Herman Ball (May 9, 1910 – January 12, 1999) was a football player and coach who was a long-time assistant in the National Football League and served as head coach of the Washington Redskins from 1949 to 1951.
A native of Elkins, West Virginia, Ball attended Davis & Elkins College for three years beginning in 1932, helping the 1933 squad finish the season as the highest scoring team in college football with 345 points. Following his graduation, his first coaching position came in his home state as head coach at Ridgeley High School.
The following year, he moved south to begin a seven-year stint in Cumberland, Maryland, as head coach at Allegany High School. In his inaugural season at the helm, Allegany finished undefeated, the first of three spotless campaigns during his tenure, the others coming in 1940 and 1941. By the time he departed for the University of Maryland in 1943, he had compiled an impressive mark of 56-13-1.
Ball became an assistant with the Terrapins' football team, and also helped coach the school's baseball and basketball teams. During his third and final year in that role, he worked under the legendary Bear Bryant. Ball also worked part-time as a scout for the Redskins during the 1945 season, then joined the team the following year when he was hired as line coach.
On November 7, 1949, Redskins' first-year head coach John Whelchel was dismissed with the team sporting a 3-3-1 mark, with Ball being elevated to the position. In the team's final five games, Ball managed only one more win, then struggled the next year with a 3-9 mark, the worst record ever (at the time) for the franchise. Despite the miserable fortunes of the team, due in part to Ball's attempt at balancing the team's offensive attack with more of a running game, player loyalty and fan popularity helped Ball earn another year on the sidelines.
That term would be a short one when the Redskins began the 1951 NFL season with an 0-3 start. Ball was fired on October 18, a decision that helped bring about a bizarre situation in which his successor, former Bears assistant Hunk Anderson, was announced as Washington's new head coach, but was prevented from starting his new job because of contract issues with Chicago's George Halas. After refusing to provide compensation for Anderson, Redskin owner George Preston Marshall hired Ball's assistant, Dick Todd.
Serving as Washington's chief scout, Ball also returned to the sidelines as a Redskins' assistant until he resigned on December 17, 1954. He was hired three weeks later as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, spending one season in the Steel City until taking a similar position on February 2, 1956, under Weeb Ewbank with the Baltimore Colts.
Over the next seven years, Ball would help the team capture consecutive NFL titles in 1958 and 1959. When Don Shula replaced Ewbank after the 1962 NFL season, Ball was dismissed and signed as offensive line coach of the American Football League's Buffalo Bills on February 9, 1963. He spent one year there until returning to the NFL when former Redskins head coach Joe Kuharich took over the same role with the Philadelphia Eagles.
In five seasons, the team's best finish was in 1966, when they finished 9-5 and competed in the Playoff Bowl, but following a 2-12 finish in 1968, Kuharich and his staff were fired, although Ball remained as the team's director of player personnel. He remained in that role until announcing his retirement on December 23, 1977, staying on as a consultant until the end of the 1986 NFL season.
He died at the age of 88 at a Paoli, Pennsylvania, hospital of complications from a heart ailment.
The 1949 NFL season was the 30th regular season of the National Football League. Prior to the season, Boston Yanks owner Ted Collins asked the league to fold his team due to financial woes, and give him a new one in New York City. This new team would be called the New York Bulldogs. As a result, professional football would not return to Boston until the Patriots began play in 1960.
As the regular season came to a close, a merger agreement between the NFL and the All-America Football Conference was announced on December 9. Three AAFC teams joined the NFL in 1950, the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Baltimore Colts.The season ended on December 18 with the NFL Championship Game. In muddy conditions, the visiting Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Los Angeles Rams 14–0, as heavy rain in southern California kept the attendance under 23,000 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Both teams had potent offenses, but were severely limited by the poor field conditions. The management of the Eagles and Rams had favored a postponement for a week, but were overruled by commissioner Bert Bell.1950 NFL season
The 1950 NFL season was the 31st regular season of the National Football League. The merger with the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) expanded the league to 13 teams. Meanwhile, television brought a new era to the game. The Los Angeles Rams became the first NFL team to have all of its games – both home and away – televised. The Washington Redskins became the second team to put their games on TV. Other teams arranged to have selected games televised.1951 NFL season
The 1951 NFL season was the 32nd regular season of the National Football League. Prior to the season, Baltimore Colts owner Abraham Watner faced financial difficulties, and thus gave his team and its player contracts back to the league for $50,000. However, many Baltimore fans started to protest the loss of their team. Supporting groups such as its fan club and its marching band remained in operation and worked for the team's revival (which eventually led to a new Baltimore team in 1953).
