He was 85 years old.
A defensive back and halfback, Shofner was a first-round draft pick for the Browns in 1958.
He remained with the team through the 1963 season.
The oldest signed Browns card in my collection is this 1957 Topps Jim Shofner, defensive back and interim coach of the 1990 squad– the first year I followed the team and they went 3-13. This should have been a warning sign. Signed via mail in November 2017. pic.twitter.com/OQeZUjHwk4
— DFWGrapher (@DFWGrapher) October 25, 2020
At 29 years of age, he retired from the game on March 17, 1964.
In 76 career games, he recorded 20 interceptions.
Shofner originally attributed his early retirement to a business opportunity in the insurance industry.
Within three years, Shofner was back in the game as a coach in the college ranks beginning at his alma mater Texas Christian University (TCU) in 1966.
Jim Shofner was a standout at North Side High School before becoming a two-sport star at TCU, and later its head football coach. He was also the Dallas Cowboys’ QB coach in the ’80s. https://t.co/9J2Q9DVBeu
— Fort Worth Star-Telegram (@startelegram) July 21, 2021
Returned To The Browns As A Coach
He stayed in coaching for three decades including two stints with the Browns.
The first was in 1978 when he joined the Browns as the team’s quarterbacks coach, a position he stayed in until 1980.
In Shofner’s final season with the Browns, quarterback Brian Sipe threw for 4,000 yards and won the NFL MVP award.
Sipe was never the same quarterback after Shofner left the Browns following the 1980 season to become the Houston Oilers offensive coordinator.
Shofner returned to Cleveland a decade later to serve as the team’s offensive coordinator during the 1990 season.
He also was named the interim head coach for the last seven games of that season after Bud Carson was fired.
Under Shofner’s leadership, the Browns went 1-6.
Worked With Hall of Fame Coaches Tom Landry and Marv Levy
He left the Oilers after the 1982 season to become the quarterbacks coach for the Dallas Cowboys from 1983 to 1985 also known as the post Roger Staubach era with Danny White as the starter and Tom Landry as the head coach.
Shofner joined the Buffalo Bills coaching staff in 1992 as the quarterbacks coach for Jim Kelly.
He was with the Bills through 1996 making him part of Marv Levy’s coaching staff during those two seasons (1992 and 1993) when the Bills were defeated in the Super Bowl.
As a coach and player, Shofner was a legend at TCU and is a member of the TCU Hall of Fame.
In addition to his wife Nancy, Shofner has two children and four grandchildren.