Norman Mack Van Brocklin (March 15, 1926 – May 2, 1983), nicknamed "The Dutchman", was an American football quarterback, punter, and coach in the National Football League. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
|Norm Van Brocklin|
Van Brocklin in 1974
|No. 11, 25|
|Born:||March 15, 1926|
Parade, South Dakota
|Died:||May 2, 1983 (aged 57)|
Social Circle, Georgia
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Lafayette (CA) Acalanes|
|NFL Draft:||1949 / Round: 4 / Pick: 37|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Born in Parade, South Dakota, Van Brocklin was one of nine children of Mack and Ethel Van Brocklin. His father was a watchmaker. The family moved to Northern California and settled in Walnut Creek, east of Oakland. Van Brocklin was a three-sport standout at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, where he quarterbacked the football team to a 5-3 record as a sophomore and a 4-2-2 record as a junior. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 through 1945, foregoing his senior year of high school.
Following World War II, Van Brocklin followed two former high school teammates north and enrolled at the University of Oregon in Eugene. He became the starting quarterback in 1947 under first-year head coach Jim Aiken, and led the Ducks to a 16-5 record in his two seasons as a starter. In 1948, Oregon tied with California for the title of the Pacific Coast Conference, forerunner of the Pac-12. California was undefeated overall, and Oregon's only loss was at undefeated Michigan, that year's national champions, and the Ducks had seven victories in the PCC to Cal's six. Oregon did not go to the Rose Bowl, however, because Cal was voted by the other schools to represent the PCC in the game. Oregon needed only a 5-5 tie vote, as Cal had been to the game more recently, and with six Northwest schools and four in California, appeared favored to advance. Oregon had opted for a playoff game, but California declined. Among the Cal voters was the University of Washington, which elevated the intensity of the Oregon-Washington rivalry. Breaking with tradition, the PCC allowed Oregon to accept an invitation to play SMU in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. It was the first time that a Pacific Coast team played in a major bowl game other than the Rose Bowl (a policy which was continued by the Pac-8 through 1974). Both Oregon and California lost their New Year's Day bowl games. That season, Van Brocklin was honored with an All-America selection and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Coincidentally, the Heisman Trophy winner that year was SMU running back Doak Walker. Both Walker and Van Brocklin got Outstanding Player recognition for their performance in the Cotton Bowl Classic.
Van Brocklin left Oregon for the NFL with one remaining year of college eligibility. At that time, a player was not allowed to join the NFL until four years after graduating from high school. Though he had only been at the University of Oregon for three years, he was eligible due to his time in the Navy during World War II. At age 23, he completed his bachelor's degree in June 1949.
Van Brocklin was selected 37th overall in the 1949 NFL Draft, taken in the fourth round by the Los Angeles Rams. Teams were not sure if he planned to play the 1949 season in college or not, so he fell in the draft, conducted in December 1948. Van Brocklin signed with the Rams in July and joined a team that already had a star quarterback, Bob Waterfield. Beginning in 1950, new Rams coach Joe Stydahar solved his problem by platooning Waterfield and Van Brocklin. The 1950 Rams scored a then-record 466 points (38.8 per game – which is still a record) with a high octane passing attack featuring Tom Fears and Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch. Fears led the league and set a new NFL record with 84 receptions. Van Brocklin and Waterfield finished 1-2 in passer rating as well. They were defeated by the Cleveland Browns in the 1950 title game, 30-28.
In 1951, Van Brocklin and Waterfield again split quarterbacking duties and the Rams again won the West. That year, Hirsch set an NFL record with 1,495 receiving yards and tied Don Hutson's record of 17 touchdown receptions. This time, the Rams won the title rematch against Cleveland, 24-17. Waterfield (9-24, 125 yards) took most of the snaps at the L.A. Coliseum, but Van Brocklin (4-6, 128 yards) threw a game-winning 73-yard touchdown pass to Fears. It was the Rams' only NFL championship while based in southern California; their next came in 1999, several years after the move east to St. Louis.
Earlier in 1951 on opening night, Van Brocklin threw for an NFL record 554 yards on September 28, breaking Johnny Lujack's single-game record of 468 set two years earlier. Waterfield was injured so Van Brocklin played the entire game and completed 27 of 41 attempts with five touchdowns. Despite the increase in passing attacks by NFL teams in recent years, the yardage record still stands, set 68 years ago.
Waterfield retired after the 1952 season and Van Brocklin continued to quarterback the Rams, leading them to the title game again in 1955, hosted at the L.A. Coliseum. In that game, the visiting Browns crushed the Rams 38-14 as Van Brocklin threw six interceptions. In early January 1958, he announced his retirement from pro football after nine seasons and had plans to enter private business in Oregon at Portland.
