Jim Covert

James Paul "Jimbo" Covert (born March 22, 1960) is a former American college and professional football player who was an offensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons during the 1980s and early 1990s. Covert played college football for the University of Pittsburgh, and was recognized as an All-American. He was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the NFL's Chicago Bears. He is the president and chief executive officer of The Institute for Transfusion Medicine.[1]

Jim Covert
refer to caption
Covert playing for the Bears in Super Bowl XX
No. 74
Position:Offensive tackle
Personal information
Born:March 22, 1960 (age 59)
Conway, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:271 lb (123 kg)
Career information
High school:Freedom (PA)
NFL Draft:1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games Played:111
Games Started:110
Fumble recoveries:6
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Covert was born in Conway, Pennsylvania.[2] He excelled in both football and wrestling at Freedom Area High School in Beaver County, west of Pittsburgh.[3] In football, Covert led the 1977 Freedom Bulldogs, with an undefeated 11-0 record, to the Midwestern Athletic Conference (MAC) Championship as a senior.[4] Although the Bulldogs eventually lost to Laurel High School in the second round of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) playoffs, Covert earned UPI First-Team All-State honors and became a highly recruited player.[5]

College career

Covert entered the University of Pittsburgh as a defensive lineman. He played in every game his freshman season, primarily in short-yardage and goal-line situations. Covert received a medical red-shirt in 1979 due to an ankle injury that required surgery. In the spring of 1980, Covert was switched to offensive left tackle where he started for the next three seasons.[6]

Coached by legendary offensive line coach Joe Moore, the 1980 Panthers offensive line featured Covert at left tackle; Rob Fada and Paul Dunn sharing the left guard duties; Russ Grimm at center; Emil Boures at right guard; and Mark May at right tackle. The Panthers finished the 1980 season with a record of 10-1 and ended the season with a Gator Bowl victory over South Carolina.[6] The 1980 team also featured four future College Football Hall of Fame inductees—Covert, Dan Marino, Hugh Green, and May—as well as a number of other players who eventually went on to play football professionally.[7] The following year, 1981 Pitt Panthers finished 10-1 again and beat Georgia in a last-minute victory in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.[8] The Panthers finished the season ranked number 2 in the AP and UPI Coaches polls in 1980 and ranked number 4 and 2 in the same polls respectively in 1981.[9]

In 1982, Pitt was ranked number 1 by the AP in their preseason poll,[10] but finished a disappointing 9-2. The Panthers eventually lost to Southern Methodist University in the Cotton Bowl 7-3.[11] An Outland Trophy candidate in 1982, Covert earned first team All-America honors in both his junior and senior campaigns, achieving consensus All-America as a senior. Covert played in both the Hula Bowl and Senior Bowl, which capped his college career.[12] Covert was named to the University of Pittsburgh All-Time Team.

NFL career

Covert was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the sixth selection of the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft.[13] He became the starter at the left tackle position and was named to the UPI's 1983 NFL All-Rookie team.[14]

Although the Bears were 22nd in total offense in 1982,[15] the team steadily improved with Covert as a starter over the next few season peaking at second in the league in 1985.[16] In addition, the team went from 18th in rushing in 1982[17] to lead the league for four consecutive seasons from 1983–1986.[18] The Bears also finished second in rushing twice, 1989 and 1990,[19] and third once, 1988,[20] during Covert's career.

In Covert’s second year in the league, he was elected by his teammates to be one of the Bears' captains.[21] That year, he was named All-Pro by Sports Illustrated and was ranked by many as one of the best tackles in professional football. In Covert’s third year, he was named consensus All-Pro, made first-team All-NFL, was selected to the Pro Bowl, and was named 1985 National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) NFC Offensive Lineman of the Year. The 1985 Chicago Bears also won Super Bowl XX.

During Covert's career, he was named to an All-Pro team four straight years (1984–1987), a first- or second-team All-NFC selection four times (1985–1987, 1990), and a first- or second-team All-NFL selection three times. Covert was a consensus All-NFL and All-Pro pick in 1985 and 1986. He was selected to two Pro Bowls, in 1985 and 1986. In 1986, he was selected as the Miller Lite NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year.

