Mike Phipps

Michael Elston Phipps (born January 19, 1947) is a former American college and professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for twelve seasons during the 1970s and 1980s. Phipps played college football for Purdue University, and was recognized as an All-American. He was the third overall pick in the 1970 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears of the NFL.

Mike Phipps
refer to caption
Phipps from 1969 Purdue yearbook
No. 15
Personal information
Born:January 9, 1947 (age 72)
Shelbyville, Indiana
Career information
High school:Columbus (IN)
NFL Draft:1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Passer rating:52.6
Player stats at NFL.com

Early years

Phipps was born in Shelbyville, Indiana. He attended Columbus High School in Columbus, Indiana, and played for the Columbus Bulldogs high school football team.[1]

College career

Phipps attended Purdue University, where he played for the Purdue Boilermakers football team. He began his college career when he replaced All-American Boilermakers quarterback Bob Griese. His first major victory was a 28-21 upset of defending national champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish on September 30, 1967. Combining strong passing skills with excellent mobility helped Phipps establish a new school single-season record for total offense and earn the Boilermakers a share of the Big Ten Conference title.[2]

The following year, Phipps suffered an ankle injury that kept him out of two games, and was overshadowed by teammate Leroy Keyes, a running back who spent all season in contention for the Heisman Trophy. The Boilermakers were the top-ranked team in the country until the Ohio State Buckeyes upset them 13-0 on October 12.

In 1969, Phipps became the focal point of Purdue's offense, throwing for five touchdowns in a 36-35 thriller over Stanford University on October 4, including throwing for a two-point conversion with three minutes left. He also defeated Notre Dame for the third consecutive year. Phipps finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy to Oklahoma Sooners running back Steve Owens.[2] Although he was awarded the 1969 Sammy Baugh Trophy, he declined a Rhodes Scholarship to concentrate on a professional football career.

Professional career

Phipps was picked third in the 1970 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, who traded him to the Cleveland Browns for All Pro wide receiver Paul Warfield on January 27, 1970.[3] Phipps saw limited action during his first two seasons. In the team's third game of the 1970 NFL season, Phipps came off the bench to lead a 15-7 comeback victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, his lone start of the year would be a 14-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on November 15, 1970, as the rookie finished with 529 passing yards on the season. The following year, Phipps threw for only 179 yards and started just one contest: a 13-7 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs on November 14.

In 1972, Phipps again began the season on the sidelines, but became the team's starting quarterback after a disappointing 26-10 opening game loss to the Green Bay Packers on September 17. He threw for 13 touchdowns and nearly 2,000 yards, helping the Browns reach the NFL playoffs. In the November 13 game against the San Diego Chargers, he led a last-minute drive to win the 21-17 contest. In the team's playoff clash against the undefeated Miami Dolphins on December 24, Phipps had led the team to a 14-13 fourth quarter lead, but his five interceptions helped end hopes of a possible upset.

The following year, he threw for nine touchdowns, but was intercepted 20 times. Despite these struggles, he engineered two late-season comebacks in a win over the Steelers and a tie against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, the Browns missed the playoffs with a 7-5-2 record. In 1974, the team collapsed with a 4-10 record, and Phipps was briefly replaced by Brian Sipe at mid-season.

The 1975 season was even more disastrous as the Browns dropped their first nine games. However, Phipps went 23 of 36 in the team's first victory, a 35-23 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on November 23 in Cleveland. Phipps threw for a personal high of 298 yards with 2 TD passes and no interceptions. Two other victories helped give hope for a turnaround the following season.

In the team's 1976 opener against the New York Jets, Phipps started the game, but suffered a separated shoulder after being tackled by the Jets' Shafer Suggs. By the time he had recovered from the injury, Sipe had established himself as the team's new leader and Phipps' time in Cleveland was soon to come to an end.

That finish came on May 3, 1977, when Phipps was traded to the Bears for a first round draft pick in 1978, which turned out to be Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome. He saw minimal action during the 1977 NFL season, threw for two touchdowns (along with 10 interceptions) the next year, but saw his most extensive action in 1979. During that year, he threw for 1,535 yards and nine touchdowns, as he battled teammates Bob Avellini and Vince Evans for playing time.

