The Iowa State Cyclones and Detroit Lions are in mourning today following the passing of one of their football players from the 1960s, Tommy Vaughn.
Iowa State announced today that Vaughn passed away at the age of 77. According to the Detroit Free Press, Vaughn’s passing comes following a long battle with an unspecified illness.
Vaughn played running back and defensive back at Iowa State from 1962 to 1964. He was an All-American in 1963, an All-Big Eight selection in 1964, and was voted Iowa State Athlete of the Year in 1965. In three seasons with the Cyclones, Vaughn rushed for 1,889 yards and nine touchdowns.
After college, he was selected in both the NFL and AFL Drafts in 1965. With offers from the Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos, he chose Detroit and went on to play seven seasons for the Lions as a defensive back and return specialist.
Vaughn played 88 games and averaged 25.7 yards per kick return. On defense, he recorded nine interceptions and nine fumble recoveries.
We are saddened by the loss of Cyclone All-American Tom Vaughn at the age of 77.
✅All-American in 1963
✅ISU Athlete of the Year in 1965
✅Member of Detroit Lions 1965-71
✅Coached for the WFL’s Detroit Wheels in 1974
✅ISU assistant from 1976-77
✅ISU Hall of Fame in 2005 pic.twitter.com/NjzxxGQRYO
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) July 5, 2020
After retiring in 1972, Vaughn began a career in coaching. He first started as an assistant for the Detroit Wheels in the short-lived World Football League before returning to Iowa State as an assistant in 1975.
Vaughn spent several years at Iowa before taking on coaching roles at Missouri and Wyoming.
In 2005, Vaughn was inducted into the Iowa State University Hall of Fame.
Our hearts go out to Tom Vaughn’s family and loved ones.