Forrest Gregg

Alvis Forrest Gregg (born October 18, 1933) is a former American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL)[1], the Canadian Football League and the NCAA. A Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman for sixteen seasons, he was a part of six NFL championships, five of them with the Green Bay Packers before closing out his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys with a win in Super Bowl VI. Gregg was later the head coach of three NFL teams (Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Packers), as well as two Canadian Football League teams (Toronto Argonauts and Shreveport Pirates).

As a head coach, he led the 1981 Bengals to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the 49ers by a score of 26-21.

Forrest Gregg
No. 75, 79
Position:Offensive tackle
Personal information
Born:October 18, 1933 (age 85)
Birthright, Texas
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school:Sulphur Springs
(Sulphur Springs, Texas)
College:SMU
NFL Draft:1956 / Round: 2 / Pick: 20
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:193
Fumble recoveries:8
NFL coaching record:75–85–1
Player stats at NFL.com

Early life and college career

Born in Birthright, Texas, Gregg attended Sulphur Springs High School in Sulphur Springs and played college football at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Playing career

Gregg was a key player on the Packers dynasty of head coach Vince Lombardi that won five NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls in the 1960s. He played mostly at right tackle, but also filled in at guard. Gregg earned an "iron-man" tag by playing in a then-league record 188 consecutive games in sixteen seasons, from 1956 until 1971. He also won All-NFL acclaim eight straight years from 1960 through 1967 and was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls.[1]

Gregg closed his career with the Dallas Cowboys, as did his Packer teammate, cornerback Herb Adderley. They both helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl VI in January 1972, making them the only players (along with former teammate Fuzzy Thurston, who was on the Baltimore Colts world championship team in 1958 and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots) in professional football history to play on six teams that won World Championships. Gregg wore jersey number 75 for fifteen seasons in Green Bay, but that number belonged to Jethro Pugh in Dallas, so Gregg wore number 79 for his final season in 1971.

Vince Lombardi claimed "Forrest Gregg is the finest player I ever coached!" in his book Run to Daylight.[1] In 1999, he was ranked number 28 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, ranking him second behind Ray Nitschke among players coached by Lombardi, second behind Anthony Muñoz (whom he coached) among offensive tackles, and third behind Munoz and John Hannah among all offensive linemen.

Coaching career

After serving as an assistant with the San Diego Chargers in 1973, he took a similar position the following year with the Browns. After head coach Nick Skorich was dismissed at the conclusion of the 1974 season, Gregg was promoted to head coach in 1975, a position he held through 1977.

After sitting out the 1978 season, Gregg returned to coaching in 1979 with the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts. In 1980, he became the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals for four seasons, through 1983. Gregg's most successful season as a head coach was in 1981, when he led the Bengals to a 12–4 regular season record.[2] They defeated the San Diego Chargers 27–7 in the AFC championship game (known as the Freezer Bowl),[3] earning them a trip to Super Bowl XVI, where they lost by five points to the San Francisco 49ers, 26–21.

When his longtime former teammate Bart Starr was fired after nine years as head coach of the Packers in December 1983, Gregg was allowed out of his contract with the Bengals to take over in Green Bay.[4] He finished his NFL coaching career with the Packers, leading them for four seasons, 1984 through 1987. Gregg's overall record as an NFL coach was 75 wins, 85 losses, and one tie. He also won two and lost two playoff games, all with the Bengals. [5]

Gregg voluntarily left the Packers in January 1988 and took a salary reduction to take over at SMU, his alma mater.[6][7] He was brought in to revive the Mustang football program after it received the "death penalty" from the NCAA for massive violations of NCAA rules.[7] Although the NCAA had only canceled the 1987 season, school officials later opted to cancel the 1988 season due to fears that it would be impossible to field a competitive team; nearly every letterman from the 1986 squad had transferred elsewhere.[8] Although Gregg knew that any new coach would be essentially rebuilding the program from scratch, when acting president William Stalcup asked him to return, he felt that he could only accept.[9]

As it turned out, when Gregg arrived, he was presented with a severely undersized and underweight roster composed mostly of freshmen. Gregg was taller and heavier than nearly the entire 70-man squad. The team was so short on offensive linemen that Gregg had to make several wide receivers bulk up and switch to the line. By nearly all accounts, it would have been unthinkable for the Mustangs to attempt to play the 1988 season under such conditions.[10]