For the first time, the NFL Championship Game was televised across the nation. The DuMont Television Network paid $75,000 to broadcast the game. Viewers coast-to-coast watched the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Cleveland Browns 24–17.1963 Buffalo Bills season
The 1963 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s fourth season in the American Football League. Winless after their first four games, Buffalo won seven of the final ten games, including the final two over the New York Jets, to finish with their second-consecutive 7–6–1 record, tied with the Boston Patriots atop the Eastern division. In this era, this required a tiebreaker playoff, the AFL's first. The Patriots and Bills had split their season series, each team winning at home, and the Bills were slight favorites as playoff hosts.The playoff game on December 28 was played on a snowy field at War Memorial Stadium and Boston won 26–8, ending Buffalo's season.Bill Austin (American football, born 1928)
William Lee Austin (October 18, 1928 – May 22, 2013) was an American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL). He played as a lineman for the New York Giants for seven seasons and was the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers (1966–1968) and the Washington Redskins in 1970.Bill McPeak
William Patrick McPeak (July 24, 1926 – May 7, 1991) was an American football player and National Football League coach.Dutch Bergman
Arthur J. "Dutch" Bergman (February 23, 1895 – August 18, 1972) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now New Mexico State University, from 1920 to 1922 and at The Catholic University of America from 1930 to 1940, compiling a career college football record of 74–36–5. Bergman was the head coach of the National Football League's Washington Redskins for one season in 1943, tallying a mark of 6–3–1.
During his tenure, the Cardinals went 59–31–4, including a victory in the 1936 Orange Bowl and a tie in the 1940 Sun Bowl. Bergman left the University when the sport was discontinued in 1941 because of World War II, later coaching the Washington Redskins to the 1943 NFL Championship Game, which they lost to the Chicago Bears.
Bergman is still the winningest varsity football coach in Catholic history and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1982.Eddie Casey
Edward Lawrence Casey (May 16, 1894 – July 26, 1966) was an American football player and coach. He played college football at Harvard University and was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1968. Casey also played professional football in 1920 for the Buffalo All-Americans; he was also the head coach of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL) in 1935 and the Boston Bears of the third American Football League (AFL) in 1940.Elkins, West Virginia
Elkins is a city in and the county seat of Randolph County, West Virginia, United States. The community was incorporated in 1890 and named in honor of Stephen Benton Elkins, a U.S. Senator from West Virginia. The population was 7,094 at the 2010 census. Elkins is home to Davis and Elkins College and to the Mountain State Forest Festival, held in early October every year.Jay Gruden
Jay Michael Gruden (born March 4, 1967) is an American football coach and former quarterback, who is the current head coach of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). During his time in the Arena Football League (AFL), he won four ArenaBowls as a player and two more as a head coach. He is the younger brother of Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.John Whelchel
John Esten "Billick" Whelchel (April 1, 1898 – November 5, 1973) was a decorated officer in the United States Navy with the rank of Vice Admiral, American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at the United States Naval Academy from 1942 to 1943, compiling a record of 13–5. In 1949, he was the head coach for the National Football League's Washington Redskins, tallying a mark of 3–3–1.List of Washington Redskins head coaches
This is a complete list of Washington Redskins head coaches. There have been 28 head coaches for the Washington Redskins, including coaches for the Boston Redskins (1933–1936) and Boston Braves (1932), of the National Football League (NFL). The Redskins franchise was founded as the Boston Braves, named after the local baseball franchise. The team changed their name to the Redskins in 1933 and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1937.Joe Gibbs is the only coach to have more than one tenure. Two different coaches have won NFL championships with the team: Ray Flaherty in 1937 and 1942, and Joe Gibbs in 1982, 1987 and 1991. Gibbs is the all-time leader in games coached and wins, and Dudley DeGroot leads all coaches in winning percentage with .737 (with at least one full season coached). Mike Nixon is statistically the worst coach the Redskins have had in terms of winning percentage, with .182.Of the 28 Redskins coaches, seven have been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Ray Flaherty, Turk Edwards, Curly Lambeau, Otto Graham, Vince Lombardi, George Allen and Joe Gibbs. Several former players have been head coach for the Redskins, including Turk Edwards, Dick Todd, Jack Pardee and Richie Petitbon.