Phipps threw for a pair of touchdowns in each of the next two seasons, but his limited role and the arrival of both quarterback Jim McMahon in the 1982 NFL draft and new coach Mike Ditka resulted in his release.

Phipps was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.[4]


  1. ^ Johnson, Bryan. "Mike Phipps: Boilermaker Quarterback from Shelbyville". Shelbyville, Indiana. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Hall Call". CBS Interactive. 16 May 2006.
  3. ^ "1970 NFL Draft Pick Transactions". CTS Co. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  4. ^ Hall Call

External links

1967 All-Big Ten Conference football team

The 1967 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Big Ten Conference teams for the 1967 Big Ten Conference football season. Five of the first-team players were chosen from the Purdue Boilermakers, including quarterback Mike Phipps and running backs Perry Williams and Leroy Keyes, the latter of whom was the only player unanimously chosen for the All-Big Ten team.

1967 Big Ten Conference football season

The 1967 Big Ten Conference football season was the 72nd season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1967 NCAA University Division football season.

The 1967 Indiana Hoosiers football team, under head coach John Pont, tied for the Big Ten football championship and was ranked No. 4 in the final AP Poll. The Hoosiers lost to USC in the 1968 Rose Bowl. Quarterback Harry Gonso was selected as the team's most valuable player.

The 1967 Purdue Boilermakers football team, under head coach Jack Mollenkopf, tied for the Big Ten championship and was ranked No. 9 in the final AP Poll. Purdue running back Leroy Keyes led the conference with 114 points scored, was a consensus first-team All-American, won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the conference, and finished third in the voting for the 1968 Heisman Trophy.

The 1967 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team, under head coach Murray Warmath, also tied for the Big Ten football championship. Offensive tackle John Williams was the first Big Ten player selected in the 1968 NFL/AFL Draft with the 23rd overall pick.

1967 Purdue Boilermakers football team

The 1967 Purdue Boilermakers football team was an American football team that represented Purdue University during the 1967 Big Ten Conference football season. In their 12th season under head coach Jack Mollenkopf, the Boilermakers compiled an 8–2 record, finished in a three-way tie for the Big Ten Conference championship with a 6–1 record against conference opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 291 to 154.Purdue's junior running back Leroy Keyes rushed for 986 yards in 1967, was selected as a consensus first-team All-American, and was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Other notable players from the 1967 Purdue team included quarterback Mike Phipps, running back Perry Williams, offensive end Jim Beirne, offensive tackle Chuck Kuzneski, offensive guard Bob Sebeck, middle guard Chuck Kyle, linebacker Dick Marvel, defensive ends George Olion and Bob Holmes, defensive tackle Lance Olssen, and defensive back Tim Foley.

1969 Big Ten Conference football season

The 1969 Big Ten Conference football season was the 74th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1969 NCAA University Division football season.

The 1969 Michigan Wolverines football team, in the program's first year under head coach Bo Schembechler, was ranked No. 9 in the final AP Poll. The 1969 Michigan vs. Ohio State football game was considered one of the biggest upsets in college football history, as Ohio State came into the game with an 8–0 record, a 22-game winning streak and the No. 1 ranking in the polls. Michigan defeated Ohio State, 24–12, to win the Big Ten's berth in the 1970 Rose Bowl, where they lost to USC. Michigan tight end Jim Mandich and defensive back Tom Curtis were consensus first-team All-Americans. Mandich was selected as the team's most valuable player.

The 1969 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Woody Hayes, was ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll every week until losing to Michigan in the final game of the regular season. After the loss to Michigan, the Buckeyes dropped to No. 4 in the final AP Poll. Defensive back Jack Tatum, running back Jim Otis, and middle guard Jim Stillwagon were consensus first-team All-Americans. Otis was selected as the team's most valuable player.

The 1969 Purdue Boilermakers football team, in its final season under head coach Jack Mollenkopf, compiled an 8–2 record and was ranked No. 18 in the final polls. Quarterback Mike Phipps totaled 2,527 passing yards, won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the conference's most valuable player, was selected as the consensus first-team All-American quarterback, received the Sammy Baugh Trophy as the nation's top collegiate passer, and finished second in the voting for the 1969 Heisman Trophy.

