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Tom Cousineau
Date of birth: May 6, 1957 (1957-05-06) (age 52)
Place of birth: Fairview Park, Ohio
Career information
Position(s): Linebacker
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 1979 / Round: 1/ Pick 1
 As player:
Montreal Alouettes (CFL)
Cleveland Browns
San Francisco 49ers
Playing stats at

Tom Cousineau (born May 6, 1957, in Fairview Park, Ohio) is a former American Football linebacker who played six seasons in the National Football League with the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers from 1982 to 1987. Cousineau is best known for being the first overall pick of the 1979 NFL Draft.


Amateur career

Cousineau played high school football at 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]

Cousineau decided to play college football at the Ohio State University where he was a two time All-American and broke a school record with 211 tackles in a single season in 1978[3]. Cousineau also broke a school record for most tackles in a game with 29, was the MVP of the Orange Bowl and played well in the Hula Bowl and is currently second on the school's all-time tackle list with 569, second to Marcus Marek.

NFL career

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 after he thought that the Bills were rude to him. 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 and was a two time All-NFL but never made the Pro Bowl in his career. 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, and renovates houses.

After retiring as a player

St. Edward inducted Cousineau to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.[6]

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.


  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
Preceded by
Dave Adkins
Ohio State Buckeyes
Football Season MVP

Succeeded by
Jim Laughlin


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