Hugh McElhenny

Hugh Edward McElhenny Jr. (born December 31, 1928) is a former professional American football player who was a halfback in the National Football League (NFL) from 1952 to 1964 for the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, and Detroit Lions. He was noted for his explosive, elusive running style and was frequently called "The King" and "Hurryin' Hugh". A member of San Francisco's famed Million Dollar Backfield and one of the franchise's most popular players, McElhenny's number 39 jersey is retired by the 49ers and he is a member of the San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame.

McElhenny first rose to stardom as a standout all-around player for Compton Junior College in 1948. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he was a two-time All-Pacific Coast Conference fullback for the Washington Huskies football team and set several school and conference records. He was drafted by the 49ers with the ninth pick in the 1951 NFL Draft, and his versatility made him an immediate star in the league, earning him five first-team All-Pro honors in his first six seasons. With the 49ers, he was selected for five Pro Bowls, and he earned a sixth Pro Bowl appearance with the Vikings. He finished his career after short stints with the Giants and Lions.

An all-around player who was a threat as a runner and a receiver and also returned kickoffs and punts, McElhenny had amassed the third most all-purpose yards of any player in NFL history when he retired. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, "Hugh McElhenny was to pro football in the 1950s and early 1960s what Elvis Presley was to rock and roll,"[1] a reference to both his popularity and his nickname.

Hugh McElhenny
refer to caption
McElhenny in January 2014
No. 39
Personal information
Born:December 31, 1928 (age 90)
Los Angeles, California
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school:Washington (Los Angeles, California)
NFL Draft:1952 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:5,281
Yards per carry:4.7
Rushing touchdowns:38
Receiving yards:3,247
Receiving touchdowns:20
Player stats at

Early years and college

McElhenny 1952 Bowman
McElhenny depicted with Washington

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Hugh McElhenny attended its George Washington High School,[2] where he set state high school records in the high and low hurdles and broad jump, and ran the 100-yard dash in 9.8 seconds.[3] He won both hurdles and the long jump at the 1947 CIF California State Meet.[4] After graduating, he attended Compton Junior College (now El Camino College Compton Center), where he was a standout on Compton's undefeated football team in 1948 that won the Junior Rose Bowl. That year, he had a 105-yard kickoff return touchdown in a game played at the University of Mexico.[5] Already being considered one of the best players in football, McElhenny drew high praise; Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon remarked he had "never seen such a combination of speed and size."[3] One of his Compton teammates was 1952 Olympic gold medalist Sim Iness.[5]

After a year at Compton, McElhenny attended the University of Washington in Seattle.[6] He starred as a fullback for the Washington Huskies football team, forming a prolific offensive duo with quarterback Don Heinrich in 1950.[7][8] He rushed for over 1,000 yards that season, and was the last Huskies player to eclipse that mark until 1977.[9] In a game against rival Washington State, he set school records with 296 rushing yards and five touchdowns. The 296 yards remains a school record as of 2016.[10]

One of McElhenny's celebrated plays at Husky Stadium was an uncommon 100-yard punt return against USC in 1951.[11][12][13] The following week, he successfully kicked nine out of nine extra points in a 63–6 blowout over Oregon.[14] He was a first-team All-Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) selection in both 1950 and 1951,[15][16] and was selected for the Associated Press (AP) 1951 All-America team as a fullback. Following his senior season he played in a regional college all-star game.[17] McElhenny led the team in rushing in each of his three seasons and set sixteen school records, including season (1,107) and career (2,499) rushing yards.[18][10]

Professional career

Hugh McElhenny 1955 Bowman
McElhenny depicted in 1955 with the 49ers

San Francisco 49ers

McElhenny was a first-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1952 NFL Draft, ninth overall, and made an immediate impression as a rookie.[19] His first play as a professional was a 40-yard touchdown run which had been drawn in the dirt because he had not yet learned the team's playbook.[20] He recorded the season's longest run from scrimmage (89 yards), the longest punt return (94 yards), and the top rushing average (7.0 yards per carry). He was unanimously recognized as the season's top rookie.[21][22]

McElhenny was also an asset in the receiving game, becoming a favorite target of quarterback Y. A. Tittle on screen passes.[23] His versatility drew praise from opposing coaches, including George Halas of the Chicago Bears and Steve Owen of the New York Giants.[24] Former Bears quarterback Johnny Lujack lauded McElhenny as "the best running back I have seen in a long, long time."[19] Also noted was his vision; he had an uncanny ability of seeing and reacting to tacklers in his peripheral vision.[25] "If you ever watched McElhenny", explained Washington State coach Jim Sutherland, "you'd think he had eyes on the back of his head. I've seen him cut away from a tackler that 99 percent of the backs wouldn't even have seen. It wasn't instinct—he just saw the guy, out of the corner of his eye."[26] McElhenny described his playing style as such:

My attitude carrying the ball was fear—not a fear of getting hurt but a fear of getting caught from behind and taken down and embarrassing myself and my teammates.[27]

McElhenny repeated as a Pro Bowler for 1953, joining his backfield teammates, Tittle and fullback Joe Perry.[28] In 1954, with the addition of halfback John Henry Johnson, the 49ers formed their famed "Million Dollar Backfield" of McElhenny, Tittle, Perry, and Johnson.[29] The team had championship aspirations, but McElhenny separated his shoulder against the Bears in the sixth game, ending his season. The offense struggled without McElhenny in the lineup. Before the injury, he led the league with 515 rushing yards and an 8.0 yards-per-carry average.[30] He still managed to make the AP's second-team All-Pro team and was a first-team selection by the New York Daily News.[31]