In 1990, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors selected Covert to the NFL All-Decade Team.[22] With Covert on the team, the Bears won six NFL Central Division titles and played in three NFC Championship games, along with the Super Bowl win.

Covert's last season was 1990. In 1991, he was placed on injured reserve for the entire season following back surgery, and he retired from the NFL in March 1992.[23]:2

Other media

In 1986, Covert appeared in a 20-man battle royal at WrestleMania 2 along with other NFL stars.[24]

Life after football

Covert's career after retiring from the NFL has been focused on healthcare sales, marketing, and acquisition initiatives.

His healthcare career began at Baxter International in their Physical Therapy Division, where he served as Director of Sales and Development. In November 1992, Baxter spun out the alternate site business called Caremark into an independent publicly traded company, and Covert served as Vice President of Development for Caremark Physical Therapy from 1992–1995. Covert expanded Caremark’s Physical Therapy presence from 50 to 127 sites in 14 states increasing revenue to more than $120 million.

Caremark Physical Therapy was acquired by HealthSouth Corporation in 1995. Covert was Senior Vice President of Development for Horizon/CMS Healthcare Corporation from 1995–1998. In that position, he was responsible for the merger and acquisition effort as well as all sales and marketing related initiatives. Covert led the growth effort for the Physical Therapy Division as they rapidly grew from 20 to more than 200 sites in a 16-month time frame. Horizon/CMS was ultimately sold to HealthSouth in February 1997.

In 2000, Covert started Keystone Strategies, LLC, a healthcare consulting group focused on assisting emerging healthcare companies with their sales and marketing strategies. In June 2004, Covert joined the turnaround team at HealthSouth Corporation at its corporate headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. As Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Development, Covert had responsibility for all sales, marketing, public relations, sports sponsorship, sports medicine, and acquisition initiatives for the outpatient therapy division. HealthSouth’s Outpatient Division was acquired by Select Medical Corporation in April 2007.

In May 2007, Covert was named President and Chief Executive Officer of The Institute for Transfusion Medicine, one of the nation’s foremost non-profit organizations specializing in transfusion medicine and related services, and the leader in transfusion medicine in both the Pittsburgh and Chicago regions. Its two blood centers, Central Blood Bank in Pittsburgh and LifeSource in Chicago, provide nearly a million units of lifesaving blood products annually. ITxM Diagnostics is a leading source of therapeutic and coagulation reference testing services while ITxM Clinical Services focuses on the pre-transfusion testing and delivery of vital blood products to patients. In 2018, Central Blood Bank and LifeSource were both renamed to Vitalant.

Covert was inducted into the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame in 1996,[25] the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003,[26] the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2004,[27] the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Hall of Fame in 2009,[28] the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.[29] Covert has also been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on numerous occasions, but has yet to be selected.[30]

Personal life

Covert's wife Penny is a former cheerleader for the University of Pittsburgh.[23]:1 The couple have three children.[23]:3

