April 28, 2015

Louis "The Battler" Rymkus

   Lou Joseph Rymkus was born on November 6, 1919 in Royalton, Illinois and grew up in Chicago. He was a star lineman in high school and won a football scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, he played on a 1941 team that went undefeated under head coach Frank Leahy. Rymkus was drafted by the NFL's Washington Redskins in 1943 and played one season for the team before joining the U.S. Marines during World War II. Following two years in the service, he signed with the Browns, with whom he spent the remainder of his playing career.

   After Rymkus's brief stint as the first head coach of the AFL's Houston Oilers in 1960 (the team won the league's first championship, but Rymkus was fired by Oilers owner Bud Adams after a slow start in 1961), he held numerous football jobs, including as the coach of a high school team in Louisiana and an assistant with the Detroit Lions. Rymkus was a finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988 but was not elected. He died of a stroke on October 31, 1998 in Houston, Texas, where he lived for most of his later life.

29° 47.892, -096° 06.070

San Felipe de Austin Cemetery
San Felipe

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