After a down year in 1955 for the 49ers and for McElhenny, he had his most productive rushing season statistically in 1956, picking up 916 yards and eight touchdowns. He was invited to his third Pro Bowl.[32] John Henry Johnson was traded prior to the 1957 season, which broke up the Million Dollar Backfield. Led by McElhenny and Tittle, the 49ers finished the 1957 regular season tied for the Western Conference title with the Detroit Lions. In the Western Conference tiebreaker, McElhenny carried 14 times for 82 yards and caught six passes for 96 yards and a touchdown, but the Lions won with a comeback victory to advance to the 1957 NFL Championship Game.[33] Following the season, McElhenny was invited to the 1958 Pro Bowl and was named the player of the game.[34]

After another Pro Bowl year in 1958, injuries over the next two seasons hampered his production. The 49ers placed the 32-year-old McElhenny on the 1961 NFL expansion draft list.[35]

Minnesota Vikings

McElhenny joined the newly formed Vikings in 1961 through the expansion draft.[35] That year, he led the team in rushing and had seven total touchdowns, including his first punt return touchdown since his rookie season.[36] He was invited to his sixth Pro Bowl following the season.[37] In his second season with the Vikings in 1962, he was held scoreless for the first time in his career. The Vikings then looked to part ways with McElhenny as the team turned to an emphasis on youth. He described his time with the Vikings as a "dead end street," since he "didn't fit into their plans for the future."[38]

New York Giants and Detroit Lions

The Vikings traded McElhenny to the Giants in July 1963 for two draft choices and player to be named later.[39][40] The trade reunited him with Tittle, who had been traded to the Giants two seasons earlier.[23] On the reunion, McElhenny responded that it was "great to be with a winner," and he played with renewed enthusiasm.[38] The Giants made it to the 1963 NFL Championship Game, where McElhenny carried nine times for 17 yards, had two receptions for 20 yards, and had a 47-yard kickoff return in the 14–10 loss to the Bears.[41] He was released by New York during training camp in 1964,[42] and he was soon picked up by the Detroit Lions,[43] for whom he appeared in eight games before retiring after the season.[44]


McElhenny gained 11,375 all-purpose yards in his thirteen-year career and retired as one of just three players to eclipse 11,000 yards.[45] He was nicknamed "The King" while with the 49ers because he was "the most feared running back in the NFL."[46] 49ers quarterback Frankie Albert gave him the nickname in the locker room following McElhenny's fourth game as a rookie, in which he returned a punt 96 yards for a touchdown against the Bears.[47]

He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970, an honor he described as the highlight of his life.[27] Others inducted in the class were contemporaries Jack Christiansen, Tom Fears, and Pete Pihos.[48] His jersey number 39 is retired by the 49ers, and by virtue of his membership in the pro hall of fame, he was automatically inducted as a charter member of the San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame in 2009.[49] NFL Network ranked him the fourth most elusive runner of all time in 2007.[50]

McElhenny was inducted into State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame in 1963 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.[51][45] As of 2016, his 12 rushing touchdowns in 1950 and 13 in 1951 both remain in the top ten all-time for a Washington player in a single season, and his 28 career rushing touchdowns tie him for sixth in school history.[10]

On January 20, 1985, McElhenny participated in the opening coin toss at Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium, along with U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who participated by video feed from the White House after having been sworn into his second term of office earlier that day.[27]

Improper benefits

After denying rumors for decades, in 2004 McElhenny confirmed that he received improper financial benefits from the University of Washington during his time there, which included a $300 monthly check.[2] Per NCAA rules, the most a college can offer an athlete is a summer job and a scholarship covering boarding and tuition.[52] A popular (albeit usually jocular) spin on the rumor was that McElhenny essentially took a pay cut when he left the university to play for the 49ers.[6][53][54] This was not entirely untrue; all payments accounted for, including legitimate ones, McElhenny claimed he and his wife received a combined $10,000 a year while at Washington—with the 49ers, his rookie salary was worth $7,000.[2]

Personal and later life

After retiring as a player, McElhenny served as a color commentator on 49ers radio broadcasts from 1966 to 1972. In 1971, he signed a contract with a group called the Seattle Sea Lions in hopes of bringing an NFL franchise to Seattle.[55] He proactively named himself general manager of the non-existent "Seattle Kings" in May 1972,[56][57] and the next year the franchise gained the backing of entrepreneur Edward Nixon, brother of president Richard Nixon.[58] However, McElhenny's plans fell through, as the Seattle Seahawks were founded in 1974.[46]

McElhenny is related to the McIlhenny family of Louisiana, the makers of Tabasco sauce.[59] In his later life, McElhenny was diagnosed with a rare nerve disorder called Guillain–Barré syndrome, which almost killed him. He was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down and had to use a walker for a year.[2][20]

