Former Chargers linebacker and College Football Hall of Famer Bob Babich dies at 74

Chargers' Mel Rogers and Bob Babich team up to bring down Kansas City Chiefs' Morris Stroud.
Chargers’ Mel Rogers, lower left, and Bob Babich, top left, team up to bring down Kansas City Chiefs’ Morris Stroud in Kansas City on Oct. 11, 1971.
(WPS / Associated Press)

Bob Babich, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame who played linebacker in the NFL for the Chargers and Browns, has died. He was 74.

Babich died April 3 at his home in Clairemont, Calif. His death was reported by the National Football Foundation on Wednesday.

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Babich played for coach Bo Schembechler at Miami (Ohio) University. He was a captain and a first-team All-American at linebacker in 1968, subsequently voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994. He is the only player from the Mid-American Conference school in Oxford, Ohio, to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.


“An exceptional hard-hitting linebacker, Bob Babich made his mark in Oxford as one of the best in the country,” National Football Foundation chairman Archie Manning said. “He was great guy to be around with a great sense of humor and full of great stories.“

Babich was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the 1969 NFL draft. He spent three years with the Chargers and six more in Cleveland, mostly playing middle linebacker.

After his playing days, he operated his own firm for more than two decades in the insurance, financial services and real estate lending industry.

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April 18, 2022