Al Cowlings Biography

Al Cowlings is an American former professional football player. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about his life.

Al Cowlings
Quick Facts

Birthday: June 16, 1947

Nationality: American

Famous: American Football Players American Men

Age: 72 Years, 72 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Gemini

Also Known As: Allen Cedric A.C. Cowlings

Born in: San Francisco, California

Famous as: Former American Football Player

Height: 6'5" (196 cm), 6'5" Males

U.S. State: California

City: San Francisco, California

More Facts

education: Galileo Academy of Science and Technology, City College of San Francisco, University of Southern California

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Allen Cedric "A.C." Cowlings is an American former professional football player who had played for the Buffalo Bills, Houston Oilers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, and San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He is also an actor who portrayed Coach Nabors in the 1980s sitcom ‘1st & Ten: The Championship’. A California native, Cowlings developed an interest in football very early in his life. He played for his high school team and went on to be part of his college’s football program as well. In 1970, he began his professional career with Buffalo Bills after being drafted by them. Cowlings spent the following three seasons with the New York-based team before he was traded to Houston Oilers. After playing for them for two seasons, he joined Los Angeles Rams for one season. In 1976, he was a charter member of the Seattle Seahawks. In the following season, he returned to play for the Rams. In 1978, he concluded his career after spending one season with the San Francisco 49ers. Following his retirement, he briefly pursued a career in acting. Cowlings was a major figure in the O. J. Simpson case, having been a close friend of both Simpson and Nicole Brown.