See also


  1. ^ "The 1950s and "The King"". History Release. Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Raley, Dan (September 1, 2004). "The untold story of Hugh McElhenny, the King of Montlake". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Grayson, Harry (December 1, 1948). "Compton College grid star one of best in nation". The Bend Bulletin. Newspaper Enterprise Association. p. 3. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Wagner, Dick (December 29, 1988). "Compton Gridders Relive Triumph in '48 Little Rose Bowl". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Saturday Heroes". Eugene Register-Guard. September 12, 1958. p. 8A. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Two Huskies Top Gainers". Ellensburg Daily Record. Associated Press. October 26, 1950. p. 6. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  8. ^ "Huskies to get JC's grid star". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. February 2, 1949.
  9. ^ "Washington tailback may miss Rose Bowl". Star-News. Associated Press. December 29, 1977. p. 4-D. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "2016 Media Guide" (PDF). University of Washington Athletics. pp. 96–99. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  11. ^ Few punts are caught near one's own goal line, as the returner usually opts for the probable touchback; those that are caught are rarely returned for significant yardage.
  12. ^ "Southern Cal defense stops Huskies, 20-13". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. United Press. October 7, 1951. p. 13.
  13. ^ Eskanzi, David (October 4, 2011). "Wayback Machine: McElhenny's 100-yard return". Sports Press Northwest. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  14. ^ Strite, Dick (October 28, 1960). "Highclimber". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 2B. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  15. ^ "Coast Stars Named By Platoon System". Idaho State Journal. December 5, 1950. p. 6. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  16. ^ "All-Pacific Coast Team". Nevada State Journal. November 28, 1951. p. 11. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  17. ^ "McElhenny Stars In Bellingham All-Star Game". Ellensburg Daily Record. Associated Press. December 10, 1951. p. 6. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  18. ^ "Player Bio: Hugh McElhenny - University of Washington Official Athletic Site". University of Washington. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Hugh McElhenny Rates a "Rookie of Year" Tag". Spokane Daily Chronicle. United Press. October 21, 1952. p. 19. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  20. ^ a b Graham, Tim (January 29, 1999). "Hall of Famer Hugh McElhenny has seen NFL endure big chance". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  21. ^ Hugh McElhenny Pro Football Hall of Fame Bio. Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  22. ^ Eck, Frank (January 9, 1963). "Five Lions Are Honored; Hugh McElhenny Is Named Top Rookie Of '52 Season". The Clarion-Ledger. Associated Press. p. 8. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Giants Reunite Passing Combo". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. July 18, 1963. p. 32. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  24. ^ Wright, Earl (November 21, 1952). "Rookies Making Good in Ranks Of Pro Gridders". The Bulletin. United Press. p. 9. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  25. ^ Wood, Hal (October 21, 1952). "Hugh McElhenny, Matson Compete For Pro Honors". The Bulletin. United Press. p. 2. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  26. ^ "Cougar Backs Work On 'Wide Screen Vision'". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press. May 22, 1957. p. 20. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  27. ^ a b c Roberts, Rich (January 20, 1985). "The King and the President: Hugh McElhenny will assist Reagan with the coin toss". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  28. ^ "Grid Rivalries Renewed Today In Pro Bowl". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Associated Press. January 17, 1954. p. 13. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  29. ^ Tameta, Andre (May 22, 2009). "San Francisco's Million Dollar Backfield: The 49ers' Fabulous Foursome". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  30. ^ "Shoulder Injuries Fell Stars, Reshuffle Pro Grid Standings". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. November 20, 1954. p. 9. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  31. ^ "1954 NFL All-Pros". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  32. ^ "West Favored In Pro Bowl". Sunday Herald. United Press. January 13, 1957. p. 33. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  33. ^ Stevenson, Jack (December 23, 1957). "Another Amazing Comeback Gives Lions 31–27 Victory". Ludington Daily News. Associated Press. p. 10. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  34. ^ "West Rips East, 26-7 In Pro Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. January 13, 1958. p. 2B. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  35. ^ a b "McElhenny Signs with the Vikings". The Lewiston Daily Sun. Associated Press. May 17, 1961. p. 12. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  36. ^ Rhinehart, Andy (February 15, 1995). "Expansion draft isn't a gold mine". Herald-Journal. p. D2. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  37. ^ "8 Packers'll Play For West In All-Star Pro Bowl Tangle". Prescott Evening Courier. United Press International. December 20, 1961. p. 7. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  38. ^ a b Daley, Arthur (August 25, 1963). "Found: Fountain Of Youth". St. Petersburg Times. p. 4-C. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  39. ^ "McElhenny to Giants". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. July 18, 1963. p. 2, part 2.
  40. ^ "McElhenny joins Giants after trade". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. July 18, 1963. p. 13D. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  41. ^ "New York Giants at Chicago Bears - December 29th, 1963". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  42. ^ Richman, Milton (August 28, 1964). "Heavy-hearted McElhenny says goodby [sic] to Giants". Wilmington Morning Star. p. 15. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  43. ^ "Detroit Lions sign McElhenny". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. September 5, 1964. p. 10.
  44. ^ "Hugh McElhenny honored at fete". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. April 1, 1965. p. 42. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  45. ^ a b Dave Blevins (December 23, 2011). The Sports Hall of Fame Encyclopedia: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer. Scarecrow Press. pp. 654–. ISBN 978-1-4616-7370-5.
  46. ^ a b "'The King' But not at the bank, says Hugh McElhenny". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. November 8, 1979. p. 22. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  47. ^ Hession, Joseph (1986). "Hugh McElhenny: The King" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. 8 (4). Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  48. ^ Skinner, John R. (August 9, 1970). "Four inducted in fame hall". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. p. 13. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  49. ^ "49ers Announce Edward DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame". San Francisco 49ers. May 12, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  50. ^ "Top Ten Elusive Runners: Hugh McElhenny" (video). NFL Network. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  51. ^ "State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame: Football". State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  52. ^ Dupree, David (November 10, 1970). "Paper Says Gridders Lured Improperly". The Free Lance-Star. p. 11. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  53. ^ Talbot, Gayle (October 16, 1953). "Cravath Tells Grid Secrets". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. p. 3B. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  54. ^ "Hugh McElhenny Denies Charges Of 'Free Ride'". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. February 17, 1956. p. 32. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  55. ^ "McElhenny Gets Contract". The Evening Independent. Associated Press. December 18, 1971. p. 3-C. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  56. ^ "Pro Football Expansion Hopefuls Join Hands". Lakeland Ledger. Associated Press. May 21, 1972. p. 2B. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  57. ^ "Are The Seattle Kings For Real?". Beaver County Times. August 14, 1972. p. B-3. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  58. ^ "Nixon's brother buys". Ellensburg Daily Record. United Press International. March 16, 1973. p. 3. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  59. ^ Belson, Ken (February 5, 2013). "Tabasco's ties to football burn deep". The New York Times. Retrieved February 29, 2016.

