Ed Sustersic

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Ed Sustersic
No. 70
Position: Fullback, Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1922-01-07)January 7, 1922
Cleveland, Ohio
Died: January 18, 1967(1967-01-18) (aged 45)
Brecksville, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: John Marshall High School
College: University of Findlay
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • AAFC Champion (1949)
  • Findlay Athletic Hall of Fame (1971)
Career NFL statistics as of 1949
Games: 11
Rushing yards: 114
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Edward J. "Foozy" Sustersic (January 7, 1922 – January 18, 1967) was an American football fullback and linebacker who played one season in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) for the Cleveland Browns.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Sustersic was a star football player and wrestler at his local high school. He attended Findlay College, where he continued his athletic career and won a state amateur wrestling championship. His college career was interrupted by service in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, but he returned to Findlay and was named an All-Ohio fullback in 1947. He then played one season for the Browns in 1949. The team won the AAFC championship that year.

Sustersic held a number of coaching jobs in Ohio after leaving the Browns. He became a coach at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in 1958, and was named its athletic director in 1961. He died in 1967 of a heart attack. Four years later, he was inducted into Findlay's athletics hall of fame.

Early life and college

Sustersic grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and attended John Marshall High School, where he played football and won a city championship in wrestling before graduating in 1941.[1][2][3] He continued to wrestle and play football at the Findlay College in Findlay, Ohio, and won the Ohio Amateur Athletic Union heavyweight wrestling championship.[2][4] He left Findlay early in his college career, however, to serve in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.[2] He rose to the rank of sergeant and won a heavyweight boxing championship while stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi.[2] Sustersic returned to Findlay after the war, and resumed his football career there, playing as a fullback.[5] He was named a first-team All-Ohio fullback by the Associated Press after the 1947 season.[5] He graduated in 1948.[2]

Professional career

Sustersic signed to play for the Cleveland Browns of the All-America Football Conference in 1949.[4] He was the team's third-string fullback, playing behind Marion Motley and Tony Adamle, as well as a linebacker on defense.[6] Sustersic scored two touchdowns in a pre-season game against the Chicago Hornets, but saw little action during the season.[4][6] He substituted for Motley after the starter was injured in a September game against the Baltimore Colts.[7] Led by an offense that featured Motley, quarterback Otto Graham and ends Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie, team won the AAFC championship that year.[8] Sustersic finished the season with 114 rushing yards on 23 carries and a touchdown.[4]

Later life and death

Sustersic retired from football after the 1949 season. After stints as an assistant coach at Findlay, Sidney High School and Elyria Catholic High School, he was named the head football coach at St. Mary's School in Sandusky, Ohio in 1954, and stayed in that position for four years.[2][3] He then took a job as the head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School near Brecksville, Ohio.[3] In 1960, he and head football coach Joe Vadini launched the Brecksville Holiday Invitational, a wrestling tournament that quickly became an important scholastic wrestling event.[2] Sustersic was named the athletic director at Brecksville in 1961 and stepped down as an assistant for the football team.[9] He returned to football in 1965, however, as Brecksville's line coach.[2]

Sustersic died suddenly in 1967 of a heart attack while he was running in the Brecksville gym during school.[2] He and his wife, Jean, had four sons.[2] He was inducted into Findlay's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1971.[10]


  1. ^ "Ed Sustersic". Oldest Living Pro Football Players. Archived from the original on August 4, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Ed Sustersic". Cleveland Plain Dealer. January 18, 1967. pp. 67–68.
  3. ^ a b c Chay, Ed (August 5, 1958). "Ex-Brown Sustersic Named at Brecksville". Cleveland Plain Dealer. p. 26.
  4. ^ a b c d "Ed Sustersic NFL Football Statistics". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on August 4, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Kilfoyle, Demando and Gorman Named to A.P. All-Ohio Conference Eleven". Cleveland Plain Dealer. December 11, 1947. p. 25.
  6. ^ a b "Graham Scores on 28-Yard Run as Browns Whip Hornets in Exhibition, 21–0". Cleveland Plain Dealer. August 15, 1949. p. 20.
  7. ^ Sauerbrei, Harold (September 12, 1949). "Edgar Jones' 2 Touchdowns Pace Browns' 20-to-0 Victory Over Baltimore". Cleveland Plain Dealer. p. 22.
  8. ^ Piascik 2007, pp. 144–146.
  9. ^ "Sustersic Named to Grid Post". Cleveland Plain Dealer. April 18, 1961. p. 35.
  10. ^ "Current Members". University of Findlay. Archived from the original on August 5, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.


  • Piascik, Andy (2007). The Best Show in Football: The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns. Lanham, Maryland: Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58979-571-6.

External links

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