ten Conference football team

The 1976 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Big Ten Conference teams for the 1976 Big Ten Conference football season.

Seven players were unanimously selected as first-team players by the Associated Press (AP): flanker Jim Smith (Michigan); running backs Scott Dierking (Purdue) and Rob Lytle (Michigan); defensive linemen Bob Brudzinski (Ohio State) and Greg Morton (Michigan); and linebackers Calvin O'Neal (Michigan) and Scott Studwell (Illinois).

The Michigan Wolverines dominated the offensive unit, taking six of eleven places on the first team selected by the Associated Press (AP), including Lytle, Smith, and quarterback Rick Leach. The Ohio State Buckeyes, on the other hand, dominated the defensive unit, taking five of the eleven places on the AP first team, including Brudzinski and linebacker Tom Cousineau.

1977 All-Big Ten Conference football team

The 1977 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Big Ten Conference teams for the 1977 Big Ten Conference football season. Conference co-champions Ohio State and Michigan led with eight and six first-team selections, respectively. Ohio State's first-team selections included running back Ron Springs and linebacker Tom Cousineau. Michigan's first-team selections included quarterback Rick Leach and offensive guard Mark Donahue.

1977 Big Ten Conference football season

The 1977 Big Ten Conference football season was the 82nd season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1977 NCAA Division I football season.

The 1977 Michigan Wolverines football team, under head coach Bo Schembechler, compiled a 10–2 record, tied for the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring offense (29.4 points per games), lost to Washington in the 1978 Rose Bowl, and was ranked No. 9 in the final AP Poll and No. 8 in the final UPI Poll. Rick Leach totaled 1,109 passing yards and 370 rushing yards and finished eighth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. Russell Davis led the team with 1,013 rushing yards and finished second in the voting for the Chicago Tribune Silver Football. Three Michigan players received first-team honors on the 1977 College Football All-America Team: (1) offensive guard Mark Donahue (consensus); (2) center Walt Downing; and (3) linebacker John Anderson.

The 1977 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Woody Hayes, compiled a 9–3 record, tied with Michigan for the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring defense (10.0 points allowed per game), lost to Alabama in the 1978 Sugar Bowl, and was ranked No. 11 in the AP Poll. Ron Springs led the conference with 1,166 rushing yards. Four Ohio State players received first-team All-America honors: offensive tackle Chris Ward (consensus); linebacker Tom Cousineau (consensus); middle guard Aaron Brown; and defensive back Ray Griffin.

Mark Hermann of Purdue led the conference with 2,453 passing yards. Defensive end Larry Bethea of Michigan State won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten's most valuable player.

1977 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

The 1977 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the 1977 Big Ten Conference football season. The Buckeyes compiled a 9–3 record, including the 1978 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana, where they lost 35–6 to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

1978 Big Ten Conference football season

The 1978 Big Ten Conference football season was the 83rd season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1978 NCAA Division I-A football season.

The 1978 Michigan Wolverines football team, under head coach Bo Schembechler, compiled a 10–2 record, tied with Michigan State for the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring defense (8.8 points allowed per game), lost to national champion USC in the Rose Bowl, and was ranked No. 5 in the final AP and UPI polls. Quarterback Rick Leach won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the most valuable player in the Big Ten, finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, and was selected as a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association.

The 1978 Michigan State Spartans football team, under head coach Darryl Rogers, compiled an 8–3, tied with Michigan for the conference championship, led the conference in scoring offense (37.4 points per game), and was ranked No. 12 in the final AP Poll. Ed Smith led the conference with 2,226 passing yards and Kirk Gibson led the conference with 806 receiving yards. Gibson was selected as a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, and The Sporting News. Tight end Mark Brammer was selected as a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America.

The 1978 Purdue Boilermakers football team, under head coach Jim Young, compiled a 9–2–1 record, finished in third place in the Big Ten, defeated Georgia Tech in the 1978 Peach Bowl, and was ranked No. 13 in the final AP and UPI polls. Jim Young was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Quarterback Mark Hermann passed for 1,904 yards, and defensive lineman Keena Turner was selected as the team's most valuable player.

Ohio State linebacker Tom Cousineau's was selected as a consensus first-team All-American and was the first player selected in the 1979 NFL Draft. Minnesota running back Marion Barber, Jr. led the conference with 1,210 rushing yards, and Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter led the conference in scoring with 78 points on 13 rushing touchdowns. Ohio State coach Woody Hayes was fired after punching a Clemson player in the closing minutes of the 1978 Gator Bowl.

1978 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

The 1978 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the 1978 Big Ten Conference football season. The Buckeyes compiled a 7–4–1 record, including the 1978 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, where they lost, 17–15, to the Clemson Tigers. This would be Woody Hayes' last season as head coach of the team, as he was dismissed following an incident in the game in which he punched Clemson defender Charlie Bauman.

1979 Buffalo Bills season

The 1979 Buffalo Bills season was the 20th season for the club, and its tenth in the National Football League.