Further reading

  • Sullivan, George (1972). The Great Running Backs. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 85–93. ISBN 0-399-11026-7.

External links

1952 San Francisco 49ers season

The 1952 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's third season in the NFL and seventh season overall; they were coming off a 7–4–1 record in 1951.

The 49ers started the season by winning each of their first five games by at least 2 touchdowns, and had visions of playing in their first ever NFL Championship game. However, the 49ers lost five of their final 7 games to finish the year at 7–5–0, and in 3rd place in the NFC.

Y. A. Tittle emerged as the starting quarterback, as he havda completion rate of 51.0% along with 11 TDs and 1,407 yards. Frankie Albert also had some action, completing 55.0% of his passes, along with 8 TDs and 964 yards.

Joe Perry rushed for a team high 725 yards and 8 TDs, while Hugh McElhenny had 684 yards on 98 attempts (7.0 yards/carry), along with 6 rushing TDs, while he caught 26 passes for 367 yards and earned another three touchdowns. Gordie Soltau led the club with 55 receptions for 774 yards, and 7 TDs.

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.

1953 San Francisco 49ers season

The 1953 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's fourth season in the NFL, and were coming off a 7–5–0 record in 1952.

The 49ers would play consistent football all season long, never losing consecutive games throughout the season en route to a franchise best 9–3–0 record. However, the 49ers would lose both games against the Detroit Lions, who finished the season 10–2–0 to win the Western Conference and earn a spot in the NFL Championship game.

Offensively, San Francisco was led by quarterback Y. A. Tittle, who threw for 2121 yards and 20 TD's while completing 57.5% of his passes. Running back Joe Perry had another great season, rushing for 1018 yards along with 10 TD's, while Hugh McElhenny rushed for 503 yards and 3 TD's, and caught 30 passes for 474 yards and 6 TD's. Wide receiver Billy Wilson would catch a team high 51 passes for 840 yards and 10 TD's.

1954 San Francisco 49ers season

The 1954 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's fifth season in the National Football League (NFL), and it was coming off a 9–3–0 record in 1953, finishing one game behind the Detroit Lions for a spot in the championship game.

The 49ers would get off to a strong start, beginning the season with a 4–0–1 record, as they were trying to finish on top of the conference for the 1st time in team history. The Niners would lose their next 2 games against the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams by close scores, however, they still found themselves in the playoff race as no team was running away with the conference. The 4–2–1 Niners had a huge game against the 5–1–0 Detroit Lions, which was a must-win game for San Francisco. The Lions though had other ideas, demolishing the 49ers 48–7, as they fell to a 4–3–1 record. San Francisco would finish the season with 3 wins in their final 4 games, and finished the year in 3rd place with a 7–4–1 record.

Offensively, Y. A. Tittle had another strong season, throwing for 2,205 yards and 9 touchdowns, while completing 57.6% of his passes. Billy Wilson led the club with 60 receptions and 830 yards and 5 touchdowns. San Francisco's ground attack was overwhelming. Joe Perry rushed for an NFL high 1,049 yards, and John Johnson rushed for 681 yards (2nd highest total in the NFL) and a team high 9 touchdowns. Hugh McElhenny was leading the team with 8.0 yards per carry until he separated his shoulder on October 31 against the Chicago Bears.

Joe Perry (FB), Bruno Banducci (G) and Leo Nomellini (DT) made the Associated Press All-Pro team. Hugh McElhenny (HB), Billy Wilson (E), and Bob St. Clair (T) made the second squad.

1956 San Francisco 49ers season

The 1956 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's seventh season in the National Football League (NFL), and was coming off a 4–8–0 record, finishing in 5th place in the Western Conference.

San Francisco brought in a new head coach for the second straight season, as Red Strader was replaced with former 49ers quarterback Frankie Albert, who played with the team from their AAFC days in 1946 until 1952.

