Ex-Lion Tom Vaughn dies at 77

Getty Images

Tom Vaughn, a safety who spent his seven-year NFL career with the Lions, has died at the age of 77.

Vaughn played his college football at Iowa State, where he was all-Big Eight as a fullback in 1963 and then as a defensive back in 1964. He also led the Big Eight in punt returns as both a junior and a senior, and he’s a member of Iowa State’s Hall of Fame.

He was then drafted by both the Lions in the 1965 NFL draft and the Broncos in the 1965 AFL draft, choosing the Lions and playing in Detroit until retiring after the 1971 season. He appeared as himself in the 1968 movie Paper Lion about sportswriter George Plimpton’s attempt to participate in an NFL training camp.

After retiring as a player, Vaughn spent many years in coaching, starting with the Detroit Wheels of the World Football League and then at Iowa State, Missouri and Wyoming. He later worked as a high school teacher.