Bernie J. Kosar Jr.

From Ohio History Central

Bernie Joseph Kosar, Jr., was born on November 25, 1963, in Boardman, Ohio. He graduated from Boardman High School, where he excelled at football. Several colleges recruited Kosar, but he selected the University of Miami, where he led the Miami Hurricanes to a national championship in 1983, his first season as a starter. Kosar played only one more season for Miami before entering the National Football League (NFL). Amazingly, Kosar graduated a year early, making him eligible for the NFL.

In 1985, in a supplemental draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Kosar. Cleveland Browns fans welcomed Kosar, an Ohio native, with open arms. He did not disappoint the Browns, who had won five games and lost sixteen the season before. Kosar led the team to the playoffs his first season, with eight wins and eight losses. The next season, with Kosar as the team's permanent starting quarterback, the Browns won twelve games and lost just four during the regular season. The team missed playing in the Super Bowl by a single defeat. The Browns continued to perform admirably under Kosar's leadership for the next several years, but by the early 1990s, injuries had hampered Kosar. In 1993, Browns coach Bill Belichick benched Kosar in 1993. That same year, the Browns released Kosar.

Kosar completed the 1993 season with the Dallas Cowboys, earning a Super Bowl ring as back-up quarterback to Troy Aikman. Kosar spent the next three seasons as back-up to Dan Marino with the Miami Dolphins. He retired from football at the end of the 1996 season. Over his professional career, Kosar threw for 23,301 yards and 124 touchdowns.

Since retiring from football, Kosar has been involved in several different businesses and charity organizations. In 2001, he became part owner of the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers. He also has entered the restaurant business. In 1991, while still an NFL player, Kosar established the Bernie J. Kosar, Jr. Charitable Trust, which helps raise funds for a number of children's charities. Kosar is currently is owner, president and CEO of the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League.

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