In 1989, the Mustangs went 2–9, including a 95–21 thrashing by Houston—the second-worst loss in school history. During that game, eventual Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware threw six touchdown passes against SMU in the first half, and David Klingler added four more in the second half, even with the game long out of reach. Gregg was so disgusted that he refused to shake Houston coach Jack Pardee's hand after the game.[11] Nonetheless, Gregg still looks fondly on the experience. In a 2012 interview with The New York Times, he said that the players on the two teams he coached should have had their numbers retired for restoring dignity to the program. "I never coached a group of kids that had more courage," he said. "They thought that they could play with anyone. They were quality people. It was one of the most pleasurable experiences in my football life. Period."[9]

After the season, he was named athletic director. The Mustangs went 1–10 in 1990, and after the season Gregg resigned as coach to focus on his duties as athletic director. Gregg's coaching record at SMU was 3 wins and 19 losses, and he served as athletic director until 1994.

He returned to the CFL with the Shreveport Pirates in 1994–95, during that league's brief attempt at expansion to the United States. Gregg's overall record as a CFL coach was 13 wins and 39 losses.

When former Shreveport Pirate owner Bernard Glieberman bought a stake in the Ottawa Renegades in May 2005, Gregg was appointed its vice president of football operations.

After football

Gregg now lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In October 2011, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, thought to be caused by concussions from playing over two decades of high school, college, and pro football.[1][12][13]

Head coaching record

College

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
SMU Mustangs (Southwest Conference) (1989–1990)
1989 SMU 2–9 0–8 9th
1990 SMU 1–10 0–8 9th
SMU: 3–19 0–16
Total: 3–19

NFL

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
Browns 1975 3 11 0 .214 4th in AFC Central
Browns 1976 9 5 0 .643 3rd in AFC Central
Browns 1977 6 7 0 .462 (fired)
Browns Total 18 23 0 .439
Bengals 1980 6 10 0 .375 4th in AFC Central
Bengals 1981 12 4 0 .750 1st in AFC Central 2 1 .667 Lost to 49ers in Super Bowl XVI.
Bengals 1982 7 2 0 .778 3rd in AFC 0 1 .000 Lost to Jets in AFC First Round Playoffs Game.
Bengals 1983 7 9 0 .438 3rd in AFC Central
Bengals Total 32 25 0 .561 2 2 .500
Packers 1984 8 8 0 .500 2nd in NFC Central
Packers 1985 8 8 0 .500 2nd in NFC Central
Packers 1986 4 12 0 .250 4th in NFC Central
Packers 1987 5 9 1 .367 3rd in NFC Central
Packers Total 25 37 1 .447
NFL Total 75 85 1 .469 2 2 .500

References

  1. ^ a b c d Dunne, Tyler (July 7, 2012). "Packers great Gregg faces the battle of his life". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  2. ^ Van Sickle, Gary (January 17, 1982). "King of the Forrest". Milwaukee Journal. p. 3, sports.
  3. ^ Van Sickle, Gary (January 11, 1982). "Bengals are hot on a cold day". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1, part 3.
  4. ^ Salituro, Chuck (December 25, 1983). "Gregg shortened Parins' search". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1, sports.
  5. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/GregFo0.htm
  6. ^ Perkins, Eddie (January 15, 1988). "The rebuilding starts for SMU, Packers". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1C.
  7. ^ a b "Forrest Gregg eager to resurrect Mustangs". Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. January 15, 1988. p. 15.
  8. ^ Frank, Peter. "'88 football season canceled by SMU." New York Times, April 11, 1987.
  9. ^ a b Drape, Joe (August 1, 2012). "Coach Who Revived S.M.U. Looks Back With Pride". The New York Times. pp. B20. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  10. ^ Woodbury, Richard. Rebuilding a Shattered Team. Time, November 4, 1988.
  11. ^ Drago, Mike (August 11, 1996). "`Death Penalty' Still Hurts SMU". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  12. ^ "Hall Of Famer Forrest Gregg Fighting Parkinson's". NPR. Associated Press. November 16, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  13. ^ "Forrest Gregg won't sue NFL". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 17, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2016.

External links

1958 Green Bay Packers season

The 1958 Green Bay Packers season was their 40th season overall and their 38th season in the National Football League. The club posted a 1–10–1 record under first-year head coach Ray McLean for a last-place finish in the league in 1958 and the worst record ever posted by a Packers team.

In the immortal words of New York sportswriter and Green Bay native Red Smith: "they overwhelmed one opponent, under-whelmed ten, and whelmed one." The tie came in week two and the three-point win in week five; during the seven-game losing streak to end the season the Packers lost by an average margin of over 22 points and got no closer than ten. The Packers finished 1958 allowing a league-worst 382 points in the 12-game season (31.8 points per game).

