Former LSU, Cleveland Browns player Konz dies at age 79

Updated: February 6, 2008, 3:29 PM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Kenny Konz, an All-Southeastern Conference halfback for the LSU Tigers in 1950 and a member of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame, died in Alliance, Ohio, from complications from pneumonia, the school announced Wednesday.

The last living member of the defensive backfields of the Cleveland Browns' championship teams in the 1950s under Paul Brown, Konz was 79 at the time of his death on Tuesday.

Konz played at LSU from 1948 to 1950, earning All-SEC honors his senior season. In the final game of the 1949 season, he triggered a 21-0 upset win over heavily favored Tulane with a punt return for a touchdown. He returned three punts that day for a total of 125 yards, still among the top 10 punt-return games in the history of LSU football.

Konz was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He was also a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Though he played only six-man football at Weimar (Texas) High School, where all 12 grades in the district were housed in one building, Konz still stood out enough to earn a scholarship to LSU. It was there that he saw his first standard football game.

While playing with the Tigers, he was selected All-Southeastern Conference in 1950 and was hailed as one of the greatest all-around halfbacks in school history. Following his senior season, he was selected to play in three all-star games, and chose to go to the Blue-Gray contest and the Senior Bowl.

Konz is survived by his wife of 30 years, Sue; daughter Charlene, and two grandchildren.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press