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Passings : Tom Catlin

Sooners' star also coached in NFL

June 11, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Tom Catlin, 76, an offensive and defensive star for the University of Oklahoma under Coach Bud Wilkinson who later spent 34 years as an assistant coach in the National Football League for a variety of teams including the Rams and Seahawks, died Saturday at a hospice in Seattle of complications stemming from recent surgery, said his brother Charles. Catlin also was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

The son of an oil refinery engineer, Catlin grew up in Ponca City, Okla. He played center and linebacker at Oklahoma from 1950 to 1952, and was a member of the Sooners' 1950 squad that won the national championship.

Catlin was drafted by the then Baltimore Colts and later played with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles before finishing his playing career.

A defensive specialist as a coach, Catlin worked for the Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs of the old American Football League and then the Rams, Buffalo Bills and Seahawks. He coached for Seattle from 1983 to 1995, and Sports Illustrated named him as coach of the year for the 1992 season. It was the first time the magazine had named an assistant coach for the honor.

Chauncey Welsch, a trombonist best known for his work with musical greats including Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Benny Goodman, died of cancer May 25 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 81.

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