Former Michigan State All-American offensive tackle Don Coleman has passed away at age 88, per the Detroit Free Press.
Coleman helped launch the Spartans to their 9-0 record and first national championship in 1951. He was Michigan State’s first unanimous All-American as a senior and weighed just 185 pounds as one of the nation’s top blockers.
He also played on defense and special teams, and didn’t play football until his senior year of high school.
Coleman was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in 1952, but left professional football when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. After being discharged from the Army in 1954, Coleman played in an exhibition game before he was traded to the Green Bay Packers. but turned down the pro football offer.
“I haven’t regretted anything I’ve done, including saying no to the Green Bay Packers,” Coleman said via MSU Spartans. “Giving up football gave me a chance to get started working with communities. I hope I’ve been a Jackie Robinson on a smaller scale. I always wanted to set an example and do the right thing. And nothing feels better than when someone says, `I always wanted to be a Don Coleman.'”
Our thoughts are with the Coleman family.