Jim Trimble

James W. Trimble (May 29, 1918 – May 23, 2006) was an American gridiron football coach who served as head coach in both the National Football League (NFL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL. He is one of the few head coaches to make the transition. His legacy is also connected to the "modern day," Slingshot Goal Post. Before reading please note this article has been edited by one of his children for accuracy. In the NFL, he spent four years leading the Philadelphia Eagles, before spending the next decade in the CFL, most notably with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, followed by an over 20 year career with the NY Giants. He is one of the few in football to retire with a Super Bowl Ring & a Gray Cup Ring.

Jim Trimble
Born:May 29, 1918
McKeesport, Pennsylvania
Died:May 23, 2006 (aged 87)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Career information
Career history
As coach
1951Philadelphia Eagles (DB)
1952–1955Philadelphia Eagles
1957–1962Hamilton Tiger-Cats
1963–1965Montreal Alouettes

Early life and career

Trimble grew up in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. He worked in the steel mills dragging slag off the steel melts in the furnaces. In 1936 he was left tackle on the football team of Elgin Academy (a private prep school) in Elgin, Ill. Dirt poor it is unknown who sponsored his enrollment. He quickly became a campus favorite. He immersed himself in his studies. He excelled in football, wrestling, even the men's choir. The Hilltoppers were undefeated in 1936 and 1937.

Following his year at Elgin he was accepted at Indiana University playing tackl for three years beginning in 1939. It was also here that he met the love of his life, his wife, Patricia Olmstead. After graduating in 1942, he entered the U.S. Navy, marrying Patricia before being "shipped out," to the South Pacific spending the next three years in the service during World War II. They would have six children between 1948 & 1958. Upon the end of the conflict, he was named a line coach at Wichita State University, then became the school's head coach at the end of the 1947 season. Trimble held that position for three seasons and his overall coaching record at Wichita State was 13 wins, 14 losses, and 3 ties.[1]

Philadelphia Eagles

After three years with the Shockers, a time in which he also served as the school's athletic director, Trimble accepted an assistant coaching position with the Eagles in 1951. Bo McMillin, the man who had hired him, was diagnosed with cancer early in that first season and resigned in favor of Wayne Millner. When Millner himself resigned on September 8, 1952, Trimble was promoted to head coach. He was at that time the youngest head coach in the NFL & was for decades still one of the youngest ever.

During his first three years, Philadelphia finished second in each season to the Cleveland Browns, with Trimble awarded a three-year contract after the team's second straight runner up finish in 1953. Entering the 1955 NFL season, the Eagles were expected to strongly challenge the defending champion Browns, but when the team fell to 4-7-1, Trimble was fired on December 12. During his four years with the Eagles, he had compiled a mark of 25-20-3.

Canadian Football League

Trimble was not out of work long, accepting the head coaching position of the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats on December 29, signing a one-year deal. After that first season, Trimble was a candidate for the head coaching job at his alma mater, Indiana, but remained north of the border. That decision would prove to be a wise one as the Tiger-Cats battled their way to a Grey Cup title in 1957. They capped the season with a 32-7 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who were led by Trimble's former Eagle's player, Bud Grant.

That victory would sow the seeds of a rivalry when Trimble's team scored a meaningless touchdown in the waning moments of the contest. Angered by Hamilton running up the score, Winnipeg got its revenge one year later when they upset the Tiger-Cats, 35-28. Using the previous season's contest as motivation, the Blue Bombers also were aided when Trimble said days before the contest, "We'll waffle 'em. We'll leave 'em with lumps on the front and the back." The waffle would become a notorious symbol of Trimble's career, with Winnipeg fans jokingly presenting him one the following year.

After losing out to Vince Lombardi for the Green Bay Packers head coaching job in January 1959, Trimble endured continued frustration in three of the succeeding four CFL campaigns when Hamilton lost in the Grey Cup, each time to Winnipeg. In early 1963, Trimble left Hamilton to take the reins of the Montreal Alouettes, but after three losing seasons, he was unable to recapture the magic and was fired on November 18, 1965. Shortly after his dismissal, Trimble allegedly assaulted Montreal Star sportswriter Ian McDonald, but was able to avoid any trouble by apologizing to the journalist.