See also

  • Portal-puzzle.svg Football


  1. ^ "Company Overview of The Institute for Transfusion Medicine, Executive Profile, James P. Covert". Bloomberg. Chief Executive Officer and President, The Institute for Transfusion Medicine Inc.
  2. ^ Alfano, Peter (March 27, 1983). "The Tug-of-war Between Athletics and Academics". The New York Times. pp. 1–2. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  3. ^ "Pittsburgh's Jimbo Covert to Enter College Football Hall of Fame". University of Pittsburgh. March 24, 2003. Retrieved September 7, 2015. At Freedom High, Covert was a three-year letterman in both football and wrestling. In football, he was first team all-state and All-WPIAL. He pinned all but one of his wrestling opponents as a senior.
  4. ^ Rose Jr., Ed (October 29, 1977). "Injuries Keep Freedom from Celebrating". The Beaver County Times. Retrieved September 8, 2015 – via Google News.
  5. ^ "The best: Freedom's Covert on UPI All-State". The Beaver County Times. December 23, 1977. Retrieved September 8, 2015 – via Google News.
  6. ^ a b Zeise, Paul (March 25, 2003). "After All-American career, Covert named to College Hall of Fame". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  7. ^ Smizik, Bob (November 2, 2000). "1980 Panthers rank among best". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  8. ^ Barrickman, Bob (December 17, 1997). "Highlights Abound for Covert". Another Look. The Beaver County Times. Retrieved September 8, 2015 – via Google News.
  9. ^ "Past Rankings AP, UPI, USA Today, Harris: 1980–1989". College Football Poll. Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "1982 Preseason AP Football Poll". College Poll Archive. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  11. ^ "The 1983 Cotton Bowl Classic" (pdf). Cotton Bowl Classic. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  12. ^ Jouzaitis, Carol (December 25, 1990). "Athletes get 2nd chance at a degree". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  13. ^ "1983 NFL Draft Round 1". National Football League. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  14. ^ Carnicelli, Joe (December 19, 1983). "Dickerson, Warner, Marino head All-Rookie team". UPI. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  15. ^ "1982 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics: Team Offense". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  16. ^ "1985 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics: Team Offense". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  17. ^ "1982 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics: Rushing Offense". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  18. ^ Sources showing that the Chicago Bears led the NFL in rushing from 1983-1986 are as follows:
  19. ^ Sources showing that the Chicago Bears finished second in the NFL in rushing in 1989 and 1990 are as follows:
  20. ^ "1988 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics: Rushing Offense". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  21. ^ Wesley, Tim (September 30, 1984). "Jim Covert leads by example". The Beaver County Times. Retrieved September 14, 2015 – via Google News.
  22. ^ "1980s All-Decade Team". National Football League. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  23. ^ a b c O'Donnell, Jim (January 16, 1994). "Jim Covert Still Standing Tall: His Football Career Ended Prematurely By Injury, The Ex-bear Star Is Tackling New Challenges These Days". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  24. ^ "Full WrestleMania 2 results".
  25. ^ "Hall of Fame class of 1996: Jim Covert Football ∙ Conway". Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  26. ^ Bires, Mike (March 25, 2003). "Covert Selected to Join College Football Hall". The Beaver County Times. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  27. ^ "Jim Covert". National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. November 8, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  28. ^ "All-Time Pitt Great Jim Covert enters WPIAL Hall of Fame: Before his Pitt and NFL career, Covert starred at Freedom High in the WPIAL". University of Pittsburgh. May 6, 2009. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  29. ^ "2012 Inductees: Covert, 'Jimbo' James P." Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. May 14, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  30. ^ Sources for Pro Football Hall of Fame nominations include the following:
1982 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

The 1982 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 1982 NCAA Division I-A football season.

1982 Sugar Bowl

The 1982 Sugar Bowl was played on January 1, 1982, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. It featured the second-ranked Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference, the defending national champions, and the eighth-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers. The Panthers won the game 24–20, and moved up to fourth (#2 UPI) in the final polls, while the Bulldogs dropped to sixth (#5 UPI). It has often been called one of the greatest bowl games, and bowl upsets, of all time. It also marks the last time the Pitt Panthers won a major bowl game

1983 Chicago Bears season

The 1983 Chicago Bears season was their 64th regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted an 8–8 record under second year head coach Mike Ditka, but missed postseason play. Jim McMahon was the quarterback, who completed 175 of 295 pass attempts. The Bears 1983 NFL Draft class was ranked #3 in NFL Top 10's greatest draft classes.

1985 Chicago Bears season

The 1985 Chicago Bears season was their 66th regular season and 16th post-season completed in the National Football League (NFL). The Bears entered 1985 looking to improve on their 10–6 record from 1984 and advance further than the NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the 15–1 San Francisco 49ers. Not only did the Bears improve on that record, they put together one of the greatest seasons in NFL history.

The Bears won fifteen games, as the 49ers had the year before, and won their first twelve before losing. The Bears' defense was ranked first in the league and only allowed 198 total points (an average of 12.4 points per game). The Bears won the NFC Central Division by seven games over the second place Green Bay Packers and earned the NFC's top seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs at Soldier Field. In their two playoff games against the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams, the Bears outscored their opponents 45–0 and became the first team to record back-to-back playoff shutouts. Then, in Super Bowl XX in New Orleans against the New England Patriots, the Bears set several more records. First, their 46 points broke the record that had been set by the Los Angeles Raiders in 1984 with 38 and tied by the 49ers the following year. Their 36-point margin of victory topped the 29-point margin of victory that the Raiders had put up in Super Bowl XVIII and stood as a record until the 49ers won Super Bowl XXIV, also in New Orleans, by 45 points over the Denver Broncos. It was the Bears' first NFL World Championship title since 1963.

