Life in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Roughriders – 1976-1980 Returned to Texas 1980 Moved back to Regina, Saskatchewan – 1989
Born September 3, 1951 in Seguin, (Guadalupe County) Texas
Sport, Law Enforcement, Business
Cleveland graduated from Seguin High School in 1970 where he participated in basketball, baseball and football. He earned All-State, All-District, and All American honors as a running back. He was selected to play in the Texas High School All Star Game which was played in the Houston Astrodome.
He attended college at Oklahoma State University located in Stillwater, Oklahoma on scholarship. Recruited as a running back Cleveland, he switched to linebacker in his junior and senior years earning All- Big 8 Conference awards and All-American honors for his linebacker play. He participated in the Blue/Grey game and the East/West Shrine games which are annual American college all-star games. He was also invited to attend the Senior Bowl but declined to participate in that event.
Drafted in the 5th round (pick/130) by the NFL Miami Dolphins in 1974, Cleveland opted to sign with the Southern California Sun of the newly formed WFL (World Football League) based out of Los Angeles, California. He played 1 1/2 season with the Sun. Following the demise of the WFL Cleveland attended the Miami Dolphin camp and was released prior to the start of the NFL season.
In 1976 Cleveland who was an American import, played in the Grey Cup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders when they lost to the Ottawa Rough Riders Team 23-20. Cleveland was selected as the Grey Cup most valuable player, for his wide ranging play and second half interception. Following the Grey Cup season Cleveland was invited to participate in the CFL All Star game which was held in Toronto, Ontario.
He injured a knee ligament in July 1979 and surgery ended his season. He returned the following year and retired from the game in 1980.
Following retirement Cleveland went home to Texas to pursue a career in law enforcement. He was accepted by the Texas Department of Public Safety and graduated from the police academy in 1982. Following graduation he was stationed in Bryan, College Station, Texas where he worked as a Texas State Trooper in the driver license service and highway patrol service.
In 1989 he and his wife Connie decided to return to Regina with their young family. He began his career at SaskEnergy in driver training and retired as the manager of Health and Safety Services in 2013. Cleveland is presently working for Shermco Industries Canada as the Corporate Safety Manager.
Cleveland and Connie are the proud parents of daughters Shantill Vann-Miles, Leah Fischer, LaToya Vann-Morgan and son Levi Vann. They have three grandsons, Ty, Mason and Carter.