During his CFL career, he gained a nickname, "Jungle Jim", in part for his reputation in making controversial statements that spurred his running feud with Winnipeg. He later noted that his comments were made to draw attention to the league, and thus make it more marketable. His efforts succeeded in Hamilton, where by 1962, attendance had risen to 23,000 per game.

Later career

Out of football during 1966, Trimble remained in Hudson, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal. Here, he and a Montreal friend began to market a new type of goal post that was supported by only one post, instead of the two aka the "H" that had been the standard since the game began. The so-called "slingshot" goalposts, named because of their "Y" shape, were adopted by CFL in 1966 and by the NFL in 1967, just after Trimble returned to coaching as an offensive line assistant with the New York Giants. Trimble had been offered the job by head coach Allie Sherman while attempting to sell the team his innovative goal posts.

The "Slingshot," Goal Post was soon adopted by the NFL & the CFL during his time promoting the new design. It revolutionized the game, making it not only easier for kickers to identify the uprights but erased the injuries of the past whereby receivers, running backs,and defensive players would hit or run into one of the two poles used to support the cross bar in the traditional "H" design. Schools & universities followed.

When head coach Sherman was fired during the 1969 preseason, Trimble was transferred to the scouting department, where he would spend the next two decades as Director of Pro Personnel. His efforts helped rebuild "Big Blue," into one the most dominant teams of the 1980's earning him a Super Bowl ring in 1987. He would spend his retirement in the Lehigh Valley. Pa. Patricia would pass away soon after in 1991. Jim remained in the Lehigh Valley until moving to Indianapolis, Indiana. He would pass away from emphysema in 2006 less than a week before his 88th birthday.


  1. ^ Wichita St. Coaching Records Archived 2012-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
1954 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1954 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 22nd in the league. They matched their previous output of 7–4–1. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

1955 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1955 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 23rd in the league. They failed to improve on their previous output of 7–4–1, winning only four games. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.

1955 Pro Bowl

The 1955 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's (NFL) fifth annual all-star game which featured the league's outstanding performers from the 1954 season. The game was played on January 16, 1955, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, in front of 42,972 fans. The West squad defeated the East by a score of 26–19.The West team was led by Buck Shaw (although he had recently been fired by the San Francisco 49ers) while Jim Trimble of the Philadelphia Eagles coached the East squad. 49ers end Billy Wilson was unanimously selected as the game's outstanding player.

1957 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season

The 1957 Hamilton Tiger-Cats finished in 1st place in the East division with a 10–4 record and won the Grey Cup over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Tiger-Cats played the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen in the preseason, which would prove to be the last time they would play an Ontario Rugby Football Union team.

45th Grey Cup

The 45th Grey Cup was the Canadian Football Council's (CFC) championship game of the 1957 season, which was played on November 30, 1957. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 32–7 at Varsity Stadium in Toronto.This was the first Grey Cup game to be covered on coast-to-coast television.

The game is famous for a play in which Hamilton defensive back Ray Bawel intercepted a Winnipeg pass and raced unopposed for an apparent touchdown. As he passed the Winnipeg bench, however, Dave Humphrey, a Toronto fan who was standing in front of the Winnipeg bench, put his foot out and tripped Bawel. After the officials huddled together for a while to discuss the situation not covered by the rulebook, referee Paul Dojack assessed a penalty of half the distance to the goal line as a sort of compromise. As it turned out, the incident had little effect as Hamilton scored on the ensuing drive and the game ended in a 32–7 rout for Hamilton.

46th Grey Cup

The 46th Grey Cup was the championship game of the 1958 season of the Canadian Football League on November 29, 1958. The game was played in Vancouver's Empire Stadium before a crowd of 36,567. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35-28. This was the first Grey Cup game to be played under the aegis of the newly formed (and present-day) Canadian Football League.

49th Grey Cup

The 49th Grey Cup was the Canadian Football League's championship game of the 1961 season on December 2, 1961. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 21 to 14 at CNE Stadium in Toronto before 32,651 fans. It is considered to be one of the 10 greatest Grey Cup Games of all time.

