Cecil Frank Isbell (July 11, 1915 – June 23, 1985) was an American football Quarterback and coach. He played five years in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers, leading them to the NFL Championship in 1939. He retired after the 1942 season to become an assistant coach at his alma mater, Purdue University, and the following year became its head coach for three seasons.
Isbell was the head coach of the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference from 1947 to 1949, resigning after four winless games. He then became an assistant under former head coach Curly Lambeau, now with the Chicago Cardinals. When Lambeau resigned late in the 1951 season, Isbell was the interim head coach for the final two games, which they split. Isbell's pro head coaching record was 10–23–1. He was hired as an assistant coach with the Dallas Texans if the NFL in 1952. Isbell was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1967.
|Born:||July 11, 1915|
|Died:||June 23, 1985 (aged 69)|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg)|
|NFL draft||1938 / Round: 1 / Pick 7|
|1950–1951||Chicago Cardinals (OC/QB/RB)|
|1952||Dallas Texans (backfield)|
|1938–1942||Green Bay Packers|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born in Houston, Texas, Isbell was the second son of Adger and Sarah Isbell. His older brother Cody was also a football player for Purdue and his two younger brothers also played college football: William Adger "Dub" Isbell Jr. at Rice Institute and Larry Isbell at Baylor University.
Isbell attended Sam Houston High School in Houston, then went to Purdue, where played from 1935 through 1937. He was voted the Boilermakers' most valuable player for the 1937 season. In the summer of 1938, he led the College All-Stars to victory over the defending NFL champion Washington Redskins at Soldier Field in Chicago. Isbell was named the game's MVP as the All-Stars prevailed, 28–16.
Isbell was selected in the first round of the 1938 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers, the seventh overall pick. When he arrived in Green Bay, the Packers already had an All-Pro tailback, Arnie Herber. who had led the Packers to the NFL championship in 1936. Coach Curly Lambeau alternated Isbell and Herber and occasionally used them in the same backfield, with Isbell at halfback. This "platooning" allowed Isbell to learn Lambeau's offense, the Notre Dame Box. Isbell was a very accurate passer and a good runner and he led the Packers in rushing and passing in his rookie year. The Packers came in first in the West and faced the New York Giants in the championship game at the Polo Grounds. Isbell rushed 11 times for 20 yards and was 3 of 5 passing for 91 yards, but the Giants prevailed, 23–17. In 1939, the Packers used the same attack and again Isbell led the team in rushing while catching 9 passes as well. The Packers again won the Western division and faced New York in a rematch from the year before. This time the game was played in Milwaukee and Green Bay crushed the Giants, 27–0, with Isbell throwing a 27-yard touchdown pass.
From 1940 to 1942, the Packers finished second in the West to the Chicago Bears each year. Isbell became a more accomplished passer during this time, connecting regularly with Don Hutson in record-setting frequency. In 1941, Isbell set an NFL record for yards passing with 1,479 and led the league in completion percentage (56.8%) and touchdown passes with 15 (10 to Hutson). The Packers finished the season tied with Chicago, but lost to the Bears in a divisional tiebreaker playoff, 33–14. In 1942, Isbell surpassed his own record with 2021 yards passing and set a new record with 24 touchdown passes. Hutson also set NFL records with 74 receptions, 1,211 yards receiving and 17 touchdowns (Hutson's touchdown mark was matched by Elroy Hirsch in 1951 and stood until 1984). Still, the Packers finished second to Chicago, who were 11–0 in the regular season.
After the 1942 season, Isbell quit the NFL after just 5 years, He finished with 5,945 yards passing, 61 touchdowns, and 52 interceptions.
The Professional Football Researchers Association named Isbell to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2008  Isbell is one of ten players that were named to the National Football League 1930s All-Decade Team that have not been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Isbell started out at Purdue as an assistant coach in 1943 and took over as head coach in 1944. He coached there for three years with a 14–14–1 record. In 1947, he became a pro coach for the Baltimore Colts in the All-America Football Conference. He lasted for 2⅔ seasons, resigning prior to the fifth game in 1949. His one claim to fame from those years in the AAFC was he was the first coach of Y. A. Tittle, who went on to great success in the NFL. After a few more years as an assistant coach in the NFL coaching the Chicago Cardinals under head coach Curly Lambeau, and later the Dallas Texans, Isbell quit football for business in the mid 1950s.
|Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten Conference) (1944–1946)|
|Team||League||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|BCL||AAFC||1947||2||11||1||.154||4th in AAFC East||–||–||–||–|
|BCL||AAFC||1948||7||7||0||.500||T–1st in AAFC East||0||1||.000||Lost to Buffalo Bills in Division Playoff.|
|BCL||AAFC||1949||0||4||0||.000||6th in AAFC||–||–||–||–|
|CRD||NFL||1951||1||1||0||.500||6th in AAFC||–||–||–||–|
The 1936 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Big Ten Conference teams chosen by various selectors for the 1936 Big Ten Conference football season.1937 Big Ten Conference football season
The 1937 Big Ten Conference football season was the 42nd season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1937 college football season.
The 1937 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team, under head coach Bernie Bierman, won the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring offense (23.0 points per game), compiled a 6–2 record, and was ranked No. 5 in the final AP poll. End Ray King was named a first-team All-American by two selectors, and fullback Andy Uram was received first-team honors from the Associated Press. Halfback Rudy Gmitro was awarded the team's most valuable player award.
The 1937 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Francis Schmidt finished in second place with a 6–2 record, shut out six of eight opponents, led the Big Ten in scoring defense (2.9 points allowed per game), and was ranked No. 8 in the final AP poll. Guard Gust Zarnas was selected as a first-team All-American by three selectors. Back Jim McDonald was the second player selected in the 1938 NFL Draft.
