Ernie Stautner

Ernest Alfred Stautner (April 20, 1925 – February 16, 2006) was a German-born American football coach and defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Boston College.

Ernie Stautner
refer to caption
Pro Football Hall of Fame induction
No. 63, 70
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born:April 20, 1925
Cham, Bavaria, Germany
Died:February 16, 2006 (aged 80)
Carbondale, Colorado
Career information
High school:Albany (NY) Vincentian
College:Boston College
NFL Draft:1950 / Round: 2 / Pick: 22
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:173
Fumbles recovered:23
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Early years

Born in Prienzing near Cham, Bavaria in Germany, Stautner's family immigrated to East Greenbush, New York when he was three years old. He attended Columbia High School and the Vincentian Institute. He served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II (1943-46).

After the war, he enrolled at Boston College, where he was a four-year starter as an offensive and defensive tackle. He also handled the team's kickoff and extra point duties. One of his teammates was future Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Donovan.[1] He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1950.[2]

In 1973, he was inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Stautner was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round (22nd overall) of the 1950 NFL Draft. He played his entire career with the Steelers from 1950 to 1963. Despite being small even for his day at 6-1 and 235 pounds, he distinguished himself as one of the best defensive linemen of his era as he became the cornerstone of the Steelers bruising defense.[3]

He was named to nine Pro Bowls in his fourteen-year career and only missed six games. He also made All-NFL in 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959. He retired as the career leader in safeties with 3 and ranked third in fumble recoveries with 23. He moved to defensive end in the later years of his career and also saw spot service at offensive guard.[4]

In the book Passion for Sports by The Sporting News, former teammate Andy Russell shares an anecdote that highlights Stautner's elite toughness. Russell, then a rookie playing on a team that would eventually finish in fourth place in what would be Stautner's final season, sees the grizzled veteran return to the huddle holding one of his hands in the other. Russell looks down and sees that Stautner has a compound fracture of the thumb; one of his thumb bones is visibly sticking out of his skin. Russell is the only one who notices, and Stautner says only, "What's the play?" Then he plays the rest of the defensive series. When the defense returns to the sideline, Russell watches Stautner, thinking that surely he must seek medical attention now. Instead, Stautner says to someone, "Give me some tape." Then Stautner taped up his hand into a club, and he played the rest of the game.

The NFL didn't recognize quarterback sacks as an official stat at the time he retired, but he still finished with 3 career safeties (tied for the lead in league history) and 23 recovered fumbles (third in league history). The Steelers never made the playoffs during his career. He only missed 6 games during his 14-year career, despite suffering multiple cracked ribs, nose fractures, broken fingers and 2 broken shoulders.

On October 25, 1964, Stautner became the first player to have his number (70) formally retired by the Steelers. He was elected to the Steelers 50th anniversary team in 1982 and posthumously by the Pittsburgh Steeler fans to the Steelers 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in November 2007. He was inducted into the inaugural class of the Steelers' Hall of Honor in 2017.[5]

On September 13, 1969, Stautner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Coaching career

From 1963 to 1964 he was a player-coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 1965 he was the defensive line coach for the Washington Redskins.

From 1966 to 1988, he was an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys, and served as the team's defensive coordinator from 1973 to 1988. He was instrumental in the development of defensive players such as Randy White and Ed "Too Tall" Jones. He also contributed to the emergence of the team's famed "Doomsday" and "Doomsday II" defenses.

Stautner stayed on with the Cowboys from 1988 to 1989 as a scout. He coached the Dallas Texans, an Arena Football League team in their first season of play in 1990, guiding the franchise to an appearance in the ArenaBowl IV and earning the league’s Coach-of-the-Year award.

Stautner was the defensive line coach for the Denver Broncos from 1991 to 1994. While with the Broncos, he coached under both Dan Reeves and Wade Phillips. From 1995 to 1997, he returned to Germany to become head coach of the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe. He would guide the team to two consecutive World Bowls in 1995 and 1996, winning in 1995.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Dallas Texans (AFL) (1990)
1990 Dallas Texans 7–3 2nd L ArenaBowl IV
Frankfurt Galaxy (WLAF) (1995–1997)
1995 Frankfurt Galaxy 6–4 2nd W World Bowl '95
1996 Frankfurt Galaxy 6–4 2nd L World Bowl '96
1997 Frankfurt Galaxy 4–6 5th
Frankfurt Galaxy: 17–15
Total: 17–15

Personal life

Stautner died at a Carbondale, Colorado nursing home at age 80 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He is buried in Texas.[6]


  1. ^ "Even in college, Donovan didn't go by the book". The Baltimore Sun. October 17, 1999. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  2. ^ "Ernie Stautner, 80, Who Starred as Undersized N.F.L. Tackle, Is Dead". New York Times. February 17, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  3. ^ "Ernie Stautner bio". Pittsburgh Steelers. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  4. ^ "Biography from Pittsburgh Steelers website". Pittsburgh Steelers. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  5. ^ "Inaugural Hall of Honor class announced". Pittsburgh Steelers. August 29, 2017. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  6. ^ "Ernie Stautner, Hall of Famer for Steelers, dies at 80". San Diego Tribune. February 16, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2019.