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Al Cowlings
Childhood & Early Life
  • Born as Allen Gordon Cowlings on June 16, 1947, in San Francisco, California, Cowlings grew up in the Potrero Hill neighbourhood of the city.
  • He was involved in various activities in his neighbourhood and held a membership at the Superiors social club. He often attended their meetings, which were held at the Booker T. Washington Community Center.
  • Cowlings was a student of Galileo Academy of Science and Technology, which was known as Galileo High School at the time. He was part of its football program. After graduating from high school, the young linebacker enrolled in the City College of San Francisco, where he continued to play football.
  • He later attended the University of Southern California and earned the distinction of being an All-American defensive tackle after his senior year.
  • During his senior year, he took on the leadership role in the Trojans’ defensive line and played an instrumental part in the team’s undefeated run in the 1969 season. They were given the nickname ‘The Wild Bunch’, after the epic western film that was released that year.
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Sports Career
  • At the 1970 NFL Draft, Al Cowlings was chosen by Buffalo Bills in the very first round. Wearing the number 83 jersey, he played 13 games in his debut season with the Bills, starting 12 of them. In the 1971 season, he started all 14 games he played and in the season after that, he managed to repeat his 1971 statistics.
  • After the end of the 1971 season, the Bills traded him to Houston Oilers. Cowlings took the field for the Oilers wearing the number 76 jersey. In his two seasons there, he played 28 games in total.
  • In 1975, he played only five games for the Rams in the regular season. Later that year, he made his playoffs debut in a winning effort against the St Louis Cardinals.
  • In 1976, he joined the Seattle Seahawks as a charter member after the Rams made his contract available to the other teams. Cowlings played only one match for the Seahawks before the Rams brought him back.
  • Cowlings played 14 games for the Rams in 1977 and then took a year off. In 1979, he played the final season of his career for the San Francisco 49ers, appearing in 12 matches.
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Acting Career
  • During his time as a professional American footballer, Cowlings was featured in a documentary, ‘O.J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose’, in 1974. In 2010, he appeared in another documentary, ‘30 for 30’.
  • He made his acting debut in the 1985 sports video ‘Bubba Until It Hurts’, which also featured Bubba Smith, Bill Bumiller, and Vince Cannon.
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  • In 1986, he began portraying Coach Nabors in the HBO sitcom ‘1st & Ten: The Championship’. The first episode he appeared in was named ‘A Family Affair’. Cowlings went on to make appearances in 11 more episodes. In 1989, he left the show. His final appearance was in the fourteenth episode of season five.
  • Cowlings served as the technical advisor on the set of the 1991 action comedy ‘The Last Boy Scout’, advising the filmmakers on how to shoot the football scenes. He also worked as the football coordinator on the set of the 1993 sports drama ‘Rudy’.
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Involvement in the O. J. Simpson Case
  • Al Cowlings has known Simpson since they were both children. They both attended Galileo High School, San Francisco City College, and USC and played football together for each of these institutions.
  • During their professional careers, they were teammates at the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers. While their career trajectories were drastically different, they remained close friends.
  • While they were all attending Galileo High School, Cowlings dated Marguerite Whitley, who would later become Simpson’s first wife and the mother of his three children. While Simpson and Whitley’s relationship initially caused problems between him and Cowlings, their friendship survived.
  • Cowlings was named the godfather of Simpson and Whitley’s son, Jason (born 1970). When Simpson married Nicole Brown in February 1985, he served as one of the groomsmen.
  • Brown divorced Simpson in 1992, after suffering years of abuse in his hands. On the morning of June 13, 1994, Brown and her friend, restaurant waiter Ron Goldman, were found dead outside her Los Angeles home. An autopsy was performed and it was deduced that they both died of stab wounds. Brown had several wounds on her neck and scalp and multiple defensive wounds on her arms.
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  • Her funeral took place on 16 June 1994, on Cowlings’ 47th birthday. Cowlings was present at the ceremony, performing the services of a gatekeeper and pallbearer.
  • Simpson was designated as one of the persons of interest in Brown’s murder and was supposed to give himself up to the police a day after the funeral. However, he did not show up at the police station and was eventually found in a moving white Ford Bronco, which belonged to Cowlings.
  • A low-speed chase that subsequently ensued was televised and viewed by about 95 million people. Cowlings contacted the authorities and told them that he was in the car with Simpson, who was holding a gun to his own head, threatening to shoot himself if Cowlings did not take him to Simpson's Rockingham estate in Brentwood. After they arrived there, Simpson eventually turned himself in. Cowlings was arrested as well on charges of aiding a fugitive.
  • Cowlings was released after posting a $250,000 bail. No case was filed against him by the district attorney due to a lack of evidence.
  • While Simpson’s trial was going on, Cowlings conducted a press conference a block away from the courthouse and asked people to call him on a “900 phone number’ to question him on anything but the murder and the trial. That was the only time he had stated anything related to the case. However, he later admitted that Simpson did abuse Brown.
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Family & Personal Life
  • Besides his heavily publicised involvement in the Simpson case, Al Cowlings seems to be an incredibly private person.
  • In 2016, it was revealed that he had married a magazine model named Marion T. LaHood 23 years ago in a quiet ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to the record kept at the Clark County Clerk’s Office in Nevada, Cowlings and LaHood sought to obtain a marriage license on July 30, 1993. A day later, they exchanged wedding vows.
  • It is unclear if they are still married. As of May 2016, she was living in Hawthorne, California whereas he was residing in Santa Barbara.
  • In 2012, it was reported by ‘Fox News’ that he was employed as a handbag sales representative. Two years later, ‘USA Today’ revealed that one of his former teammates had informed them that he had been working under B. Wayne Hughes, founder of Public Storage.
  • Former tennis player and friend of Cowlings, Joe Kolkowitz, told ‘USA Today’ that Cowlings was enjoying retirement in late 2012. In May 2016, ‘Radar Online’ reported that he was working as a personal trainer in Santa Barbara. He was also doing some volunteer work at a horse therapy ranch.
  • His infamous Ford Bronco, which he and Simpson had used during the chase, was bought by Simpson's former sports agent Mike Gilbert. The car was later sent to Alcatraz East Crime Museum on loan and subsequently put on display as a piece of an exhibit showcasing the O. J. Simpson murder trial.
  • In 2009, he was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame along with Junior Seau, Rodney Peete, and John Robinson. Furthermore, in 2017, USC named its residential college after him.
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How To Cite

Article Title
- Al Cowlings Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/al-cowlings-43495.php
Last Updated
- January 16, 2019

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