Former Browns Linebacker Frank Stams Leads Cleveland Chapter Team to Victory in 41st NFL Alumni Super Bowl of Golf at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Central Florida

Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida — Frank Stams knows all about the joy and pride of winning a title, having played a pivotal role as an All-American defensive end on the 1988 Notre Dame team that went undefeated and claimed the school’s 11th national championship in football. On Saturday (October 23), more than three decades removed from that glorious celebration on the gridiron, it was Stams who hit the key shot at the clutch moment to propel his team of five to triumph at the 41st NFL Alumni Super Bowl of Golf, here at Mission Inn Resort.

Faced with a 50-yard pitch shot on the second hole of a Shoot-Out, Stams entertained the assembled onlookers with a series of humorous lines and lauded the event itself before calmly lofting his shot at the hole. The ball rolled toward the cup, lipped out and settled two feet away. Moments later, one of his teammates, Justin Sopko, tapped in the putt to secure the victory and set off a raucous celebration around the 18th hole of the El Campeon Course at Mission Inn.

“I had so much fun playing with this great group of guys, and everyone contributed today to make it such a special experience,” said Stams, who had captained his team to victory at the Cleveland Chapter championship to earn a spot in the Super Bowl of Golf. “I was fortunate to be part of a national championship team at Notre Dame and this is every bit as exciting to me to share this title with this group. I know I speak for all of the guys in saying it’s such a thrill to win this national championship.”

In addition to Stams and Sopko, the victorious chapter team featured three more Cleveland-area golfers — Sheng Lu, Chad Trush and Ryan Workman. The Cleveland Chapter was one of 27 teams that competed in a scramble format earlier in the day over the two courses at Mission Inn — El Campeon and Las Colinas — with the low two teams on each course advancing to the Shoot-Out. After teams from the Tampa Chapter and the Pacific Northwest Chapter bowed out with bogeys on the first Shoot-Out hole, Stams and his team held off the five from the South Florida Chapter, thanks to a wedge that Stams actually had to borrow from the bag of one of his mates because Stams’ clubs had been sent to the wrong city on the flight to Orlando.

The 41st NFL Alumni Super Bowl of Golf featured other notable NFL figures, including Jim Caldwell, who coached the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl in February of 2010. Beasley Reece, who played for the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1976-84, led his team from the Northern California Chapter to victory in the 2020 championship and defended that title at Mission Inn. Reece also serves as the CEO of NFL Alumni, the oldest, most well-known and well-respected retired player organization in professional sports.

“The NFL Alumni Super Bowl of Golf is the highest-profile event for our association, and we’re especially proud that proceeds benefit the NFL Player Care foundation and other fine charities that mean so much to us,” said Reece. “Mission Inn proved to be a spectacular venue for our national championship and to have it come down to such a dramatic shot as the one Frank hit today capped off a memorable time at a very special place.”

Founded in 1967, the NFL Alumni is a non-profit organization whose membership includes retired players, coaches, front office executives, spouses, cheerleaders and avid fans. Alumni in the 41 chapters are offered a diverse package of medical, business and legal services to help keep them and their families healthy, productive and connected to the league and their former teammates.