McLean was the top assistant on the coaching staff in 1957 and was given a one-year contract as head coach after Lisle Blackbourn was fired in early January 1958 with a year remaining ($25,000) on a five-year contract. Following the final game of the 1958 season, McLean resigned on December 17, which paved the way for the historic hiring of Vince Lombardi in January 1959.The underachieving 1958 team was loaded with talent, with future hall of famers Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke, Jim Ringo, Forrest Gregg, and Jerry Kramer, as well as future All-Pros Ron Kramer, Max McGee, Bill Forester, and Dan Currie.

1976 Cleveland Browns season

The 1976 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 27th season with the National Football League. The Browns were coached by second year coach Forrest Gregg, and ended their season with a record of 9–5, being third in their division. The team's top draft choice was running back Mike Pruitt. Brian Sipe firmly took control at quarterback. Sipe had been inserted into the lineup after a Mike Phipps injury in the season-opening win against the New York Jets on September 12. After a 1–3 start brought visions of another disastrous year, the Browns jolted the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers with an 18–16 victory on October 10. Third-string quarterback Dave Mays helped lead the team to that victory, while defensive end Joe "Turkey" Jones' pile-driving sack of quarterback Terry Bradshaw fueled the heated rivalry between the two teams. That win was the first of eight in the next nine weeks, helping put the Browns in contention for the AFC playoffs. A loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the regular season finale cost them a share of the division title, but running back Greg Pruitt continued his outstanding play by rushing for exactly 1,000 yards, his second-straight four-digit season.

1977 Cleveland Browns season

The 1977 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 28th season with the National Football League. After a 6-4 start, the Browns lost their final four games of the season, to finish with a disappointing 6-8 record. With one game left in the season, head coach Forrest Gregg was fired and replaced by Dick Modzelewski.

1979 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 1979 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's 12th year in professional football and its tenth with the National Football League (NFL). Fullback Pete Johnson powered his way to 15 touchdowns, but the Bengals struggled to their second straight 4-12 record. After the season, former Cleveland coach Forrest Gregg was named to replace Homer Rice as Bengals head coach.

1983 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 1983 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's 16th year in professional football and its 14th with the National Football League (NFL).

The Bengals started the season by losing six of their first seven games and finished 7-9. Despite the record, the Bengals claimed the top overall defense in the NFL. In the offseason, Forrest Gregg resigned as head coach and Sam Wyche was named as his replacement.

1984 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 1984 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's 17th year in professional football and its 15th with the National Football League (NFL). The team lost their first five games, before winning eight of their final eleven games to finish the season with a .500 record.

The season was the first for head coach Sam Wyche, who had replaced former coach Forrest Gregg after Gregg had resigned following the previous season. Wyche had been the head coach at Indiana University in 1983.

The club stumbled out of the gate, and went winless in September en route to a 1–6 start. However, the team began a turnaround, and by December, was one of the hottest teams in the league. The team won seven out of their last nine games, including a crucial win against division rival Pittsburgh in week 11.

In the final week of the season, Cincinnati needed to win, and hope for the Steelers to lose at the Raiders, to secure an improbable AFC Central division title. The Bengals did their part, routing the Bills 52–21, and finished the season 8–8. Later in the day, the Bengals were forced to "scoreboard watch." The Steelers, however, managed to beat the Raiders, clinching the division, and effectively eliminating the Bengals from the playoffs.

In a 2018 article from FiveThirtyEight, the 1984 Cincinnati Bengals team is rated as the most average team in the history of American sports. They both scored and allowed 339 points in addition to their 8-8 record.

1984 Green Bay Packers season

The 1984 Green Bay Packers season was their 66th season overall and their 64th in the National Football League. The club posted an 8–8 record under new coach Forrest Gregg, earning them a second-place finish in the NFC Central division.

1985 Green Bay Packers season

The 1985 Green Bay Packers season was their 67th season overall and their 65th in the National Football League. The club posted an 8–8 record under coach Forrest Gregg, the same record from the previous year. The Packers earned a second-place finish in the NFC Central division.

1986 Green Bay Packers season

The 1986 Green Bay Packers season was their 68th season overall and their 66th season in the National Football League. The team posted a 4–12 record under coach Forrest Gregg, earning them 4th-place finish in the NFC Central division.

1987 Green Bay Packers season

The 1987 Green Bay Packers season was their 69th season overall and their 67th in the National Football League. The team posted a 5–9–1 record under coach Forrest Gregg, earning them 3rd-place finish in the NFC Central division.