The 1985 Chicago Bears are one of the few teams to consistently challenge the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins for the unofficial title of the greatest NFL team of all time. In 2007, the 1985 Bears were ranked as the second greatest Super Bowl championship team on the NFL Network's documentary series America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions, ranking behind the 1972 Dolphins. Other sources rate the 1985 Chicago Bears as the greatest NFL team ever.

1986 All-Pro Team

The 1986 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly and The Sporting News in 1986. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1986 the AP chose two defensive tackles (one a nose-tackle) rather than two defensive tackles and one nose tackles as they had done since 1981. The Pro Football Writers Association returned to a 4-3 format for their 1986 defense.

1987 All-Pro Team

The 1987 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly and The Sporting News in 1987. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1987 NEA went with a 3-4 format for their All-Pro defense.

1987 Pro Bowl

The 1987 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 37th annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1986 season. The game was played on Sunday, February 1, 1987, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before a crowd of 50,101. The final score was AFC 10, NFC 6.Marty Schottenheimer of the Cleveland Browns led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs. The referee was Dick Jorgensen.Reggie White of the Philadelphia Eagles was named the game's MVP. Players on the winning AFC team received $10,000 apiece while the NFC participants each took home $5,000.

1988 Chicago Bears season

The 1988 Chicago Bears season was their 69th regular season and 19th postseason completed in the National Football League. The Bears looked to improve on an 11–4 finish that won them the NFC Central Division but where they were eliminated for the second consecutive year by the Washington Redskins. The Bears won 12 games and lost 4, tying for the best record in the league with the Buffalo Bills and the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals, and earned home field advantage in the NFC. However, the Bears failed to advance to the Super Bowl as one of the top two seeds for a third straight season, falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field. This was the second time that the 49ers and Bears had met for a trip to the Super Bowl during the decade, with the 49ers defeating the Bears on their way to Super Bowl XIX.

Coach Mike Ditka suffered a heart attack during the season, but was back on the sidelines 11 days later. Ditka was named coach of the year for the second time in his career. This was Jim McMahon's last season as starter for the Bears as he was traded during the following offseason to the San Diego Chargers.

1990 Chicago Bears season

The 1990 Chicago Bears season was their 71st regular season and 20th postseason completed in the National Football League (NFL). The Bears were looking to return to the playoffs after missing them in 1989 and did so, winning their sixth NFC Central Division championship in seven seasons. With the change in playoff structuring that began in 1990, the Bears were not guaranteed a bye week for winning the division and had to play on Wild Card weekend. They defeated the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round but were defeated by the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants at Giants Stadium in the Divisional Playoffs. This was also the last division title the Bears would win until 2001.

For the only time in Mike Ditka's tenure as the Bears' head coach, the team played a regular season game in the state of Arizona when they visited the Phoenix Cardinals on October 28. Chicago left Tempe victorious; it was the Bears' first matchup against the Cardinals since Chicago visited the Cardinals in St. Louis six years earlier.

Late in the season, tragedy struck when defensive tackle Fred Washington, the Bears' second-round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft, was killed in a car accident on December 21, 1990.

Beaver County, Pennsylvania

Beaver County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 170,539. Its county seat is Beaver. The county was created on March 12, 1800, from parts of Allegheny and Washington Counties. It took its name from the Beaver River.Beaver County is part of the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Brian Piccolo Award

The Brian Piccolo Award is an honor that is given to players of the Chicago Bears. The award is given to one rookie and one veteran per season who best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo. Piccolo was a running back for the Bears from 1966 until his untimely death from embryonal cell carcinoma on June 16, 1970, at age 26.