The Niners got off to a rough start, winning only 1 of their first 7 games to sit in last place in the Western Conference. San Francisco went unbeaten in their final 5 games, and finished the year with a 5–6–1, and in 3rd place in the Conference.

Offensively, Y. A. Tittle threw for a team-high 1,641 yards and 7 touchdowns, and had 56.9% of his passes completed. Hugh McElhenny rushed for a team-best 916 yards and 8 touchdowns, while Billy Wilson caught a club-high 60 receptions for 889 yards, along with 5 touchdowns. Bob St. Clair blocked ten Field Goal attempts.

1957 San Francisco 49ers season

The 1957 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's eighth season in the NFL. Coming off a 5–6–1 record in 1956, the 49ers tied for the best record in the Western Conference at 8–4.

San Francisco continued their late season success from the previous year, and won five of their first six games and were in first place in the West midway through the season. The Niners then lost three straight on the road to drop to 5–4, but then won the final three games to close out the season at 8–4, their best season since 1953.

The 49ers tied with the Detroit Lions at the top of the Western Conference, and split their two regular season games in November, with the home teams winning. This forced a tie-breaking playoff game at Kezar Stadium on December 22. The winner would host the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Browns for the NFL championship the following week.

The 49ers built a 24–7 lead at halftime, and extended it to twenty points in the third quarter. Detroit's hall of fame quarterback Bobby Layne had been lost for the season two weeks earlier, and backup Tobin Rote lead the Lions' rally, scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half to win, 31–27, which ended the 49ers' season.Eight weeks earlier on October 27, 49ers' owner Tony Morabito, age 47, suffered a heart attack in the press box at Kezar during the second quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears. He died shortly after arriving at Mary's Help Hospital on Guerrero Street. The team was notified of his death at halftime, and with tears in their eyes, they went back out and won a come-from-behind victory.Quarterback Y. A. Tittle had another strong season for the 49ers, completing 63.1% of his passes for 2157 yards and 13 TD's. He also rushed for 6 TD's. End Billy Wilson led the club with 52 receptions for 757 yards, along with a team high 6 TD's. Running back Hugh McElhenny led in rushing with 478 yards on 102 attempts.

1958 Pro Bowl

The 1958 Pro Bowl was the NFL's eighth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1957 season. The game was played on January 12, 1958, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 66,634 fans. The West squad defeated the East by a score of 26–7.The West team was led by the Detroit Lions' George Wilson while Buddy Parker of the Pittsburgh Steelers coached the East squad. San Francisco 49ers running back Hugh McElhenny was selected as the outstanding back of the game and defensive end Gene Brito of the Washington Redskins was named the outstanding lineman.This was the first Pro Bowl to be televised nationally (except in the Los Angeles market where it was blacked out).

1961 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1961 season was the Minnesota Vikings' first in the National Football League after being created as an expansion franchise. Under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the team finished with a 3–11 record. The team's first ever regular season game was a 37–13 victory against their divisional rivals, the Chicago Bears; in that game, rookie quarterback Fran Tarkenton came off the bench to toss four touchdown passes and run for another.

The Vikings' defense surrendered 5.41 rushing yards per attempt in 1961, the fifth-most of all time.

1963 New York Giants season

The 1963 New York Giants season was the franchise's 39th season in the National Football League. The Giants won their third consecutive NFL Eastern Conference title with an 11–3 record, their sixth in eight years, but again lost the NFL championship game. This loss was to the Chicago Bears, 14–10 at Wrigley Field, in the Giants' final post-season appearance until 1981.

Giants quarterback Y. A. Tittle produced one of the greatest passing seasons in NFL history. Tittle had had a breakout season the previous year, but according to Cold Hard Football Facts, "[h]e was even better in 1963, breaking his own record set the year before with 36 TD passes while also leading the league in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating. Tittle's G-Men scored a league-leading 32.0 [points-per-game] and he lifted his team to an epic title-game showdown with the Bears, who possessed what was easily the league's best defense in 1963 (10.3 [points-per-game])."

Bill Johnson (center)

William Levi Johnson Sr. (September 14, 1926 – January 7, 2011), known as Bill "Tiger" Johnson, was a professional football player and coach. He was born in Tyler, Texas, where he was raised by his single mother and five older siblings. Among his siblings was older brother Gilbert Johnson, who played quarterback at Southern Methodist University with the iconic running back Doak Walker. Bill was a football and baseball star for Tyler Junior College and Texas A&M University and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University. He played center for the San Francisco 49ers from 1948 to 1956.

Although Johnson is known mostly for his accomplishments as a football player in the National Football League (NFL), Tiger had a prolific career in college as well, not only in football, but also baseball. Bill began his college football career at Tyler Junior College, a small school in Johnson's hometown of Tyler, Texas. Bill finished his collegiate career with Texas A&M University. The end of his college sports career brought about a pressing issue; was Johnson to pursue a professional career in the MLB with the Cincinnati Reds, who had offered him a minor-league contract, or test his football ability in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, who offered Bill with a non-drafted rookie free agent contract. Bill decided to go with football, even though his true love was baseball. He was a phenomenal catcher at the collegiate level, but always stated that he would have never made it in "the bigs" due to a lack of ability in throwing out base runners when they would attempt to steal.

