"Deacon" Dan Towler (March 6, 1928 in Donora, Pennsylvania – August 1, 2001 in Pasadena, California) was a National Football League running back for the Los Angeles Rams from 1950 through 1955. He was the NFL leading rusher in 1952. He graduated from Washington & Jefferson College.
The football statistics website Cold, Hard Football Facts calls Towler "the greatest running back you don't know," and "a bright, shining star who lit up the NFL for an oh-so-brief but spectacular three-year period unlike any before or since." "[F]or a three-year period in the early 1950s," says Cold, Hard Football Facts, "Towler was the closest thing the NFL has ever produced to an unstoppable ball carrier. Here is his production over the three seasons from 1951 to 1953: 434 attempts for 2,627 yards, 6.05 YPA, and 23 touchdowns. [...] That is incredible production, especially back in the 12-game-season era."
After retiring from football, Towler was named pastor of the Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church in Pasadena, California; he was also a chaplain at California State University at Los Angeles and president of the Los Angeles County Board of Education.
By Dean Hanley
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