Brother Richard P. “Dick” Schafrath (Alpha-Sigma, The Ohio State University, ’58), who earned legendary status as an offensive tackle on the gridiron and later as a state legislator, joined the Chapter Celestial on August 15th, 2021.
A native of Wooster, Ohio, Brother Schafrath was recruited to The Ohio State University by Woody Hayes and enrolled as a Freshman in the fall of 1955. Brother Schafrath was a two-way player for the Buckeyes, playing offensive tackle and defensive end, winning a National Championship in 1957 and eventually being named captain of the Buckeyes squad.
Brother Schafrath was initiated into the Alpha-Sigma Chapter at Ohio State in 1958, one of numerous Buckeyes players during the Woody Hayes era to become Kappa Sigma Initiates.
The Cleveland Browns drafted Brother Schafrath in the 2nd Round of the 1959 NFL Draft, where he would eventually replace NFL Hall of Famer Lou Groza at left tackle. Brother Schafrath would play his entire 13-year career with the Browns, being named an NFL All-Pro four times and to the Pro Bowl seven times. He was named by his teammates as the team MVP in 1963. Brother Schafrath was elected to the Cleveland Browns Legends Club in 2003.
Brother Schafrath was a starter for the Browns 1964 NFL Championship team, where he started in the Browns 27-0 upset of the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts and Johnny Unitas in the NFL Championship Game. He also memorably started for the Browns in the first ever Monday Night Football game on September 21, 1970, a 31-21 Cleveland victory over the New York Jets.
Brother Schafrath was known for his determination and work ethic, earning the nickname “The Mule” from his teammates as a result. The nickname would inspire the title of his 2006 autobiography, “Heart of a Mule,” which featured a foreword written by Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, whom Schafrath cleared paths for so many years with the Browns.
Brother Schafrath’s post-football career shifted into politics after being recruited by none other than President Ronald Reagan. President Reagan recruited Brother Schafrath to coordinate and organize “Athletes for Reagan-Bush ‘84” in support of the President’s re-election.
Brother Schafrath was appointed to a vacant seat in the Ohio Senate in 1985. He won election to the seat in 1986 after one of the most notable Republican primaries in Ohio political history. In total, Brother Schafrath was elected to four terms in the Ohio Senate, where he was noted for his advocacy for children and education. Brother Schafrath announced his retirement from the Ohio Senate in 2002.
The Kappa Sigma Fraternity extends its sincerest condolences to Brother Schafrath’s family and loved ones as we recognize a remarkable life of accomplishment from a notable Kappa Sigma Brother.