During his nine years in the NFL as a player, all of which were with the 49ers, Johnson blocked at the center position for what was known as the Million Dollar Backfield in San Francisco, which featured fullbacks John Henry Johnson and Joe Perry, halfback Hugh McElhenny, and quarterback Y. A. Tittle. Johnson was heralded as the star of the offensive line of the 49ers, who constantly beat teams due to their ability to control the ball and wear down opponents. Johnson earned two Pro Bowl selections, and was also voted to be an All-Pro. Bill earned the nickname of "Tiger" in his first season as a 49er. Johnson spent most of his rookie season injured, only seeing the field in five of the twelve regular season games. One game, when Bill was sidelined, his teammates began to taunt him, given that Johnson was a rookie. They were inferring through teasing him that Johnson was not truly injured, but was not tough enough to play football at the professional level. Eventually, Johnson was fed up, and retorted, "I can't wait 'til I'm back on the field - and when I come back, I'll come back fighting like a Tiger!" The nickname "Tiger" stuck forever, and his tenacity on the field was always a prime, living contributor to his nickname's legitimacy.

He was a line coach for the Cincinnati Bengals in 1976, when Paul Brown retired as the team's head coach and named Tiger as his successor. Tiger won 18 and lost 15, but resigned five games into the 1978 season after starting 0–5. After his head coaching tenure, Johnson was an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1979 to 1982 and the Detroit Lions from 1983 to 1984. He finished his career by reuniting with the Bengals as an assistant in 1985. He retired as the Bengals tight ends coach in 1990.

He was the father of William R. Johnson, president, CEO and chairman of the H. J. Heinz Company.

Jerry Reichow

Garet Neal Reichow (born May 19, 1934) is a former professional American football player. A 6'-3", 220 lbs. tight end from the University of Iowa, Reichow was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 1956 NFL Draft. He was one of two Minnesota Vikings (along with Hugh McElhenny) selected to the Pro Bowl after their inaugural 1961 season.

An All-Big Ten quarterback, Reichow starred at Iowa. He was the football team’s MVP as a senior and left school as its all-time leader in total offense. The Detroit Lions took notice and selected Reichow, who also played in the 1955 basketball Final Four for Iowa, in the fourth round. Reichow contributed to the Lions’ 1957 NFL title as a receiver and back-up quarterback for Tobin Rote, whom replaced the injured Bobby Layne as starting quarterback. Reichow would see relief duty at quarterback in the 1957 NFL Championship Game, when Rote left the game with the Lions leading 52-14. Three years later, Reichow was a member of the Eagles’ 1960 championship club.

On July 24, 1960, (Walt Kowalczyk) was traded to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Jerry Reichow.[1]

Reichow joined former teammate Norm Van Brocklin who became the Minnesota Vikings first head coach where he was key to quarterback Fran Tarkenton’s success in 1961. Reichow played wide receiver and proved to be the rookie’s favorite target, catching 50 passes for 859 yards and 11 touchdowns. (Reichow’s 11 TD receptions stood 34 years as a single-season team record until broken by Cris Carter in 1995.)

No. 89 followed his Pro Bowl season with 39 receptions before moving to tight end his final years in purple. Known as “Old Reliable” and considered one of the team’s toughest players, Reichow caught a combined 55 passes from his new position in 1963-64.

At the age of 31, and with the team stockpiling young receivers, Reichow’s playing career ended when Van Brocklin cut the highly respected veteran during the 1965 training camp and gave him a job scouting for the club.

Reichow’s opinions and keen eye for talent have helped shaped the Vikings for the majority of their 56 years. The former wide receiver and tight end has served in a variety of personnel roles during his five decades of dedication to the franchise. From scout to Director of Player Personnel to Director of Football Operations to Assistant General Manager for National Scouting to his current consultant role, which he assumed a few years ago, Reichow is one of the longest-serving employees in the NFL. His longevity and success in the fickle “Not For Long” league is all the more impressive considering his background when entering the personnel department in 1965. Jerry Reichow currently resides in Santa Fe, NM with his wife Carolyn Reichow.

List of San Francisco 49ers first-round draft picks

The San Francisco 49ers entered professional football in 1946 as a member of the All-America Football Conference. The team joined the NFL along with the Cleveland Browns and the original Baltimore Colts in 1950. The 49ers' first draft selection in the NFL was Leo Nomellini, a defensive tackle from the University of Minnesota; the team's most recent pick was Mike McGlinchey, an offensive tackle from Notre Dame at number 9.

Every year during April, each NFL franchise seeks to add new players to its roster through a collegiate draft known as "the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting", which is more commonly known as the NFL Draft. Teams are ranked in inverse order based on the previous season's record, with the worst record picking first, and the second worst picking second and so on. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that appeared in the previous Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion always picks 32nd, and the Super Bowl loser always picks 31st. Teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades.

The 49ers have selected the No. 1 overall pick three times: Harry Babcock in 1953, Dave Parks in 1964, and most recently, Alex Smith in 2005. In its first three years as an NFL team, the 49ers picked three consecutive future Hall of Famers in the first round: Leo Nomellini, Y. A. Tittle, and Hugh McElhenny; since then, the team has picked four more future Hall of Famers in the first round (Jimmy Johnson, Lance Alworth, Ronnie Lott and Jerry Rice), making it seven in total. However, Lance Alworth elected to sign with the San Diego Chargers of the American Football League instead of the 49ers of the NFL, and never played for San Francisco.