Corbett Davis of Indiana won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the Big Ten's most valuable player. He was also the first player selected in the 1938 NFL Draft.1941 All-Pro Team
The 1941 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1941 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the so-called "official" All-Pro team selected by a committee of professional football writers for the NFL (NFL), the sports writers of the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), Collyer's Eye (CE), the New York Daily News (NYDN), and the Chicago Herald American.Players displayed in bold were consensus first-team selections. Five players were named to the first team by all six selectors: Green Bay Packers halfback Cecil Isbell; Chicago Bears halfback George McAfee; Green Bay Packers end Don Hutson; Chicago Bears guard Dan Fortmann; and Chicago Bears center Bulldog Turner.1942 All-Pro Team
The 1942 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players who were chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team for the 1942 football season. Teams were selected by, among others, the "official" All-Pro team announced by the NFL and selected by a committee of nine reporters (NFL), the Associated Press (AP), the International News Service (INS), and the New York Daily News (NYDN).1942 Green Bay Packers season
The 1942 Green Bay Packers season was their 24th season overall and their 22nd season in the National Football League. The club posted an 8–2–1 record under coach Curly Lambeau, earning a second-place finish in the Western Conference.1944 Purdue Boilermakers football team
The 1944 Purdue Boilermakers football team was an American football team that represented Purdue University during the 1944 Big Ten Conference football season. In their first season under head coach Cecil Isbell, the Boilermakers compiled a 5–5 record, finished in third place in the Big Ten Conference with a 4–2 record against conference opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 207 to 166.Notable players from the 1944 Purdue team included fullback Babe Dimancheff, end Frank Bauman, and tackle Pat O'Brien.1945 Purdue Boilermakers football team
The 1945 Purdue Boilermakers football team was an American football team that represented Purdue University during the 1945 Big Ten Conference football season. In their second season under head coach Cecil Isbell, the Boilermakers compiled a 7–3 record, finished in fifth place in the Big Ten Conference with a 3–3 record against conference opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 198 to 125.Notable players from the 1945 Purdue team included halfbacks Ed Cody and Bob DeMoss.1946 Purdue Boilermakers football team
The 1946 Purdue Boilermakers football team was an American football team that represented Purdue University during the 1946 Big Ten Conference football season. In their third season under head coach Cecil Isbell, the Boilermakers compiled a 2–6–1 record, finished in last place in the Big Ten Conference with an 0–5–1 record against conference opponents, and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 208 to 97.Notable players from the 1946 Purdue team included guard Dick Barwegen.Arnie Herber
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David McGinnis (born August 7, 1951) is an American football coach and former college player who was the assistant head coach of the Los Angeles Rams from 2012 to 2016. He was also previously the head coach of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals from 2000 through 2003.Dewey Scanlon
Dewey D. Scanlon (August 16, 1899 – September 24, 1944) was an American football coach, and was the head coach for the National Football League's Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos from 1924 to 1926 and for the Chicago Cardinals in 1929. As an NFL head coach, he compiled a record of 17–15–4 in four seasons. He also appeared in one game as a wingback for Duluth in 1926. Scanlon was born in Duluth, Minnesota and attended Valparaiso University.Fred Gillies
Frederick Montague Gillies (December 9, 1895 – May 8, 1974) was an American football player and coach for the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League. He graduated from Cornell University in 1918 and was a member of the Quill and Dagger society. He appeared in 72 games, 51 of which as a starter, as a tackle for the Chicago Cardinals between 1920 and 1933, earning All-Pro honors in 1922. He coached the team in 1928, which was his final season as a player and only as a coach, to a 1-5 record.
Fred later married Blanche Wilderand and adopted Theo Janet Howells, the biological daughter of Blanche's sister, Gertrude Wilder. Gillies also worked and volunteered for the Republican Party.
In 1932, he was a survivor in a plane crash that took the life of aviator Eddie Stinson, the founder of Stinson Aircraft Company. Gillies suffered a leg injury, as a result of the accident, which left him in a leg brace for the rest of his life.Hank Kuhlmann
Henry N. "Hank" Kuhlmann (born October 6, 1937) is a former American football coach, and was the interim head coach for the National Football League's Phoenix Cardinals for part of the 1989 season. He assumed the position after Gene Stallings resigned in November. Kuhlmann finished with an 0-5 record, and was replaced by Joe Bugel before the start of the following season.Kuhlmann played fullback for the Missouri Tigers football team from 1956 to 1958 under coaches Don Faurot, Frank Broyles, and Dan Devine. He led the Tigers in rushing and in scoring the 1956 and 1957 seasons and also led the team in interceptions in 1956. Kuhlmann received All-Big Eight Conference honors in 1957.Kuhlmann also played catcher for the Missouri Tigers baseball team. In 1958, he was named to the All College World Series team, helping the Tigers to a national runner-up finish.Upon graduation from Missouri, Kuhlmann signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, spending four years in the minor leagues. He then returned to Missouri, where he served as an assistant coach under Devine before accompanying Devine to the Green Bay Packers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.In 2010, Kuhlmann was inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.Larry Wilson (American football)
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The Packers have had 46 starting quarterbacks (QB) in the history of their franchise. The Packers' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Curly Lambeau, Tony Canadeo, Arnie Herber, Bart Starr and Brett Favre. The team's first starting quarterback was Norm Barry, while the longest serving was Brett Favre. The Packers' starting quarterback for the 2018 season was Aaron Rodgers, who was playing in his 14th season in the NFL.
They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Packers.List of Purdue Boilermakers football seasons
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# denotes interim head coach
# denotes interim head coach
Cecil Isbell—championships, awards, and honors