CLEVELAND — One of the members of the Cleveland Browns' last NFL championship in 1964 has passed away.
Vince Costello, a Stark County native who was a linebacker for the Browns from 1957-66, died on Saturday at the age of 86 in Overland Park, Kansas.
Costello grew up in Magnolia, Ohio and was a two-sport star at Ohio University in both football and baseball, after receiving a basketball scholarship. He was so good at baseball that he signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 1953 and remained with them until he entered the military in 1956, serving two years as a lieutenant in the Air Force ROTC.
At the age of 25, Costello gave pro football a shot and joined the Browns in 1957. He played ten seasons in Cleveland, appearing in 130 games and recording 18 interceptions, recovering eight fumbles and scoring two defensive touchdowns. Costello recorded an interception in the Browns' 27-0 win over the Baltimore Colts in the 1964 NFL Championship Game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
Costello finished his playing career with the New York Giants before re-joining Paul Brown as an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. He was later a linebackers coach for the Miami Dolphins and defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs under ex-Cleveland Browns teammate, Paul Wiggin.
After retiring from coaching, Costello would spend the rest of his life in Kansas City, where he and his wife Sally raised seven children and owned Costellos’ Greenhouse Restaurant.
Costello was honored with induction into the Stark County High School Football Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also named to the Cleveland Browns Legends Club in 2011.
The family has suggested donations in lieu of flowers to be made in memory of Vince Costello to KU Alzheimer's Disease Center if by mail: KU Endowment c/o Lindsay Hummer Mail Stop 3012, 3901 Rainbow Blvd. Kansas City, KS 66160.
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