Less than five months later in late May, Van Brocklin changed his mind and was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for two players (offensive lineman Buck Lansford and defensive end Jimmy Harris) and a first round draft pick. It was disclosed he did not want to play another season for the Rams under head coach Sid Gillman's offense, but it was not a personality issue with Gillman. Under famed head coach Buck Shaw, Van Brocklin was given total control of the offense in Philadelphia in 1958, and he steadily improved the Eagles' attack. In his third and final season with Philly in 1960, the team had the best regular season record in league at 10-2, and hosted the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Championship Game at Franklin Field. Throwing to his favorite receiver, 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 176 lb (80 kg) Tommy McDonald, Van Brocklin led the Eagles to victory. In a game dominated by defense, he led a fourth quarter comeback, resulting in a final score of 17-13.
During his twelve-year career, Van Brocklin played on two NFL championship teams: the 1951 Los Angeles Rams and the 1960 Philadelphia Eagles. Following the latter triumph, he retired. As it turned out, the Eagles were the only team to defeat the Packers in a playoff game during Vince Lombardi's tenure as Green Bay's head coach. Van Brocklin led the NFL in passing three times and in punting twice. On nine occasions, he was selected to the Pro Bowl.
Van Brocklin cut his ties with the Eagles after his belief that the team had reneged on an agreement to name him head coach to replace the retiring Buck Shaw. On January 18, 1961, he accepted the head coaching position for the expansion Minnesota Vikings, less than a month after winning the NFL Championship game. During his six years with Minnesota, Van Brocklin compiled a record of 29-51-4 (.369). The tenure was highlighted by his contentious relationship with quarterback Fran Tarkenton. Van Brocklin was displeased with Tarkenton's penchant for scrambling, preferring that he stay in the pocket. The feud culminated with Tarkenton's demand for a trade and Van Brocklin's surprise resignation on February 11, 1967. Tarkenton was traded to the New York Giants shortly after Van Brocklin's departure, but was reacquired by Van Brocklin's successor, Bud Grant, five years later in 1972.
In 1968, he took over as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons on October 1, replacing Norb Hecker, who had started the season with three defeats, extending the team losing streak to ten games. Over the next seven seasons, Van Brocklin had mixed results, putting together a 37-49-3 mark. He led the team to its first winning season in 1971 with a 7-6-1 record, then challenged for a playoff spot in 1973 with a 9-5 mark. His 1973 Falcons handed the Fran Tarkenton-led, 9-0 Minnesota Vikings its first defeat, on Monday Night Football. However, after winning just two of his first eight games in 1974, he was fired. One thing Van Brocklin was known for was his disdain for soccer-style kickers (now the standard in the NFL). In one game, a soccer-style kicker beat Van Brocklin's team and after the game, a reporter asked about how felt about losing the game on a last-second field goal, and he replied "They ought to change the god-damned immigration laws in this country".
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|MIN||1961||3||11||0||.214||7th in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|MIN||1962||2||11||1||.179||6th in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|MIN||1963||5||8||1||.393||4th in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|MIN||1964||8||5||1||.607||2nd in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|MIN||1965||7||7||0||.500||5th in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|MIN||1966||4||9||1||.321||6th in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|ATL||1968||2||9||0||.182||4th in NFL Coastal||–||–||–||–|
|ATL||1969||6||8||0||.429||3rd in NFL Coastal||–||–||–||–|
|ATL||1970||4||8||2||.357||3rd in NFC West||–||–||–||–|
|ATL||1971||7||6||1||.536||3rd in NFC West||–||–||–||–|
|ATL||1972||7||7||0||.500||2nd in NFC West||–||–||–||–|
|ATL||1973||9||5||0||.643||2nd in NFC West||–||–||–||–|
|ATL||1974||2||6||0||.250||4th in NFC West||–||–||–||–|
Following his dismissal, Van Brocklin returned to his pecan farm in Social Circle, Georgia, east of Atlanta. His only connections to football during this era were as a running backs coach for Georgia Tech under head coach Pepper Rodgers in 1979, who was fired that December. It was his only stint as an assistant coach. Rodgers's successor Bill Curry brought in a new staff in 1980 and Van Brocklin then was a college football analyst on "Superstation" WTBS in Atlanta.
Van Brocklin, a heavy cigarette smoker, suffered a number of illnesses, including a brain tumor. After it was removed, he told the press, "It was a brain transplant. They gave me a sportswriter's brain, to make sure I got one that hadn't been used." He died of a heart attack in 1983 at age 57, five weeks after former teammate Bob Waterfield.