The 1987 NFL season was marked by a 24-day players strike, reducing the number of games from 16 games to 15. Three games of the Packers’ season were played with replacement players, going 2–1.

The season ended with coach Forrest Gregg announcing he was leaving to fill the head coaching position at his alma mater, Southern Methodist University.

1990 SMU Mustangs football team

The 1990 Southern Methodist University Mustangs football team represented the Southern Methodist University in the 1990 college football season. SMU opened with a 44-7 win over Vanderbilt, but struggled the remainder of the season still recovering from the Death penalty. The Mustangs offense scored 197 points while the defense allowed 426 points. Forrest Gregg, who was retiring after the season, was carried off the field following a loss to Arkansas in the final game.

Gale Gillingham

Gale Herbert Gillingham (February 3, 1944 – October 20, 2011) was a professional football player, a guard for ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers (1966–1974, 1976).Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Gillingham grew up on a farm in nearby Stoughton. His family moved to Little Falls, Minnesota, when he was in high school and he played college football at the University of Minnesota, where he was a teammate of future Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Aaron Brown, whom he faced in Super Bowl I.

In the 1966 NFL draft, Gillingham was the thirteenth overall selection. In his rookie season, he alternated as the starter at left guard with veteran Fuzzy Thurston. During the 1967 season, he took Thurston's spot full-time, opposite perennial All-Pro Jerry Kramer. He started the Ice Bowl and Super Bowl II, coach Vince Lombardi's final games after nine seasons with the team.

Gillingham was the last member of the Lombardi-era Packers to be active with the franchise. By time he retired, Bart Starr, whom he blocked for when Starr was leading the Packers to victories in the first two Super Bowls, was the team's coach. Gillingham was a five-time Pro Bowler (1969, '70, '71, '73 and '74), six-time All Pro (1968, '69, '70, '71, '73, '74, and a two-time AP NFL First Team All Pro (1969 and '70). Gillingham was selected as the inaugural winner of the Forrest Gregg Award for the NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year following the 1970 season. He was the NFC choice as the NFLPA/Coca-Cola Offensive Lineman of the Year for 1971. Gillingham was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1982.The only season he wasn't on offense was 1972 when head coach Dan Devine inexplicably shifted him to the defensive line after the pre-season, even though Gillingham was the team's best offensive lineman. During that campaign, the success of the Packers' offense heavily depended on a strong running attack led by MacArthur Lane and John Brockington. Devine's move failed when Gillingham sustained a season-ending knee injury two games into the regular season, and he was criticized for eventually being a factor in diminishing the team's playoff run.After his playing days, Gillingham was in the real estate business in Minnesota and retired in 2010. Noted for his brute strength, he was one of the first players in the NFL to use weight training to stay in playing shape during the offseason. His oldest son, Karl, is a Professional Strongman and has competed in two Worlds Strongest Man competitions. Middle son, Brad, is a 6 time World Champion powerlifter with several National and World Records. Youngest son, Wade, is a former Professional Strongman and is widely regarded as having one of the best grips in the world (current hold world record on York Blob).

Gillingham died at age 67 in 2011 in Little Falls, survived by his three sons and one daughter.In 2016, the Professional Football Researchers Association named Gillingham to the PFRA Hall of Very Good Class of 2016

List of Cincinnati Bengals head coaches

This is a complete list of Cincinnati Bengals head coaches. There have been nine head coaches for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). The Bengals are a professional American football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are a member of the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC). The Bengals franchise was founded in 1968 as a member of the Western Division of the American Football League (AFL), before merging with the NFL in 1970.The most recent head coach was Marvin Lewis, who was hired on January 14, 2003 (following Dick LeBeau after he was fired on December 30, 2002), and departed on December 31, 2018. Two coaches have won a conference championship with the team: Forrest Gregg in 1981, and Sam Wyche in 1988. Lewis is the team's winningest coach and all time leader in games coached, while Gregg leads all coaches in winning percentage with .561 (with at least one full season coached). Dick LeBeau is statistically the worst coach the Bengals had in terms of winning percentage, with .267. Of the nine Bengals head coaches, three have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Paul Brown, Forrest Gregg, and Dick LeBeau (although only Brown was inducted as a coach, the other two were inducted as players). Two former players have been head coach for the Bengals, including Sam Wyche and Bruce Coslet.

List of Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl selections

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are currently members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and are the third-oldest franchise in the NFL. The team has had representatives to the Pro Bowl every year since 1950 except for nine seasons. Below is a list of the Pro Bowl selections for each season.

