Ross Browner, 2-time All-American at Notre Dame, dies at 67

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Ross Browner, a two-time All-American at Notre Dame and one of four brothers who played in the NFL, has died. He was 67.

Browner’s son, former NFL offensive lineman Max Starks, posted on Twitter early Wednesday morning that his father had died.

“The world has lost a Titan,” Starks said. “Our hearts are heavy but he is at peace now.”

A native of Warren, Ohio, Browner was part of an accomplished football family. The defensive end was the oldest of six brothers who were high school football stars in Ohio. Three others – Jimmie Browner, Keith Browner and Joey Browner – followed Ross to the NFL.

Starks played offensive line in the NFL for a decade, twice winning the Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Ross Browner’s younger son, Rylan, played college football at Arizona.

Browner was a four-year starter at Notre Dame, helping the Fighting Irish win national titles in 1973 and 1977 under coach Ara Parseghian.

Browner was an All-American in 1976 as a junior, winning the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best lineman.

As a senior in 1977, Browner was again an All-American. He won the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best player, the Lombardi, which goes to the country’s best lineman, and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Browner still holds school records for career tackles by a defensive lineman with 340 and career tackles for loss with 77.

The Cincinnati Bengals selected Browner eighth overall in the 1978 NFL draft, and he immediately became a starter on the their defensive line.

Former Cincinnati wide receiver Isaac Curtis told that he fondly remembered Browner’s big laugh.

“You could hear it all over the place. He brought sunshine into the locker room. He just had that energy that was contagious,” Curtis said.

Browner was part of the first Bengals team to reach the Super Bowl in 1981. He recorded 10 tackles and a sack against the San Francisco 49ers in a 26-21 loss.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

After football, Browner pursued several business opportunities, eventually working in real estate and settling in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ross is survived by his wife, Shayla, and two sons.

Former Navy coach Niumatalolo joins UCLA staff

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LOS ANGELES – Former Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo is joining UCLA’s coaching staff as director of leadership.

The school said in an announcement Friday that Niumatalolo will serve as an advisor to the Bruins’ football staff and players.

Niumatalolo led Navy for 15 years and was the winningest coach in school history at 109-83. The Midshipmen, however, finished with losing records the past three seasons, including 4-8 the past two.

Navy played in 10 bowl games under Niumatalolo. He also was the only coach to win his first eight games in the storied Army-Navy rivalry.

Troy, Jon Sumrall agree to new 4-year contract through 2026

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TROY, Ala. ⁠— Jon Sumrall agreed to a new four-year contract as Troy’s coach after leading the Trojans to a Sun Belt Conference championship and national ranking in his debut season.

The school announced the deal, which runs through 2026, but didn’t release details.

The Trojans went 12-2 and won their final 11 games, second only to national champion Georgia, including the league championship game and the Cure Bowl against UTSA. For the first time, they finished a season ranked, ending up 19th in The Associated Press Top 25.

“When we appointed Coach Sumrall in December 2021, we challenged him to return Troy football to the top of the Sun Belt Conference,” Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. said. “It didn’t take long, as the 2022 season was the best in our FBS history.”

Troy held all 14 of its opponents to under their season average in scoring, beating UTSA 18-12. The Trojans beat Coastal Carolina 45-26 in the Sun Belt title game.

“Last year was an amazing accomplishment for everyone associated with Troy football and was the product of relentless effort from our players and staff, athletic administration and university leaders,” Sumrall said.