54th Grey Cup

The 54th Grey Cup was hosted at Empire Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia on November 26, 1966. The Saskatchewan Roughriders won their first Grey Cup after 53 years of competition for this trophy, after losing eight times. With Eagle Keys as head coach the Roughriders defeated the Ottawa Rough Riders led by Frank Clair by a score of 29-14. George Reed was the MVP with 31 rushes for 133 yards and one rushing touchdown. Ottawa lost despite two TD passes of over 60 yards to the speedy long-ball threat Whit Tucker. The gooseneck or slingshot field goal posts, invented by Jim Trimble and Joel Rottman, were installed for this game, marking its first appearance in a football championship game. They made their debut a week earlier at Montreal's new Autostade for the Eastern Conference finals. The game was called with four seconds left in regulation when fans swarmed the field in celebration.

Al Gebert

Albert J. "Al" Gebert (July 30, 1906 – December 4, 1980) was an American football player and coach. He served as the 16th head football coach at the University of Wichita—now known Wichita State University—in Wichita, Kansas and he held that position for 12 seasons, from 1930 until 1941.

His record at Wichita was 68–40–6.A native of Jacksonville, Illinois, Gebert attended Routt Catholic High School. He played football at the University of Notre Dame under coaching great Knute Rockne and was one of the first coaches to gather upon the announcement of his death. He was named one of Rockne's "Notre Dame All Stars" and played in the final game that Rockne was head coach.

Bibbles Bawel

Edward Raymond "Bibbles" Bawel (born November 21, 1930) is a former American football safety in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles. He also was a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union. He played college football at Evansville College.

Bob Dawson (Canadian football)

Robert Charles Dawson (February 4, 1932 – December 10, 2017) was an award-winning and Grey Cup champion former Canadian Football League player.

Dawson was a standout junior player with the Windsor AKO Fratmen team, winners of the 1952 national junior championship (the "Little Grey Cup") in a 15–12 victory over the Edmonton Wildcats. Several CFL teams were bidding for his services, but he chose the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, with whom he'd have a 7-season career. In his first season, he won the Gruen Trophy as best rookie in the east (no stats were kept, and only Canadians qualified for the award) and won the Grey Cup championship. He also won the Grey Cup in 1957.

Primarily a defensive back, he made five interceptions in his career, and he could substitute on offense, catching 11 passes in 1956. He could also play quarterback, and in 1956 he got the chance, which was a rarity, as very few Canadians got to play quarterback during this era. On October 20, 1956 the Cats were suffering a record setting defeat to the Montreal Alouettes, 82–14, when coach Jim Trimble replaced starting quarterback Tony Curcillo. Dawson came on and completed five of eight passes for one touchdown.

Dawson was enshrined in the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. He died on December 10, 2017 at the age of 85.

Dick Shearer

Richard Bruce Shearer (September 21, 1940 – September 20, 1997) was an American jazz trombonist.

Shearer was lead trombonist and music director for the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He succeeded Jim Trimble in the late 1960s, led the band during Kenton's illnesses, and produced several of its albums. He remained with the band until Kenton's death in 1979. For the next three years, Shearer was director of jazz bands at Wayne State University in Detroit.

In soft ensemble passages (such as the Dee Barton arrangement of "Here's That Rainy Day"), Shearer plays softly, achieving an orchestral pianissimo; this technique allows the later ensemble climax to seem even more powerful. Shearer also championed what is referred to as the "breath attack", where repeated notes (usually in a ballad) are not tongued, but are given an extra "push" of air.

Mike Vax, lead trumpeter of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, said, "Dick Shearer was the most important person on the band. I think that Stan felt about him like a son...the way Dick played trombone, that was the Kenton sound. Dick's trombone was derivative of all the great Kenton lead players, going all the way back to Kai Winding. But sometimes the person who's the end of a legacy becomes the culmination of the legacy, so I think Dick was the greatest lead trombone player of them all."

Empire Stadium (Vancouver)

For the later temporary home of Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the British Columbia Lions, see Empire Field.Empire Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium that stood at the Pacific National Exhibition site at Hastings Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Track and field and Canadian football, as well as soccer and musical events, were held at the stadium. The stadium was originally constructed for the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. The stadium (which sat 32,375 upon opening, but 30,229 after 1974) hosted both Elvis Presley and The Beatles. It saw most of its use as the home of the BC Lions of the CFL from 1954 to 1982, in which the venue also played host to the first Grey Cup game held west of Ontario in 1955. Empire Stadium also hosted the Grey Cup game in 1958, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1971, and 1974; seven times in total.

