Blanton Collier

Blanton Collier coached football at the high school, college and professional levels, including eight seasons as the head coach at the University of Kentucky from 1954-1961. He was working as an assistant with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns when he was hired at Kentucky, taking over the Wildcats’ program following the departure of the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant. Collier led the Cats to five winning seasons as head coach, including a 7-3 record in his first season in 1954. He also had his best season in the SEC in 1954, posting a 5-2 record and a third-place finish in the conference standings.

Collier was 41-36-3 as the head coach of the Wildcats. His coaching staffs at Kentucky featured future coaching legends Chuck Knox, Howard Schnellenberger and Don Shula, and he would later go on to serve as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1963-1970, coaching them to their last NFL championship in 1964. He passed away in 1983 at the age of 76.

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