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Williamsport native and former NFL running back, Gary Brown, dies at 52

Gary Brown, a former NFL running back and Williamsport native died Sunday at the age of 52, according to the Dallas Cowboys.
Credit: AP
FILE - Then-Dallas Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown looks at the score board during an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., in this Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, file photo. Wisconsin’s run-oriented tradition coaxed former NFL assistant Gary Brown into the college ranks after a bout with cancer caused him to spend a year away from the game. The Badgers’ new running backs coach wants to get Wisconsin back among the nation’s elite rushing attacks as he mentors a group returning Jalen Berger and adding Clemson transfer Chez Mellusi and freshman Braelon Allen. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally, File)

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Long-time assistant coach and NFL running back Gary Brown has died.

The Williamsport native died Sunday at the age of 52.

Brown was a former star running back at Penn State, amassing 1,321 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 44 games with the Nittany Lions from 1987 to 1990.

Brown played eight seasons in the NFL. An eighth-round pick of the Oilers in 1991, Brown played five years in Houston before finishing his career with the San Diego Chargers and the New York Giants.

According to a release from the Dallas Cowboys, Brown "was in hospice care for the last few weeks and has had significant health issues since leaving the Cowboys after the 2019 season."

"Gary Brown had a big heart partnered with a big smile and a big personality," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. "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."

Brown was currently the running back coach at the University of Wisconsin but was recently reassigned to other duties due to his health issues.

"It has been difficult," Wisconsin tailback Chez Mellusi said earlier this spring when asked about missing Brown. "I probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for coach Brown. It was difficult for me but the most important thing is his health. As sad as it is, that is the most important thing."

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