Van Brocklin was posthumously elected to the University of Oregon Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992.
|Led the league|
|AP NFL MVP|
The 1947 Oregon Webfoots football team was an American football team that represented the University of Oregon in the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) during the 1947 college football season. In its third season under head coach Jim Aiken, the team compiled a 7–3 record (5–1 against PCC opponents), finished in a tie for second place in the PCC, and outscored their opponents by a total of 174 to 121. The team played its home games at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Quarterback Norm Van Brocklin led the PCC with 76 completions for 939 passing yards and an average of 40.1 yards per punt. Halfback Jake Leicht led the conference with 630 rushing yards on 119 carries. Dan Garza led the team in scoring with 30 points.Three Oregon players were honored on the 1947 All-Pacific Coast football teams selected by the PCC coaches, the United Press (UP) and Associated Press (AP): Van Brocklin at quarterback (AP-1, UP-1, Coaches-1); Leicht at halfback (Coaches-1, UP-1); and Brad Ecklund (Coaches-1).1949 Cotton Bowl Classic
The 1949 Cotton Bowl Classic was a post-season game between the SMU Mustangs and the Oregon Webfoots. 20 points were scored in the final quarter.1959 Philadelphia Eagles season
The 1959 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 27th season in the National Football League. They improved on their previous output of 2–9–1, winning seven games. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the tenth consecutive season.1960 Philadelphia Eagles season
The 1960 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 28th in the National Football League, and culminated in the Eagles' defeat of the Green Bay Packers in the NFL championship game to win their third league title. The victory over the Packers was also the first and only playoff defeat of the great Vince Lombardi's coaching career. The 1960 season was the Eagles' first postseason appearance since their last NFL championship season of 1949. It was their only postseason appearance in the 28 seasons from 1950 to 1977, and their last NFL title until their victory in Super Bowl LII, 57 years later.1961 Pro Bowl
The 1961 Pro Bowl was the NFL's eleventh annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1960 season. The game was played on January 15, 1961, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 62,971 fans. The final score was West 35, East 31.The coaches were Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers and Buck Shaw of the Philadelphia Eagles. This game marked the end of the great career of Norm Van Brocklin. The Eagles' quarterback was playing in his final game after 12 seasons, having been named the coach of the expansion Minnesota Vikings. Van Brocklin was angry that the Eagles had not named him head coach, which he said they had promised following the retirement of Buck Shaw.Jim Taylor scored a record three touchdowns, and Van Brocklin established Pro Bowl records for passing with 288 yards and three touchdowns. Yet fan favorite Johnny Unitas was voted the game’s outstanding back for the second season in a row and the Giants' Sam Huff took the lineman honors.1962 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1962 season was the Minnesota Vikings' second in the National Football League. Under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the team finished with a 2–11–1 record that still stands as the franchise's worst season record in terms of winning percentage, both by today's standards (.179) and at the time (.154), when ties weren't counted as games played. The Vikings have won at least three games in every season since.1962 Pro Bowl
The 1962 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's twelfth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1961 season. The game was played on January 14, 1962, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 57,409 fans.The coaches were Norm Van Brocklin of the Minnesota Vikings for the West and Allie Sherman of the New York Giants for the East. This Pro Bowl is considered one of the best, most-competitive games in history. After a Jim Brown fumble in the fourth quarter, Johnny Unitas drove the West to the East's 12-yard line. On the final play of the game, Unitas found halfback Jon Arnett alone in the end zone for the game-tying touchdown. The West kicked the winning point-after with time expired, making the final score 31-30.Cleveland Browns fullback Jim Brown was voted the game's outstanding back and Henry Jordan of the Green Bay Packers was the selected as the lineman of the game.Detroit Lions linebacker Joe Schmidt had his helmet wired for sound and to measure the shock of tackles in conjunction with a study by Northwestern University to help establish performance standards for headgear. The safety study was considered quite remarkable in that day and the specially adapted helmet cost $5,000.1963 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1963 season was the Minnesota Vikings' third in the National Football League. Under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the team finished with a 5–8–1 record. Five wins in a season represented the most in the franchise's three-year history. 22-year-old Paul Flatley of Northwestern University was named the NFL's Rookie of the Year, a first for the fledgling franchise.1964 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1964 season was the Minnesota Vikings' fourth in the National Football League. Under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the team finished with an 8–5–1 record, the most wins they had accrued in a season since joining the league. To date, this is the only season the Vikings wore white jerseys for their home games.1965 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1965 season was the Minnesota Vikings' fifth in the National Football League. Under head coach Norm van Brocklin, the team finished with a 7–7 record.1966 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1966 season was the Minnesota Vikings' sixth in the National Football League. Sixth-year head coach Norm Van Brocklin resigned at the end of the season, after the team finished with a 4–9–1 record.1967 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1967 season was the Minnesota Vikings' seventh in the National Football League. After the resignation of head coach Norm Van Brocklin at the end of the previous season, the Vikings hired Bud Grant, previously the head coach of the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who led the team to a 3–8–3 record.1970 Pro Bowl