1969 Purdue Boilermakers football team

The 1969 Purdue Boilermakers football team represented Purdue University during the 1969 Big Ten Conference football season. It was Jack Mollenkopf's final season as head coach, ending the most successful period in the program's history to date.

1970 Cleveland Browns season

The 1970 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 21st season with the National Football League. The Browns attempted to improve on its 10-3-1 record from 1969. The team would fail to do so, and they finished with an even 7-7 record and missed the postseason. This was the first season that the Browns would play the Cincinnati Bengals, their new arch-rival in the AFC Central. The 2 teams split their 2 meetings in the first season series.

1972 Cleveland Browns season

The 1972 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 23rd season with the National Football League.

1975 Cleveland Browns season

The 1975 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 26th season with the National Football League.

The Browns lost their first nine games—again, a team record—en route to going 3–11 in Forrest Gregg's first year as head coach after having been promoted from offensive line coach following the offseason firing of Nick Skorich.

Making matters even harder to swallow was that, save for a 16–15 decision at Denver in Week 5 and a 24–17 decision at Cincinnati in the season opener, the losses were pretty much one-sided. At home no less, the Browns fell 42–10 to the Minnesota Vikings, 42–6 to the Pittsburgh Steelers and 40–10 to the Houston Oilers, the worst three-game stretch they've ever had. Later in the year—it was the last of those nine consecutive defeats—the Browns were beaten 38–17 at Oakland.

The Steelers and Vikings both finished 12–2, the Oilers just missed the playoffs at 10–4 and the 11–3 Raiders lost to Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game, but none of that was of any consolation to a franchise as proud as the Browns. After 1974, the Browns were hoping that '75, in which the team went to orange pants and altered its basic uniform design for the first time since that inaugural season of 1946, would usher in a new era of success. But it didn't work out that way. The problem for the Browns was that they were in the middle of a major rebuilding phase, trying to replace old-line, grizzled veterans from the team's glory days of the 1960s with free agents from other teams, or young players. Another problem was at the QB position; Mike Phipps, the Browns' No. 3 overall pick in the 1970 NFL Draft, threw just four touchdown passes with 19 INTs on the year. More and more, Browns fans were calling for Brian Sipe, who started in two victories in the final five games in 1974, to permanently secure the starting quarterback job in what became a major quarterback controversy.Asides from the progress of Sipe, another diamond in the rough was Greg Pruitt. With Pro Football Hall of Famer Leroy Kelly having retired after the 1973 season, Pruitt, the first of the team's two second-round draft picks that year, had taken a quantum leap in '75 into settling into his job as the go-to running back. He raced for 214 yards, still the seventh-best performance in team history, en route to putting together the first of his three-straight 1,000-yard seasons by getting 1,067. He became the first 1,000-yard runner for the team since Kelly in 1968.

Pruitt averaged 4.8 yards per carry in 1975, the highest by a Brown since Kelly's 5.0 in 1968, and, while scoring three times against the Chiefs, rushed for eight touchdowns, the most since Kelly's 10 in 1971.

1976 Cleveland Browns season

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

1979 Chicago Bears season

The 1979 Chicago Bears season was their 60th regular season and 14th postseason completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 10–6 record under second year coach Neill Armstrong but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the opening round of the playoffs.

Gary Danielson

Gary Dennis Danielson (born September 10, 1951) is a former professional American football player and a current college football commentator. Danielson was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL). He played for the Detroit Lions from 1976 to 1984 and for the Cleveland Browns in 1985, 1987, and 1988. He is currently working for CBS Sports as a commentator for its college football coverage; he previously held the same position for ABC Sports.

George Van Bibber

Edward George Van Bibber (1909 – August 3, 1982) was an American football player, coach, and university professor. He served as the head football coach at Central Michigan University from 1931 to 1933 and at the University at Buffalo from 1934 to 1935, compiling a career college football record of 16–19–3. Van Bibber joined the faculty of the University of Connecticut in 1936 and was the director of the School of Physical Education there before retiring in 1969. He died on August 3, 1982 at the age of 73 after suffering a heart attack.Van Bibber was an alumnus of Purdue University, lettering in baseball and football. He was a member of the 1930 Big Ten Conference champion football team and was awarded the 1931 Big Ten Medal of Honor; other notable recipients include: John Wooden, Hank Stram, Bob Griese, Mike Phipps and Jim Everett.