Head coach Chuck Knox spent his second season with the Bills in 1979, improving on 1978's record by two games. The Bills were 7–6 with three games left to play, but they lost their final three games to finish with a losing record. (Even if Buffalo had won their final three games, they still would have lost the head-to-head tiebreaker to the Miami Dolphins (who finished 10–6) for the division title.)

Buffalo's loss to Miami in Week Seven was their 20th straight loss to the Dolphins, an NFL record.

The 1979 Bills were dead-last in rushing yards in the NFL, with only total 1,621 yards on the ground. Buffalo's 268 points scored was 23rd of the league's 28 teams.

1979 CFL season

The 1979 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 26th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 22nd Canadian Football League season.

1979 NFL Draft

The 1979 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held May 3–4, 1979, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, New York. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season.

The Buffalo Bills held the first overall pick in the draft, acquired from the San Francisco 49ers in the trade which sent O.J. Simpson to his hometown team. The Bills' selection at No. 1, Ohio State linebacker Tom Cousineau, refused to sign with the Bills and instead inked a lucrative deal with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

Cousineau returned to the United States in 1982 to play for the Cleveland Browns, his hometown franchise.

1980 CFL season

The 1980 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 27th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 23rd Canadian Football League season.

1983 All-Pro Team

The 1983 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News in 1983. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The NEA chose two inside linebackers for the first time, as a reflection of the 3-4 which was the common alignment for NFL defenses in the mid-1980s.

1983 Cleveland Browns season

The 1983 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 34th season with the National Football League.

67th Grey Cup

The 67th Grey Cup was played on November 25, 1979 before 65,113 fans at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. The Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Montreal Alouettes 17-9.

Cousineau

Cousineau is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Claude Cousineau (born 1950), Canadian politician

Guy Cousineau (born 1937), Canadian politician

Léa Cousineau, Canadian politician

Marcel Cousineau (born 1973), Canadian ice hockey player

Philémon Cousineau (1874–1959), Canadian politician

Phil Cousineau (born 1952), American author, screenwriter and filmmaker

René Cousineau (1930–2002), Canadian politician

Tom Cousineau (born 1957), American pro football player

Tony Cousineau, American professional poker player

Grey Cup Most Valuable Player

The Grey Cup's Most Valuable Player award is awarded annually since 1959 to the player of the winning team who deemed to have had the best performance in the Grey Cup Game, the Canadian Football League's championship game.

James P. McCaffrey Trophy

The James P. McCaffrey Trophy is a Canadian Football League trophy, awarded to the outstanding defensive player in the East Division. Each team in the East division nominates a candidate, from which the winner is chosen. Either the winner of this trophy or the winner of the Norm Fieldgate Trophy will also win the Canadian Football League Most Outstanding Defensive Player award.

In 1995, as part of the failed American expansion, the McCaffrey trophy was given to the most outstanding defensive player in the South Division.

Prior to 1974 the CFL's Most Outstanding Lineman Award was awarded to both outstanding defensive players and outstanding linemen in the East Division.

Ohio State Buckeyes football statistical leaders

The Ohio State Buckeyes football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Ohio State Buckeyes football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Buckeyes represent the Ohio State University in the NCAA's Big Ten Conference.

Although Ohio State began competing in intercollegiate football in 1890, the school's official record book considers the "modern era" to have begun in 1944. Records from before this year are often incomplete and inconsistent, and they are generally not included in these lists.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since 1944, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

The NCAA only began counting bowl games toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Buckeyes have played in 13 bowl games since then, giving many recent players an additional game to accumulate statistics. However, Ohio State's official record books included bowl games in single-season and career statistics long before the NCAA made it official policy.

The Big Ten instituted a championship game starting in 2011, allowing the top team in each division to play another game each season. The Buckeyes played in this game in 2013 and 2014 and 2017.

Since head coach Urban Meyer arrived in 2012, the Buckeyes have run a spread option offense. 2013 saw the most offensive yards in school history, and the 2014 team passed that mark. The emphasis on dual-threat quarterbacks has led to Braxton Miller and JT Barrett entering the leaderboards.These lists are updated through Ohio State's game against Michigan on November 24, 2018. The Ohio State Media Guide does not include 2010 statistics for Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, and DeVier Posey due to NCAA sanctions. They are fully included in these lists, however.

Ohio State Buckeyes football yearly statistical leaders

Ohio State Buckeyes football yearly statistical leaders in points scored, rushing yards, passing yards, receptions, and total tackles.

Tommy Nelson (baseball)

Tom Cousineau Nelson (May 1, 1917 – September 24, 1973) was a Major League Baseball infielder who played for the Boston Braves in 1945. The 28-year-old rookie was a native of Chicago.

Nelson is one of many ballplayers who only appeared in the major leagues during World War II. He made his major league debut on April 17, 1945 (Opening Day) against the New York Giants at Braves Field. In 40 games he hit .165 (20-for-121) with 6 runs batted in and 6 runs scored, and his fielding percentage in 114 total chances was .904.

He died in 1973 in San Diego, California.

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