External links

1953 All-Pro Team

The 1953 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 1953 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP) (based on voting among 48 member paper sports writers and AP staffers), the United Press (UP), and the New York Daily News.

1957 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), New York Daily News (NYDN), The Sporting News (SN), and United Press (UP) were among selectors of All-Pro teams comprising players adjudged to be the best at each position in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1957 NFL season. The AP, NEA, NYDN, and UPI selected a first and second team.

1957 Pro Bowl

The 1957 Pro Bowl was the NFL's seventh annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1956 season. The game was played on January 13, 1957, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 44,177 fans. The West squad defeated the East by a score of 19–10.The West team was led by the Chicago Bears' Paddy Driscoll while Jim Lee Howell of the New York Giants coached the East squad. Baltimore Colts kicking specialist Bert Rechichar was selected as the outstanding player of the game while defensive tackle Ernie Stautner of the Pittsburgh Steelers was named the outstanding lineman.Each player on the victorious West roster received $700, while the losing East players each took away $500.As of 2018, this was the last time the Pro Bowl was played without being televised.

1958 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), New York Daily News (NYDN), The Sporting News (SN), and United Press International (UPI) selected All-Pro teams comprising their selections of the best players at each position in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1958 NFL season.

1960 All-Pro Team

Selectors of All-Pros for the 1960 National Football League season included the Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), New York Daily News (NYDN), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and The Sporting News (SN).

1990 Arena Football League season

The 1990 Arena Football League season was the fourth season of the Arena Football League (AFL). The league champions were the Detroit Drive, who defeated the Dallas Texans in ArenaBowl IV.

1995 Frankfurt Galaxy season

The 1995 Frankfurt Galaxy season was the third season for the franchise in the World League of American Football (WLAF). The team was led by head coach Ernie Stautner in his first year, and played its home games at Waldstadion in Frankfurt, Germany. They finished the regular season in second place with a record of six wins and four losses. In World Bowl '95, Frankfurt defeated the Amsterdam Admirals 26–22. The victory marked the franchise's first World Bowl championship.

1996 Frankfurt Galaxy season

The 1996 Frankfurt Galaxy season was the fourth season for the franchise in the World League of American Football (WLAF). The team was led by head coach Ernie Stautner in his second year, and played its home games at Waldstadion in Frankfurt, Germany. They finished the regular season in second place with a record of six wins and four losses. In World Bowl '96, Frankfurt lost to the Scottish Claymores 32–27.

1997 Frankfurt Galaxy season

The 1997 Frankfurt Galaxy season was the fifth season for the franchise in the World League of American Football (WLAF). The team was led by head coach Ernie Stautner in his third year, and played its home games at Waldstadion in Frankfurt, Germany. They finished the regular season in fifth place with a record of four wins and six losses.

1997 WLAF season

The 1997 World League of American Football season was the fifth campaign of the WLAF professional American football league, and the third under its six-team Europe-only format. World Bowl '97 was won by the Barcelona Dragons, whose quarterback was Jon Kitna, then on the roster of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL.

Bishop Maginn High School

Bishop Maginn High School is a Catholic high school in Albany, New York. It is coeducational and open to students of all faiths.

The school belongs to the school system of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. It is accredited by the New York State Board of Regents and the Middle States Association.

Columbia High School (East Greenbush, New York)

Columbia High School (or CHS) is a public high school located on Luther Road in East Greenbush, New York, USA. It is the only high school for the East Greenbush Central School District and educates around 1,501 students in grades 9-12. The school has a thirteen to one student to teacher ratio that is below the state average. Columbia High School, commonly referred to CHS, is home to the "Blue Devils". The principal is Michael Harkin, who replaced John Sawchuk in January 2018.

Dallas Texans (Arena)

The Dallas Texans were an Arena football team based in Dallas, Texas. The Texans were founded in 1990 and were a member of the Arena Football League (AFL). The team played for four seasons, and were relatively successful, making the playoffs three out of four seasons. They played their home games in the Reunion Arena, which they shared with the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association.

