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Horace Gillom

Massillon home town hero Horace Gillom, class of 1941, was end and punter on Paul Brown's Massillon Tigers during the 1938, 1939, and 1940 seasons. He played on two national championship teams and was two-time All-Ohio in 1939 and 1940. After graduation, he briefly attended the Ohio State University and played on the freshmen team in 1941. The following year, he joined the Army and served for three years. After his discharge, he attended the University of Nevada. He led the country in scoring, but because of poor grades, left school after the 1946 season.

In 1947, Cleveland Browns coach Paul Brown signed Horace to play for the reigning AAFC championship team, and was instrumental as punter, never averaging under 41.2 yards per punt. He played on three AAFC championship teams (1947, 1948, 1949), and and three NFL championship teams (1950, 1954, 1955). He was released from the Browns in 1956, and made an attempt to come back to the professional football scene in 1961 with the New York Titans of the AFC, but failed to make the team. He officially retired from pro football and worked as a security guard in Los Angeles for the rest of his life.

FUN FACT! Horace Gillom is known for revolutionizing the punting position. His style of stepping back several yards past the center gave him more room to kick, and the height of his punts would allow more time for the coverage team to get down field.

Photo caption: Horace Gillom shows off his punting skills, 1940. Collection of the Massilon Museum

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