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The Grave of Ollie Cline

by Randy Snow

Original to www.theworldoffootball.com, Friday, July 14, 2023


Ollie Cline may not be a household name to many football fans but he did win three titles during his six-year pro football career. This is Gridiron Grave visit #51.

Fullback Ollie Cline was born on December 31, 1925 and grew up in Fredericktown, OH. While playing high school football, Cline once scored seven touchdowns and two extra points in a single game.

He went on to play college football at Ohio State and was recruited by then Buckeyes head coach Paul Brown. However, he never played for Brown at the school as he had moved on to be the head coach at the Great Lakes Naval Academy near Chicago in 1944. Cline played for Ohio State in 1944 and 1945. He then spent a year in the Army at the end of WWII but returned to play for Ohio State in 1947.

Cline was selected in the 14th round of the 1948 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He was also selected in the third round of the 1948 All America Football Conference (AAFC) Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

He signed with the Browns, despite having a year of college eligibility left, and played for Cleveland during the 1948 season, winning an AAFC title. In 1949, he played for the AAFC’s Buffalo Bills.

The AAFC merged with the NFL in 1950 and Cline then signed with the Detroit Lions. He played four seasons in Detroit from 1950-1953 and won two NFL titles with the Lions in 1952 and 1953, defeating his old team, the Cleveland Browns, both times.

After his football career was over, Cline became a teacher and a longtime school administrator at the high school and college levels. He was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.

Ollie Cline died on May 12, 2001 in Springfield, OH at the age of 75.

Finding His Grave

Cline is buried in the Fairview Cemetery in West Liberty, OH. The address is 595 North Detroit Street, West Liberty, OH 43357. He is buried in Section 9 and his final resting place is located along Detroit Street. The headstone is hard to miss. 


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