Dick Jauron ’73, a former Yale football running back and National Football League defensive back, was named as an inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame this morning. Jauron will be officially inducted in December at a National Football Foundation dinner in New York City.
The three-time All-American, who played in the NFL for eight years and coached for another 28, was one of 15 former players selected to the Hall of Fame’s class of 2015. He is the 29th player or coach from Yale to be inducted and the first since former head coach Carm Cozza was named in 2002.
Jauron was a standout throughout his time at Yale, tallying 2,947 career rushing yards between 1970 and 1972, a Yale record that stood until Rashad Bartholomew ’01 broke it in 2000. Jauron played only three seasons because freshmen were not eligible to play varsity in the Ivy League until 1993.
The Detroit Lions selected Jauron in the fourth round of the NFL Draft directly out of college. But he never played running back, instead getting time at free safety and returned punts for five years with the Lions and three with the Cincinatti Bengals. Jauron finished his NFL career with 25 interceptions, returning two of them for touchdowns, and he was named to the 1974 Pro Bowl as a punt returner in his second season.
Jauron then coached for seven different NFL organizations, earning head coaching jobs for the Chicago Bears between 1999 and 2003 — where he was named the AP Coach of the Year in 2001 — and the Buffalo Bills between 2006 and 2009. When he retired as a defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in 2012, his career head coaching record was 60–82.
Jauron also played baseball at Yale and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals as a shortshop in 1973. He chose to pursue professional football instead.