Former Houston Oilers running back Gary Brown has died at age 52, reports say

Houston Oilers’ Gary Brown (33) is brought down after a seven-yard pass reception by Kansas City Chiefs’ Derrick Thomas (58) in first quarter action at Houston, Jan. 6, 1994. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) (Rick Bowner, Associated Press)

Former Houston Oilers running back Gary Brown, who had a memorable 1993 season stepping in for an injured Lorenzo White, has died at age 52, multiple reports say.

Clarence Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was the first to report the news, with Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News also reporting.

Screenshot of Clarence Hill's tweet on the passing of Gary Brown (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Screenshot of Michael Gehlken's tweet on the passing of Gary Brown (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Brown coached running backs for the Dallas Cowboys from 2013-19 before recently serving as the running backs coach at the University of Wisconsin.

He was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the eighth round of the 1991 NFL Draft after playing collegiately at Penn State. For his first few seasons, he served as a backup to Lorenzo White in the Oilers’ backfield. Even without getting any game action in the first 6 games of 1993 and not getting his first start of the season until the season’s ninth game with White getting injured, Brown still exceeded 1000 yards that season, averaging over five yards a carry. His first two starts in that season netted him 360 rushing yards and 37 more yards receiving. That season, the Oilers won every regular season game that Brown started on the way to finishing 12-4 before ultimately falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs.

Brown also played for the San Diego Chargers in 1997 and the New York Giants in 1998-1999.

The New York Giants tweeted the following about Brown on Sunday evening: “We mourn the passing of Gary Brown, a great man who played for Big Blue for two years - including a 1,000-yard season in 1998. Once a Giant, Always a Giant.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones released the following statement on Sunday evening:

“Gary Brown had a big heart partnered with a big smile and a big personality. His energy and spirit were infectious. He lit up every room he walked into and touched the lives of those who knew him in such a positive way. Everyone who knew him, loved him. He meant so much to the players he coached and the coaches he coached with. His love for his family, football and life was evident each day. He continued to fight, and he never gave up. My family and the Dallas Cowboys family are heartbroken, and our love and support are with his wife, Kim, his daughters, Malena and Dorianna, and his son, Tre.”

About the Author:

Born in Canada but raised in Houston, Howard joined KPRC 2 in 2021 after five years at ESPN. Before that, Howard was a reporter on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts. Among the events that Howard has covered on site: the NBA bubble and the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions for both Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He's H-town proud!