List of San Francisco 49ers head coaches

There have been 19 head coaches in the history of the San Francisco 49ers professional football franchise. The San Francisco 49ers franchise was formed in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) before joining the National Football League (NFL) in 1950 after the AAFC merger with the NFL. Buck Shaw became the first head coach of the 49ers in 1946, serving for nine seasons—four in the AAFC and five in the NFL. He coached a number of future College and Pro Football Hall of Famers, such as Frankie Albert, Joe Perry, Leo Nomellini, Y. A. Tittle, Bob St. Clair and Hugh McElhenny.In terms of tenure, Bill Walsh has coached more games (152) and more complete seasons (10) than any other head coach in 49ers franchise history. He led the 49ers to playoff appearances in seven seasons, three of which led to the Super Bowl championship, in 1981, 1984 and 1988. Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Charles Haley, Ronnie Lott, Johnny Davis, Roger Craig, Fred Dean and Steve Young are among the players Walsh has coached in his career.Four 49ers coaches—Dick Nolan, Bill Walsh, George Seifert, and Jim Harbaugh—have been named coach of the year by at least one major news organization. Walsh, Jack Christiansen and Mike Singletary are the only 49ers coaches currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Walsh was selected for his coaching contributions. Singletary and Christiansen were voted into the Hall of Fame primarily for their defensive play. Four times in 49ers history has there been an "interim" head coach. Three games into the 1963 season, coach Red Hickey resigned and was replaced by Jack Christiansen. Christiansen coached the 49ers to a 2–9 record in the remainder of the season and came back to coach the team for four more years. In 1978, Pete McCulley was fired after coaching the 49ers to a 1–8 record. He was replaced by offensive coordinator Fred O'Connor, who was himself fired after leading the 49ers to one win in their final seven games. After a 2–5 start to the 2008 season, Mike Nolan was fired and replaced by Mike Singletary, who finished the season 5–4 and became the official head coach following that season. After a 5–10 start to the 2010 season, Mike Singletary was fired and replaced by Jim Tomsula for the final 49ers game of the 2010 season. Stanford University head coach Jim Harbaugh succeeded Tomsula as head coach in January 2011, and led the franchise to the NFC Championship Game, where the 49ers lost in overtime to the New York Giants. The following season, the 49ers reached Super Bowl XLVII, where they faced off against the Baltimore Ravens, coached by Jim's older brother John Harbaugh. The 49ers trailed by as many as 22 points during the game, but ultimately lost 34–31 to the Ravens; the 49ers losing a Super Bowl for the first time.

List of people with Guillain–Barré syndrome

A number of notable people have been affected by the rare peripheral nervous system condition Guillain–Barré syndrome.

Ryūtarō Arimura, vocalist for Japanese rock band Plastic Tree: His case was detected and treated early, and Arimura was able to return to touring within three months.

Markus Babbel, former international footballer, contracted GBS in 2001, following a period suffering from the Epstein–Barr virus. He lost almost an entire year of his footballing career between the two illnesses.

Tony Benn, British politician

Jake Burton Carpenter, founder, Burton Snowboards, Miller Fisher variant.

Rachel Chagall, actress, contracted GBS in 1982. In 1987, she portrayed Gabriela Brimmer, a notable disabilities activist.

Alastair Clarkson, Australian football coach.

Patrick Eaves, professional ice hockey player signed to the Anaheim Ducks.

Tom Edlefsen, American tennis player, made the fourth round of Wimbledon in 1968, a year after he developed GBS.

Mike Egener, Canadian hockey player

Travis Frederick, NFL all-pro center for the Dallas Cowboys

Rowdy Gaines, American Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming.

Samuel Goldstein, American athlete and Paralympian

Andy Griffith, an American actor best known for The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, developed GBS in 1983.

Joseph Heller, author, contracted GBS in 1981. This episode in his life is recounted in the autobiographical No Laughing Matter.

Lucia Hippolito, Brazilian political scientist, journalist, historian, columnist and commentator.

Jerry Jacka (1934–2017), legendary photographer for Arizona Highways magazine.

Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson, was diagnosed and under treatment for GBS in April 2010.

Hugh McElhenny, former professional American football player with the San Francisco 49ers

Scott McKenzie (born Philip Wallach Blondheim), an American singer and songwriter most notable for his hit single and hippie anthem "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)", died August 18, 2012, at the age of 73 from GBS.

Sabine Moussier, Mexican actress

Lena Nyman, Swedish actress

Lucky Oceans, Grammy Award-winning musician with Asleep at the Wheel, was diagnosed with GBS in 2008.

Len Pasquarelli, sports writer and analyst for ESPN and resident of the Pro Football Writers of America, was diagnosed in 2008.

Serge Payer, Canadian-born professional hockey player, after battling and overcoming the syndrome, set up the Serge Payer Foundation, which is dedicated to raising money for research into new treatments and cures for GBS.

William "The Refrigerator" Perry, former professional American football player with the Chicago Bears, was diagnosed with GBS in 2008.

Fabio Pisacane, Italian footballer

Toni Rüttimann, bridge builder in developing countries, in Cambodia (2002); he used the rehabilitation time in Thailand to develop software to support bridge-building works.

