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Grambling legend Willie Brown dies at 78

Willie Brown at a football signing event in 2007. Courtesy photo

Willie Brown in Raiders gear.

From undrafted out of college, to Hall of Famer, the world is mourning the passing of a legend. 

Willie Brown was a great player who had a magnificent 16 year career in the NFL. 

With 54 interceptions to his name, this Raiders legend impacted the game as soon as he entered the NFL. 

As a former Grambling Tiger, he was remembered by all of his teammates as being a great person, on the field competing and off the field. 

At the then Grambling College, he was under the great tutelage of the legendary coach Eddie Robinson, earning him a spot in the Louisiana football Hall of Fame.

In 1984, Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his extreme talents, helping lead the Oakland Raiders to three Super Bowls. 

Deemed perhaps one of his best career moments, in Super Bowl XI versus the Minnesota Vikings Brown intercepted the ball and returned it for a 75-yard touchdown, marking the longest return at the time ever for a ‘pick-six.’ 

Brown remained with the Raiders several years after his playing career and all those around him felt the impact he always had. Brown later served as defensive backs coach for the Raiders from 1979 to 1988.  

GSU President Richard Gallot issued a statement on behalf of the university highlighting the mark Brown had. “His legacy on the field and as a Grambling Legend has inspired countless students, student-athletes, and leaders for generations,” he wrote. “We will remember his life and contributions as a lesson in perseverance and true dedication.”

The passing of Brown has been felt across the football community and the recognition of his talents will never be forgotten. From NFL Films to stat books to the entire Raiders organization, the legacy of the great Willie Brown will be remembered and always impactful on the sports world.