Doug Graber

Douglas Graber (born September 26, 1944) is a former American football coach. He graduated from Wayne State University (1966) in Detroit, Michigan. He began his coaching career at St. Frances Cabrini Elementary School and High School in Allen Park, Michigan. He served as the head football coach at Montana State University in 1982 and at Rutgers University – New Brunswick from 1990 to 1995, compiling a career college football record of 35–41–1. Graber was also the head coach of the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe from 2001 to 2003. He led the Galaxy to an overall record of 16–15, including a World Bowl XI championship.

Frankfurt Galaxy

The Frankfurt Galaxy was a professional American football team that originally played in the World League of American Football and later in the resurrected NFL Europe. The team was based in Frankfurt, Germany and played in the Commerzbank-Arena, formerly called Waldstadion. The Galaxy was the only team in the league to have remained in operation and in the same city throughout the league's existence.

In September 2014 it was announced that the Frankfurt Football Betriebs GmbH had purchased the rights for the Frankfurt Galaxy from the NFL. It plans to rename the Frankfurt Universe, playing in the German Football League 2 into Frankfurt Galaxy and to take the former's spot in the league in 2015. An attempt to do the same in 2007 had failed because the naming rights then lay with the NFL.

George Brancato

George Brancato (born May 27, 1931) is an American former gridiron football player and coach.

Both an offensive and defensive player in college, he played five games for the Chicago Cardinals during the 1954 NFL season. He rushed the ball twice for 26 yards and caught three passes for 28 yards. In 1955 he played in the Cardinals' defensive backfield. He joined the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League as halfback for the 1956 season. He played defensive back for the Ottawa Rough Riders for seven seasons, occasionally playing on offense.

After his retirement, he taught phys ed at Laval High and Montreal's Loyola High School before returning to Ottawa as an assistant coach. In 1974 he was promoted to head coach after Coach of the Year Jack Gotta left to become head coach and general manager of the World Football League's Birmingham Americans. In 1975 he won the Annis Stukus Trophy as CFL's Coach of the Year after a first place 10-5-1 finish. The following season, he defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders, 23–20, in the 64th Grey Cup. In 1981, his 5–11 Rough Riders came close to causing a massive upset in that year's Grey Cup versus the Edmonton Eskimos. After a 4–12 1984 season he was relieved of his coaching duties and appointed director of player personnel.

In 1989, he was hired to coach the Chicago Bruisers of the Arena Football League. After the team folded he served as an assistant under Ernie Stautner with the expansion Dallas Texans.

He returned to Ottawa in 1993 as Ron Smeltzer's special teams and secondary coach. The following season, he served as the offensive coordinator of the Shreveport Pirates. His next coaching job was as Defensive coordinator of the Anaheim Piranhas. In 1999, he returned to the AFL with the Florida Bobcats as the team's defensive coordinator. It was his final coaching job as he retired at the end of the season.

Houston Outlaws (RFL team)

The Houston Outlaws were a professional American football team that played during the 1999 season as part of the Regional Football League. They played their home games at Pasadena Memorial Stadium in Pasadena, Texas, a suburb of Houston.The team was announced as one of the league's charter members on November 12, 1998. Although Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ernie Stautner was named head coach in February 1999, there is no record of him acting in that capacity. For the team's lone season, former NFL defensive tackle Ray Woodard served as head coach. Josh LaRocca, who had played college football for the Rice Owls, was the starting quarterback.Although the team was scheduled to play a 12-game regular season, poor attendance and sagging revenues would prove too much for the new league. In the shortened regular season, the Outlaws had a 6–2 record. In the postseason, the Outlaws were seeded second in the four-team playoff bracket. They defeated the Mississippi Pride in a home game, 27–3, to advance to the championship game against the top-seeded Mobile Admirals. In RFL Bowl I, played at the Admirals' home field, Ladd–Peebles Stadium, the Outlaws were edged by the Admirals, 14–12. It was the third time the Admirals defeated the Outlaws, who did not lose to any other team. After the season, the team and league ceased operation.

John Fitzgerald (center)

John Robert Fitzgerald (born April 16, 1948) is a former American football center in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys from 1971 to 1980, including four Super Bowls. He played college football at Boston College and was drafted in the fourth round of the 1970 NFL Draft.

National Football League 1950s All-Decade Team

This is a list of all NFL players who had outstanding performances throughout the 1950s and have been compiled together into this fantasy group. The team was selected by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame retroactively in 1969 to mark the league's 50th anniversary.


N1 Team that belonged to the All-America Football Conference for at least part of the player's tenure

Division championships (23)
Conference championships (8)
League championships (6)
Retired numbers
Hall of Fame members
Current league affiliations
Seasons (87)
Special Teams
Running backs
Wide receivers /
Tight ends
Pre-modern era
two-way players
Defensive backs
and punters
Head coaches
Playoff appearances (3)
ArenaBowl appearances (1)
Hall of Fame members

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