List of Green Bay Packers head coaches

There have been 15 head coaches for the Green Bay Packers, a professional American football team of the National Football League (NFL). The franchise was founded in 1919 by Curly Lambeau and competed for two years against teams around Wisconsin and Michigan before entering into the American Professional Football Association, which is now known as the NFL.

Four different coaches have won NFL championships with the Packers: Earl Louis "Curly" Lambeau in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, and 1944; Vince Lombardi in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, and 1967; Mike Holmgren in 1996; and Mike McCarthy in 2010. Lambeau is the franchise leader in career games (334) and career wins (209), while Lombardi has the best winning percentage (.754). Ray (Scooter) McLean has the worst winning percentage (.077). Four Packers coaches—Lambeau, Lombardi, Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg—have been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, although Starr and Gregg are recognized as players. Lombardi and Lindy Infante have both been named the league's coach of the year by major news organizations.

As of January 2019, the head coach of the Green Bay Packers is Matt LaFleur, who was named to that position after Mike McCarthy was fired during the 2018 NFL season.

Nick Skorich

Nicholas Leonard Skorich (June 26, 1921 – October 2, 2004) was an American football player and coach.

Skorich played guard at Bellaire High School and the University of Cincinnati before joining the United States Navy in 1943. After the end of World War II, he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had taken him in the 1943 NFL Draft. He played three years for the Steelers.

Skorich then went into coaching, first at the high school level, then as an assistant with the Steelers from 1954 to 1957. After one year with the Green Bay Packers, he moved to the Philadelphia Eagles, who promoted him to head coach after Buck Shaw retired following the Eagles' 1960 championship season.

The Eagles remained competitive in 1961, winning 10 of 14 games, but fell to 3–10–1 in 1962 and 2–10–2 in 1963. Fired from the Eagles, Skorich took a job as a defensive assistant under Cleveland Browns coach Blanton Collier in 1964. The Browns promoted him to offensive coordinator four years later and head coach upon Collier's retirement after the 1970 season.

In 1970, the Browns had gone 7–7 in only their second non-winning season since beginning play in 1946. Under Skorich, the Browns went 9–5 in 1971, winning the AFC Central Division before losing to the Baltimore Colts in the divisional playoffs. The following year, the Browns earned a wild card spot with a 10–4 record. In the playoffs, they came as close as anyone else that season did to beating the Miami Dolphins in that team's perfect season, losing 20–14 on a late Jim Kiick touchdown.

But by then Browns greats like Leroy Kelly, Gary Collins and Gene Hickerson had retired or were winding down their careers, and quarterback Mike Phipps was proving to be a disappointment. Cleveland dropped to 7–5–2 in 1973 and, in its first last-place finish ever, 4–10 in 1974. The Browns replaced Skorich with former Green Bay Packers star Forrest Gregg. Several players drafted under Skorich, including Brian Sipe, Doug Dieken and Greg Pruitt would play well for Gregg and his successor, Sam Rutigliano.

After leaving Cleveland, Skorich served as supervisor of officials for the National Football League. He is credited with developing mechanics for umpires, the most demanding position on an officiating crew since the umpire is positioned behind the defensive line and is often caught in the middle of heavy traffic during play. The mechanics for umpires was changed by the NFL for the 2010 season, moving the umpire behind the quarterback, parallel to the referee, except for the last two minutes of each half.

He died in 2004, after complications from heart surgery. In his memory his family started the Nicholas L. Skorich scholarship fund, which, holds a yearly golf outing.

SMU Mustangs

The SMU Mustangs are the athletic teams that represent Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, United States. The Mustangs were founded in 1911 and joined the Southwest Conference, competing against Baylor, Rice, Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Oklahoma A&M (which later became Oklahoma State).

The football team has participated in various Bowl Games, from the Dixie Classic in 1924 to the Hawaii Bowl in 2012. Football alumni include Heisman winner Doak Walker, All-American Eric Dickerson, and two-time Super Bowl winner Forrest Gregg.

SMU Mustangs football

The SMU Mustangs football program is a college football team that represents Southern Methodist University (more commonly "SMU"). The team competes in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) as a member of the American Athletic Conference (The American).

SMU Mustangs football under Bobby Collins

Bobby Collins was the coach of the Southern Methodist University's football team from 1982 to 1986. He compiled a 43–14–1 record, and was succeeded by Forrest Gregg. Though Collins himself was not sanctioned by the NCAA, he lost his job as a result of the Southern Methodist University football scandal that resulted in the Death penalty.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.