Empire Stadium was often home to the Shrine Bowl Provincial Championship for provincial senior high school.The stadium was also home to the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League during the 1970s and early 1980s, as well as the Vancouver Royals of the same league for their only year of play in 1968.

Just before the 1966 Grey Cup game, the stadium had the new "gooseneck" or "slingshot" goal posts erected invented by Jim Trimble and Joel Rottman, marking the first time these goalposts were used at any level of football in a championship game. They were first used a week earlier at Montreal's Autostade for the 1966 Eastern Conference final; this model goalpost would soon become the standard design in the NFL and CFL. In 1970, it became the first facility in Canada to have artificial playing surface installed made by 3M, under the brand name "Tartan Turf".

Both the Lions and Whitecaps moved to BC Place Stadium for the 1983 season. The stadium was demolished in the early 1990s. The site served as a parking lot for the neighbouring Pacific National Exhibition as well as Playland for many years before being converted to a soccer field and track on the site of the old field.

With BC Place Stadium undergoing renovations in 2010 and 2011, the BC Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps played their home games at Empire Field, a temporary field constructed on the former grounds of Empire Stadium. After the renovations to BC Place were complete, the temporary stadium was removed. The park and sports fields were restored for community use.

List of Grey Cup-winning head coaches

This is a list of Grey Cup winning head coaches.

List of Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coaches

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are a professional Canadian football team based in Hamilton, Ontario, and are members of the East Division in the Canadian Football League (CFL).

The Tiger-Cats were founded in 1950, with the merger of the Hamilton Tigers and the Hamilton Wildcats. Since the merger, the team has appeared in 19 Grey Cup finals, and has won eight championships. The current Tiger-Cats head coach is Orlondo Steinauer.

List of Philadelphia Eagles head coaches

This is a list of head coaches for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles joined the National Football League (NFL) as an expansion team in 1933. Currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC), the team has won three NFL titles and made three Super Bowl appearances (1980, 2004, and 2018), with their first Super Bowl victory coming in Super Bowl LII under second-year head coach Doug Pederson. There have been 22 head coaches of the Eagles in the NFL.

Three coaches have won NFL championships with the team: Earl "Greasy" Neale in 1948 and 1949, Buck Shaw in 1960, and Doug Pederson in Super Bowl LII. Andy Reid is the all-time leader in games coached and wins, while Neale has the highest winning percentage with .594 (with at least one full season coached). Bert Bell is statistically the worst coach the Eagles have had in terms of winning percentage, with .185 win/loss percentage.Of the 22 Eagles coaches, four have been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bert Bell was a charter member of the Hall of Fame. Bell was inducted for his work as the NFL Commissioner from 1946–1959. Wayne Millner, who coached the team in 1951, was enshrined as a player in 1968. Greasy Neale was in the class of 1969 for his work as the Eagles coach in the 1940s. Mike McCormack made the 1984 class for his Offensive Tackle play. Several former NFL players have been head coaches for the Eagles, including Jerry Williams, Ed Khayat, and Marion Campbell. Andy Reid. spent 14 seasons in charge before he was fired on December 31, 2012, after a 4–12 season – Reid's worst season in charge – which left the Eagles bottom of the NFC. He was replaced by former University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, who led the Eagles to a 10–6 record and the playoffs. Kelly was fired on December 29, 2015 after going 6–9 through that season's first 15 games. He was replaced by Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmer for week 17. As of January 14, the Eagles named Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, Doug Pederson their new head coach going into the 2016 NFL season.

List of Wichita State Shockers head football coaches

The Wichita State Shockers football program was a college football team that represented Wichita State University until the school discontinued football. The team had 32 head coaches since its first recorded football game in 1897. The last head coach for the team was Ron Chismar who first took the position for the 1984 season.

Peter Neumann (Canadian football)

Peter Neumann is a former Canadian Football League player for 14 seasons the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He was a 9-time CFL's Eastern All-Star and a part of three Grey Cup championship teams.

Neumann was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

Ralph Sazio

Ralph Joseph Sazio (July 22, 1922 – September 25, 2008) was a football player, assistant coach, head coach general manager and team president for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He also served as president of the Toronto Argonauts. He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (1998) as a builder.

Sazio was born in Avellino, Italy and played high school football at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. He played college football at the College of William and Mary and played for the AAFC's Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948.

Annis Stukus TrophyCFL Coach of the Year

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