Jack Mollenkopf

Kenneth "Jack" Mollenkopf (November 24, 1905 – December 4, 1975) was the head football coach at Purdue University from 1956 until 1969. Mollenkopf was also an assistant coach at Purdue from 1947 to 1955 under Stu Holcomb.

Mollenkopf was a successful football coach competing at high school and college levels and is widely acknowledged as the greatest football coach in Purdue's history. While coaching high school, he led Toledo Waite to three national championships. Mollenkopf is Purdue's all-time leader in Big Ten Conference wins (58) and conference winning percentage (.637). His 84 wins at Purdue placed him first on the school's all-time wins list until Joe Tiller passed him in 2008, and he ranks fourth in overall winning percentage (.670). Mollenkopf's Boilermakers were nationally ranked for 80 weeks, the most under any Purdue head coach, and captured the #1 spot the first five weeks of the 1968 season.

On January 2, 1967, Mollenkopf coached the school's first appearance in the Rose Bowl, leading Purdue to a 14–13 victory over USC. Against Purdue's in-state rivals, Mollenkopf tallied an 11–2–1 record versus Indiana and a 10–4 mark against Notre Dame. From 1966 to 1969, a Purdue player finished in the top three in balloting for the Heisman Trophy: quarterback Bob Griese was second in 1966, halfback Leroy Keyes placed third in 1967 and second in 1968, and quarterback Mike Phipps finished as runner-up in 1969. Mollenkopf's inaugural season in 1956 was the only losing campaign of his tenure as head coach at Purdue.

A prominent figure on the sidelines of postseason all-star games, Mollenkopf served as head coach of the 1958, 1959, and 1960 Blue–Gray Football Classics; the 1962 and 1963 East–West Shrine Games; the 1964, 1967, and 1970 Hula Bowls; the 1968 All-American Bowl; and the 1969 North–South Shrine Game. Mollenkopf was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988; the Bowling Green State University Hall of Fame in 1965 and the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1994, Coach Mollenkopf was inducted as a member of the inaugural class of the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame.

Mollenkopf died of cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota on December 4, 1975 at the age of 70.

List of Chicago Bears starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Bears.

List of Cleveland Browns starting quarterbacks

The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football team in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division.

Since joining the NFL in 1950, the Browns have had 57 different quarterbacks start in at least one game for the team. Pro Football Hall of Fame member Otto Graham, the team's first quarterback, led the Browns to three NFL championships in their first six seasons in the league. Since resuming operations in 1999 after a three-year vacancy, the franchise has been notable for its futility at the quarterback position. From 1999 through week 4 of the 2018 season, the team had 30 different players start at quarterback. Tim Couch, the Browns' first overall draft pick in 1999, is the only quarterback in that stretch to start all 16 games in a season for the team, having done so in 2001. The Browns have started more than one quarterback in 17 consecutive seasons.

Nick Skorich

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purdue Boilermakers football statistical leaders

The Purdue Boilermakers football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Purdue Boilermakers football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Boilermakers represent Purdue University in the NCAA's Big 10 Conference.

Although Purdue began competing in intercollegiate football in 1887, the school's official record book considers the "modern era" to have begun in 1946. Records from before this year are often incomplete and inconsistent, and they are generally not included in these lists.

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

Since 1946, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

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.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Boilermakers have played in seven bowl games since then.

The Boilermakers accumulated more than 5,000 yards eight times in the 11-year period between 1997 and 2007. However, they have only done it once since then, so there have not been nearly as many entries on this list since 2008 as there were in that 11-year stretch.These lists are updated through the end of the 2016 season.

Terry Luck

Terry Lee Luck (born December 14, 1952) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. He played for the Cleveland Browns. He played college football for the Nebraska Huskers.

U.S. Open Polo Championship

The US Open Polo Championship is an annual polo championship in the United States. It is organized by the United States Polo Association (USPA). It was first played in 1904 at Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx in New York City. At the first game the Wanderers defeated the Meadowbrook Freebooters.


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