John Lewis Cash, born August 5, 1936, was a standout athlete at Risley High in football, basketball and track. After graduating from Risley in 1954, Cash attended Allen University in South Carolina on a football scholarship, where he lettered for four years and was a standout defensive lineman. He also lettered for two years in track and baseball and for one year in basketball.
After graduating from Allen University with a B.S. degree in 1958, Cash joined the Army and played football for the Army in Germany. He was named to the All-European team in 1959and was the Army Most Valuable player in 1958 and 1959. He was captain for the Frankfurt Iron Dukes (Germany) in 1959.
Upon being discharged from the Army, Cash signed with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL prior to the 1960 season where he went to training camp and was cut from the roster a few days prior to the start of the season. In 1961, Cash signed with the Denver Broncos of the AFL, where he started for two years at defensive end. While with the Broncos, he found out he had calcium deposits in his ankle and was urged by his doctor to stop playing football.
Not finished with football yet, Cash played from 1965 through 1969 with the Roanoke Buckskins of the Atlantic Coast Football League (ACFL), a “farm team” for the Washington Redskins. The ACFL was a professional football minor league that operated from1962 to 1973. Until 1969, many of the league’s franchises had working agreements with NFL and AFL teams to serve as farm clubs.
After football, Cash, his wife Gloria and their two sons, John Cash Jr., and Bruce Cash, livedoutside of Bethesda, Md., where he worked for the U.S. Postal Service. He stayed active insports, coaching the Glenarden Community Center basketball team to 12 community center championships, along with coaching the Glenarden Boys and Girls Club’s football team.
Cash passed away on April 27, 2023.