Tom Cousineau

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Tom Cousineau
No. 45, 50, 59
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1957-05-06) May 6, 1957 (age 59)
Place of birth: 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

Thomas Michael Cousineau (born May 6, 1957) is a former American 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 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.

Early years[edit]

Cousineau was born in Fairview Park, Ohio. He played high school football for St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio and was one of the most highly recruited football players in the country in his senior year.[1] He graduated in 1975.[2]

College career[edit]

Cousineau decided to attend Ohio State University, where he played for coach Woody Hayes' Ohio State Buckeyes football team from 1975 to 1978. He was a consensus first-team All-American, and broke a school record with 211 tackles in a single season in 1978.[3] He also broke a school record for most tackles in a game with 29, was the MVP of the Orange Bowl, and remains second on the school's all-time tackles list with 569.

Professional career[edit]

Cousineau was drafted first overall in the 1979 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, who acquired the pick from the San Francisco 49ers in a trade for O.J. Simpson. Cousineau never played a game with the Bills. He instead signed with the Canadian Football League Montreal Alouettes where they offered double the money that the Bills originally offered. Cousineau became a star there, becoming the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player in the 1979 season. Cousineau wanted to return to the NFL, and in 1982 the Houston Oilers attempted to sign him, but the Bills (who still held Cousineau's NFL rights) matched the offer. He was then traded from the Bills to the Cleveland Browns for a first-round draft choice (14th overall) in the 1983 NFL Draft.[4] That pick was used on future Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. Cousineau signed a five-year contract for 2.5 million dollars, the most ever for a Cleveland Brown player at the time.[5]

During Cousineau's four seasons with the Browns, he led the team in tackles for three seasons. He was named a 2nd-team All-NFL by the NEA in 1983, and 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 and currently stays at home with his wife, Lisa, and two daughters, Kyle and Kacey, in Akron, Ohio and renovates houses.

After retiring as a player[edit]

St. Edward inducted Cousineau to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.[6] 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.[7] He won the May primary but lost the November election to Democrat Brian Williams by a margin of 58% to 42%.[8]

On April 20, 2009, Cousineau joined the St. Vincent – St. Mary High School football coaching staff as a linebackers coach.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Cousineau stayed close to home retrieved March 8, 2006
  2. ^ Staff Writer Pinned, St. Edward Magazine, Winter 2008 - vol. 6, issue 2, page 18
  3. ^ Cousineau college bio retrieved March 8, 2006.
  4. ^ Sports People; Browns Get Cousineau from the New York Times archives, retrieved March 8, 2006
  5. ^ Cousineau Signs Rich Browns' Pact retrieved March 8, 2006
  6. ^
  7. ^ Brothers in the house? retrieved March 8, 2006
  8. ^ Ohio election results, AP, November 28, 2006. Accessed March 8, 2006