Alex Agase

Alexander Arrasi Agase (March 27, 1922 – May 3, 2007) was an American football guard and linebacker who was named an All-American three times in college and played on three Cleveland Browns championship teams before becoming head football coach at Northwestern University and Purdue University.

Agase grew up in Illinois and attended the University of Illinois, where he was a standout as a guard starting in 1941. He was named an All-American in 1942. Agase then entered the U.S. Marines during World War II and played a season at Purdue while in training. He was again named an All-American in 1943. After his discharge from the Marines, he came back to Illinois and played a final season in 1946, after which he was named an All-American for a third time. Agase began his professional football career with the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in 1947, but was soon traded to the Chicago Rockets and then the Browns, where he remained until 1952. Cleveland won two AAFC championships and one National Football League championship while Agase was on the team. After retiring from football, Agase was worked as an assistant coach for the Dallas Texans and, after a brief return to playing for the Baltimore Colts, Iowa State University. He was hired as an assistant at Northwestern in 1956 under head coach Ara Parseghian.

Agase remained as an assistant until Parseghian left to coach at Notre Dame in 1963 and he was named the new head coach. Agase guided the Northwestern Wildcats to a 32–58–1 win-loss-tie record in nine seasons. He was named coach of the year by the Football Writers Association of America after guiding the team to a 6–4 record in 1970. Agase left to coach at Purdue in 1972, but none of his teams posted a winning record there, and he was fired in 1977. He then spent six years as athletic director at Eastern Michigan University before retiring. Agase died in 2007. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

By Dean Hanley

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