The 1970 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's twentieth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1969 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 18, 1970, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. The final score was West 16, East 13. Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears was named the game's offensive Most Valuable Player (MVP) after rushing for 75 yards on nine carries. George Andrie of the Dallas Cowboys was selected as the defensive MVP.Attendance at the game was 57,786. Norm Van Brocklin of the Atlanta Falcons coached the West squad while the East was led by the New Orleans Saints' Tom Fears. This was the last Pro Bowl to feature the Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format. After the AFL–NFL merger was completed, future Pro Bowls would pit the AFC against the NFC.History of Atlanta Falcons head coaches
In the History of Atlanta Falcons head coaches Vince Lombardi was initially pursued as the first Atlanta coach, but after deciding to stay with Green Bay, was asked for recommendations for Atlanta's first coach. At the time, Lombardi did not recommend Hecker and the Atlanta owner, Rankin Smith Jr., thinking Lombardi was trying to pull one over on him, decided to hire Hecker. The next three years would be an exercise in frustration for Hecker who managed just four wins in his 31 games at the helm. One bad omen of this misery came in the team's first-ever exhibition game when Falcons' kicker Wade Traynham completely missed the ball on the kickoff. Following the inaugural 3-11 season, the Falcons were plagued by injuries in 1967 and declined to a 1-12-1 mark, the lone win coming in a one-point midseason contest against the Minnesota Vikings.
When Atlanta began the 1968 NFL season by dropping their first three games, Hecker was fired on October 1 and replaced by former Viking head coach Norm Van Brocklin. After reaching a settlement on the remaining two years of his contract, Hecker accepted the defensive coordinator position with the New York Giants on February 12, 1969. He had also been under consideration for a post with the Redskins, who had just hired the previously-retired Lombardi.List of Los Angeles Rams starting quarterbacks
These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League. The Rams were formerly known as the St. Louis Rams and the Cleveland Rams. The players are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Rams.List of Minnesota Vikings head coaches
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League (NFL). The club was founded by Minneapolis businessmen Bill Boyer, H. P. Skoglund and Max Winter in 1959 as a member of the American Football League. However, they forfeited their membership in January 1960 and became the National Football League's 14th franchise in 1961.There have been nine head coaches in the history of the franchise, beginning with Norm Van Brocklin, who was head coach for six seasons between 1961 and 1967. Van Brocklin's successor, Bud Grant, is the only coach to have had more than one tenure with the franchise, and also the only one to have won an NFL championship with the team, at the 1969 NFL Championship Game. Grant is the all-time leader in games coached (243), wins (151), and winning percentage (.622). Les Steckel has the worst winning percentage of the franchise's nine head coaches (.188), with just three wins in his only season in charge. Two Vikings coaches have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Grant and Van Brocklin, although Van Brocklin was elected for his playing career. Mike Tice is the only former Vikings player to have become a head coach for the franchise. The most recent coach was former defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who took over as interim head coach from Brad Childress after the latter was fired on November 22, 2010. Frazier held the position permanently from January 3, 2011, until December 30, 2013, when he was fired after compiling a 21–32–1 record as head coach. On January 15, 2014, the Vikings appointed Mike Zimmer as the team's ninth head coach.List of Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterbacks
These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Eagles.Neil Graff
Neil Graff is a former quarterback in the National Football League. He was drafted in the sixteenth round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings and later played with the New England Patriots for two seasons. Later he was selected in the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft by the Seattle Seahawks and split that season as a member of the Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers, though he did not see any playing time in a regular season game with either team. He played the following year with the Steelers before being a member of the Green Bay Packers during the 1978 NFL season, but once again did not play during the regular season. One of two NFL quarterbacks born in the state of South Dakota, The other being HOF player, Norm Van Brocklin, born in Parade, SD. Graff is an inductee in the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.Tom McCormick
Thomas Mike McCormick (May 16, 1930 – September 20, 2012) was an American football player and coach. He played professionally as a halfback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at the University of Pacific.
McCormick was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the eighth round (97th overall) of the 1952 NFL Draft. He played three seasons for the Rams from 1953 to 1955. He then played for the San Francisco 49ers in 1956.
During his four-year career he played in 32 games and gained 272 yards rushing on 86 carries. He had one career touchdown. As a kick return man he gained 10 yards on 9 punt returns and 243 yards on 11 kickoff returns for the Rams and 49ers. He recovered four fumbles during his professional career.
McCormick was as an assistant coach under Norm Van Brocklin with the Minnesota Vikings and under Vince Lombardi for the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers.
# denotes interim head coach
Norm Van Brocklin—championships, awards, and honors