Covert (surname)

Covert is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Allen Covert (born 1964), American comedian

Eugene E. Covert, American scientist

Frank Manning Covert (1908-1987), Canadian lawyer

James W. Covert (1842-1910), American politician

Jim Covert (born 1960), former American football player

John Covert (painter) (1882 – 1960), American painter

John S. Covert (died 1881), Canadian ship builder and politician

Ralph Covert, American singer

List of Chicago Bears first-round draft picks

The Chicago Bears are an American football franchise based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the National Football Conference (NFC) North division in the National Football League (NFL). They participated in the first ever NFL draft in 1936 and selected Joe Stydahar, a tackle from West Virginia University. Stydahar went to have a stellar career with the franchise and is inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The team's most recent first round selection (2018) was Roquan Smith, an inside linebacker from Georgia. The Bears have not had first round selections a total of six times, most recently in 2010. The Bears have only selected the number one overall pick in the draft twice, choosing Tom Harmon in 1941 and Bob Fenimore in 1947. The team's six selections from the University of Texas are the most chosen by the Bears from one program. Nine of the first round selections have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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. The NFL Draft, as a whole, gives the advantage to the teams that did poorly the previous season. The 30 teams that did not make the Super Bowl are ranked in order so the team with the worst record picks first and the team with the best record pick last. The two exceptions to this inverse order are made for teams that appeared in the previous Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion selects 32nd overall, and the Super Bowl loser selects 31st overall. If the franchise so chooses, they may trade their draft picks for any combination of draft picks, players, and money.

List of Chicago Bears players

The following are lists of past and current players of the Chicago Bears professional American football team.

Mark Bortz

Mark Steven Bortz (born February 12, 1961) is a former offensive guard in the National Football League. He attended the University of Iowa and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1983.

Super Bowl XX

Super Bowl XX was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Chicago Bears and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1985 season. The Bears defeated the Patriots by the score of 46–10, capturing their first NFL championship (and Chicago's first overall sports victory) since 1963, three years prior to the birth of the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XX was played on January 26, 1986 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.

This was the fourth Super Bowl where both teams were making their Super Bowl debuts. The Bears entered the game after becoming the second team in NFL history to win 15 regular season games. With their then-revolutionary 46 defense, Chicago led the league in several defensive categories, outscored their opponents with a staggering margin of 456–198, and recorded two postseason shutouts. The Patriots were considered a Cinderella team during the 1985 season, and posted an 11–5 regular season record, but entered the playoffs as a wild card because of tiebreakers. But defying the odds, New England posted three road playoff wins to advance to Super Bowl XX.

In their victory over the Patriots, the Bears set or tied Super Bowl records for sacks (seven), fewest rushing yards allowed (seven), and margin of victory (36 points). At the time, New England broke the record for the quickest lead in Super Bowl history, with Tony Franklin's 36-yard field goal 1:19 into the first quarter after a Chicago fumble. But the Patriots were eventually held to negative yardage (−19) throughout the entire first half, and finished with just 123 total yards from scrimmage, the second lowest total yards in Super Bowl history, behind the Minnesota Vikings (119 total yards) in Super Bowl IX. Bears defensive end Richard Dent, who had 1.5 quarterback sacks, forced two fumbles, and blocked a pass, was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP).The telecast of the game on NBC was watched by an estimated 92.57 million viewers. To commemorate the 20th Super Bowl, all previous Super Bowl MVPs were honored during the pregame ceremonies.

The Wrays

The Wrays, also known as The Wray Brothers Band, were an American country music group from Oregon composed of Bubba Wray, Jim Covert, Lynn Phillips and Joe Dale Cleghorn. Following two independent singles, The Wrays released a pair of singles on Mercury Records in the 1980s. Their highest charting single, "You Lay a Lotta Love on Me," reached the Top 50 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1987. After The Wrays broke up, lead singer Bubba Wray launched a successful solo career as Collin Raye.

Walter Camp Alumni of the Year

The Walter Camp “Alumni of the Year” award is bestowed by the Walter Camp Football Foundation on a worthy individual who has distinguished himself in the pursuit of excellence as an athlete, in his personal career and in doing good works for others. He must be an individual who has exhibited dedication and good moral conduct in achieving success. He must be a compassionate and unselfish person who contributes his time and assistance in helping to encourage and comfort fellow human beings less talented and less fortunate than himself. He must be an individual who takes pride in having been a Walter Camp All-American.

Special teams

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