Editor’s Note

This video was originally published by the Ohio History Connection. It’s being shared here through a collaborative agreement.

WOOSTER — Dick Schafrath was born in Wooster, Ohio in 1937. He lived a remarkable and storied life.

He played tackle for the Ohio State University football team under coach Woody Hayes and was part of the 1957 national championship squad that won the Big Ten title and the 1958 Rose Bowl. He was a team captain for the Buckeyes.

The 6-foot-3, 253-pound Schafrath was then drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Browns in the NFL where he earned the nickname The Mule. He played for coach Paul Brown and was a seven-time Pro Bowler and part of the 1964 NFL title team.

Schafrath blocked for three Hall of Fame running backs in Cleveland, Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly and Bobby Mitchell.

Schafrath coached for the Browns and the Toledo Rockets and was an Ohio Senator from 1987 through 2000.

This interview was conducted for the Ohio History Connection’s 1950s exhibit and focuses on his life in the 1950s and 60s. In this interview he talks about growing up on his parents’ farm, playing football with Ohio State, and the Cleveland Browns.

He lived with famous coach Woody Hayes for a year and a half and shares his memories of Woody. Schafrath discusses Brown’s coach Paul Brown, serving in the Air Force while playing in the NFL, and his experience of the 1950s.

He also shares great stories about wrestling a bear, hanging out with Elvis, and finding out about being drafted by the Browns while traveling with Dick LeBeau.

Schafrath died at age 84 on Aug. 15, 2021.

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