In addition, former players have become assistant coaches, such as Earnest Byner, Russ Grimm, and Keenan McCardell. On January 5, 2010 the Redskins hired former Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan went 24–40 during four seasons in charge, before he was fired on December 30, 2013.List of Washington Redskins seasons
This article is a list of seasons completed by the Washington Redskins American football franchise of the National Football League (NFL). The list documents the season-by-season records of the Redskins' franchise from 1932 to present, including postseason records, and league awards for individual players or head coaches. The Redskins franchise was founded as the Boston Braves, named after the local baseball franchise. The team changed their name to the Redskins in 1933 and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1937.The Redskins have played over 1,000 games. In those games, the club won five professional American football championships including two NFL Championships and three Super Bowls. The franchise captured ten NFL divisional titles and six NFL conference championships.The Redskins won the 1937 and 1942 Championship games, as well as Super Bowl XVII, XXII, and XXVI. They also played in and lost the 1936, 1940, 1943, and 1945 Championship games, as well as Super Bowl VII and XVIII. They have made 24 postseason appearances, and have an overall postseason record of 23 wins and 19 losses. Only five teams have appeared in more Super Bowls than the Redskins: the New England Patriots (nine), the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos (all with eight), and San Francisco 49ers (six); the Redskins' five appearances are tied with the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and Green Bay Packers.All of the Redskins' league titles were attained during two ten-year spans. From 1936 to 1945, the Redskins went to the NFL Championship six times, winning two of them. The second period lasted between 1982 and 1991 where the Redskins appeared in the postseason seven times, captured four Conference titles, and won three Super Bowls out of four appearances.The Redskins have also experienced failure in their history. The most notable period of failure was from 1946 to 1970, during which the Redskins did not have a single postseason appearance. During this period, the Redskins went without a single winning season between 1956 and 1968. In 1961 season, the franchise posted their worst regular season record with a 1–12–1 showing.Lud Wray
James R. Ludlow "Lud" Wray (February 7, 1894 – July 24, 1967) was a professional American football player, coach, and co-founder, with college teammate Bert Bell, of the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. He was the first coach of the Boston Braves (now Washington Redskins) and of the Eagles. He also served as head coach at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.Ray Flaherty
Raymond Paul Flaherty (September 1, 1903 – July 19, 1994) was an American football player and coach in the National Football League, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was part of three NFL Championship teams, one as a player and two as a head coach.Richie Petitbon
Richard Alvin Petitbon (born April 18, 1938) is a former American football safety and head coach of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. Petitbon first attended Loyola University New Orleans on a track and field scholarship and left after his freshman year to attend Tulane. After playing college football at Tulane, he played for the Chicago Bears from 1959 to 1968, the Los Angeles Rams in 1969 and 1970, and the Washington Redskins in 1971 and 1972. Petitbon recorded the second most interceptions in Bears history with 38 during his career, trailing Gary Fencik. Petitbon also holds the Bears record for the longest interception return, after scoring on a 101-yard return against the Rams in 1962. As of 2019, he also holds the Bears record for the most interceptions in a game (3 against the Green Bay Packers in 1967) and most interception return yards in a season (212 in 1962).He returned to the Redskins in 1978 as secondary coach under Jack Pardee. From 1981 to 1992, he was the Redskins' defensive coordinator under head coach Joe Gibbs, either alone or sharing the job with Larry Peccatiello. During this time period, Petitbon was considered one of the top coordinators in football. When Gibbs initially retired in 1993, Petitbon was named his successor. He did not find the same success as a head coach, lasting only one season. Aging and underachieving, the team finished 4-12 and Petibon was dismissed by Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke in favor of archrival Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Following his firing, Petitbon never took another job in the NFL.
His brother, John Petitbon, also played in the NFL. Both Petitbon brothers are members of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame.Terry Robiskie
Terrance Joseph "Terry" Robiskie (born November 12, 1954) is an American football coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League and former player who is the wide receivers coach of the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He has also served as an assistant coach for the Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, and Los Angeles Raiders.The Bear (1984 film)
The Bear is a 1984 biopic starring Gary Busey and Jon-Erik Hexum. The film was written by Michael Kane, directed by Richard C. Sarafian, and produced by James A. Hearn and Larry G. Spangler.Turk Edwards
Albert Glen "Turk" Edwards (September 28, 1907 – January 12, 1973) was an American football tackle in the National Football League (NFL). He played his entire career for the Washington Redskins, starting with their first six seasons in Boston, and later became the head coach. Edwards was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969.
# denotes interim head coach