John “Red” Cochran – Ourlads’ NFL Scouts Hall of Fame

John Thurman “Red” Cochran Jr. (August 2, 1922 – September 5, 2004) was an American football running back and later an assistant coach and scout in the National Football League. He played college football at Wake Forest University.

After growing up in Fairfield, Alabama, Cochran started his football career at Wake Forest University. However, World War II broke out in the middle of his college career and he became a B-24 Liberator pilot in China with the 373rd Bomb Squadron, 308th Bomb Group. Cochran played at Wake Forest before and after his service, then returned as a Demon Deacons assistant coach from 1951-55.

Cochran was drafted in the eighth round of the 1944 NFL Draft by Card-Pitt (a merger of the Cardinals and Pittsburgh during WWII because of a lack of players). He played cornerback and fullback for the Chicago Cardinals from 1947 to 1949. He holds the team record for Punt return average (21 yds).

After being an assistant coach at Wake Forest from 1951 to 1955, Cochran became an assistant coach for the Detroit Lions, where he would coach from 1956 to 1958. He then moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin to become an assistant coach with the Packers, where he would coach from 1959 to 1966 as offensive backfield coach. He coached the Hall of Fame backfield of Bart Starr, Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung.

After a year away from football, Cochran would coach for the St. Louis Cardinals (1968–1969) and the San Diego Chargers (1970). He then went back to Green Bay as offensive backfield coach (1971–1974), his last coaching position. Then, from 1975 until his death in 2004, he was a scout for the Packers.

Cochran’s teams, in 52 years as a player (1947–1950), assistant coach (1956–1966, 1968–1974) and scout (1975–2004), played in 10 NFL championship games, and won seven. In 1997 he was inducted into the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame.

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