Norton Simon, American industrialist and philanthropist

Kay Smith, current Illinois Artist Laureate, was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome at the age of 73, after extensive rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago she was able to continue painting and teaching

Kelly-Marie Stewart, British actress

Hans Vonk, Dutch conductor.

Morten Wieghorst, Danish former footballer and football coach

Danny Wuerffel, 1996 Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida

Rich Ceisler, American standup comedian, became sick while performing on a cruise ship. He was flown to a hospital in the Dominican Republic where diagnosis of Guillain–Barré syndrome was made. Ceisler died soon after, on 4 August 2014.•Garry Hood, a Scottish International Lawn Bowler, was completely paralysed for 5 months, and spent another 6 months in rehab. He still needs a stick to walk 3 years later.

Million Dollar Backfield (San Francisco 49ers)

The Million Dollar Backfield was a National Football League (NFL) offensive backfield of the San Francisco 49ers from 1954 to 1956. Featuring quarterback Y. A. Tittle, halfbacks Hugh McElhenny and John Henry Johnson, and fullback Joe Perry, the backfield was also referred to as the "Fabulous Foursome" and "Fearsome Foursome" by sportswriters. Formed well before players earned six-figure salaries, the unit was named as such for its offensive prowess, and compiled record offensive statistics. It is regarded as one of the best backfields compiled in NFL history, and is the only full house backfield to have all four of its members enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Pat Haggerty (American football official)

Patrick Andrew "Pat" Haggerty (June 30, 1927 – December 9, 1994) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from 1965 to 1992. In his 28 seasons in the NFL, he was selected as the referee in three Super Bowls, XIII in 1979, XVI in 1982, and XIX in 1985. He wore the number 40 for most of his career (was number 4 from the 1979 to 1981 NFL seasons when the numbering system for officials was temporarily modified). Haggerty's trademark signal upon a team scoring a touchdown, field goal or extra point, featured raising both arms, but momentarily pausing them before raising them over his head.

Football was always a Haggerty pastime, even with Jim, Pat's brother. Pat's cousin, Donald "Cal" Snyder (1909–1975) was 1935 NIAA All-conference quarterback at Kearney State Teachers College (now the University of Nebraska at Kearney).

Haggerty attended Denver North High School in Denver, Colorado, and played basketball and baseball at the Colorado State College of Education (now the University of Northern Colorado) in Greeley.

Following college, Haggerty played minor league baseball in the Detroit Tigers organization, including one year with the Denver Bears in 1953. After deciding that baseball was not going to be his career, he turned to teaching and started at Valverde Elementary School in Denver and later was a teacher and coach at Abraham Lincoln High School in Denver.

Prior to joining the NFL, his previous officiating experience included college football and basketball in the Big Eight Conference and Western Athletic Conference.

At Super Bowl XIX, he supervised the coin toss that was conducted by President Ronald Reagan from the Oval Office of the White House via satellite, with Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Hugh McElhenny joining captains from the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers at Stanford Stadium in California. Reagan had been sworn in for his second term as president in a private ceremony earlier that day, with the public inauguration held the next day, since January 20, 1985 fell on a Sunday.

After retiring from active officiating after the 1992 season, Haggerty continued to work for the NFL, monitoring how games were called and scouting college officials as potential new NFL officials.

Haggerty died from cancer in 1994 at age 67 and is buried at Linn Grove Cemetery in Greeley. He was nominated as a 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame candidate in Canton, Ohio as a contributor.

W. J. Voit Memorial Trophy

The W. J. Voit Memorial Trophy was awarded by the Helms Athletic Foundation from 1951 to 1978 to the outstanding college football player on the Pacific Coast. The recipient was determined based on votes cast by West Coast football writers and later broadcasters as well. Award recipients include College Football Hall of Fame inductees, O.J. Simpson, Mike Garrett, Jim Plunkett, Joe Kapp, Craig Morton, Billy Kilmer, and Anthony Davis.

Washington Huskies football statistical leaders

The Washington Huskies football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Washington Huskies football program in various categories. The Huskies represent the University of Washington in the NCAA's Pac-12 Conference. Washington's first football season was in 1889.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since 1920s, seasons have increased to 10 or more games.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

In 1975, the Pacific-8 Conference removed a restriction which limited the league's bowl game participation to a single representative tied to the Rose Bowl Game

The official NCAA record book does not include bowl games in statistical records until 2002, with most colleges also structure their record books this way.These lists are updated through the end of the 2016 season.

Washington Preparatory High School

George Washington Preparatory High School is a public 4-year high school in the Westmont section of unincorporated Los Angeles County, California. Founded in 1926. The school has a Los Angeles address but is not located in the city limits of Los Angeles. The mascot is the General, a reference to the school's namesake George Washington. The school colors are red and blue. The school serves many areas in South Los Angeles and unincorporated areas around South Los Angeles, including Athens, West Athens and Westmont.

In addition it serves the LAUSD section of Hawthorne. It was the location for a 1986 TV movie entitled Hard Lessons depicting Denzel Washington as the new principal, who sets out to rid the school of gang violence and drugs and restore educational values to the school. The current principal is Dechele Byrd. Two famous former principals are George McKenna, whom Denzel Washington portrayed in the movie Hard Lessons; and past LAUSD Board Member Marguerite LaMotte.

Hugh McElhenny—awards and honors

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