Weeb Ewbank

Wilbur Charles "Weeb" Ewbank (May 6, 1907 – November 17, 1998) was an American professional football coach. He led the Baltimore Colts to NFL championships in 1958 and 1959 and the New York Jets to victory in Super Bowl III in 1969. He is the only coach to win a championship in both the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL).

Ewbank grew up in Indiana and attended Miami University in Ohio, where he was a multi-sport star who led his baseball, basketball and football teams to state championships. He immediately began a coaching career after graduating, working at Ohio high schools between 1928 and 1943, when he entered the U.S. Navy during World War II. While in the military, Ewbank was an assistant to Paul Brown on a service football team at Naval Station Great Lakes outside of Chicago. Ewbank was discharged in 1945 and coached college sports for three years before reuniting with Brown as an assistant with the Cleveland Browns, a professional team in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The Browns won all four AAFC championships. They joined the NFL with the leagues merger in 1950, winning the championship that year.

Ewbank left the Browns in 1954 to become head coach of the Colts, a young NFL team that had struggled in its first season. In 1956, Ewbank brought in quarterback Johnny Unitas, who quickly became a star and helped lead a potent offense that included wide receiver Raymond Berry and fullback Alan Ameche to an NFL championship in 1958. The Colts repeated as champions in 1959, but the team's performance slipped and Ewbank was fired in 1963. He was soon picked up by the Jets, another struggling team in the AFL. While his first few years were unsuccessful, Ewbank helped build the Jets into a contender after signing quarterback Joe Namath in 1965. The Jets won the AFL championship in 1968 and went on to win Super Bowl III.

Ewbank, who was known as a mild-mannered coach who favored simple but well-executed strategies, retired after the 1973 season and settled in Oxford, Ohio. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978. He died in Oxford on November 17, 1998, the 30th anniversary of the "Heidi Game".

Weeb Ewbank
Weeb Ewbank
Personal information
Born:May 6, 1907
Richmond, Indiana
Died:November 17, 1998 (aged 91)
Oxford, Ohio
Career information
High school:Richmond (IN)
College:Miami (OH)
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Win–loss record:130–129–7
Playoff record:4–1
Winning %:.502
Games:266
Coaching stats at PFR

Early years

Ewbank was born in Richmond, Indiana, the son of a grocer who owned two stores in the small city.[1][2][3] He attended the local Morton High School, where he played quarterback on the football team, was an outfielder in baseball and was a member of the basketball team.[1] He captained the football and basketball teams when he was a senior.[3] As a teenager, Ewbank and his father drove to Dayton, Ohio see early football star Jim Thorpe and the Canton Bulldogs play.[2] One of his younger brothers could not pronounce his name correctly and called him "Weeb", the nickname he was known by for the rest of his life.[1]

After graduating from high school in 1924, Ewbank attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.[1] He played on the school's football team as a quarterback under head coach Chester Pittser.[1][4] He was also the center fielder on the baseball team and a forward on the basketball team.[5] While Ewbank was small in stature – he was only 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m) and weighed 146 pounds (66 kg) – he was one of Miami's best athletes.[5] He shared quarterback duties with Eddie Wohlwender on a squad that finished with an 8–1 win–loss record and won the Ohio Athletic Conference championship in 1927, his senior year.[5][6] Miami's baseball team also won the Ohio Conference when he was a sophomore and took the Buckeye Athletic Association title when he was a senior.[5] The basketball team won a state title when he was a junior.[5] Ewbank was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity while at Miami.[7]

Coaching career

Shortly after graduating from Miami in 1928, Ewbank took his first coaching job at Van Wert High School in Van Wert, Ohio, overseeing the football, basketball and baseball teams.[1][8] He remained there until 1930, when he moved back to Oxford and took a position coaching football and basketball at McGuffey High School, a private institution run by Miami University.[8] He also taught physical education at Miami.[8] Ewbank took a break from coaching in 1932 to pursue a master's degree at Columbia University in New York City and filled in as Miami's basketball coach in 1939 after the previous coach left for another job, but otherwise held his coaching positions at McGuffey until 1943.[1][9] Under his tutelage, the school's Green Devils football team had a win–loss record of 71–21 in thirteen seasons.[10] This included a streak of three undefeated seasons between 1936 and 1939 and one season – 1936 – where the team did not allow any scoring by opponents.[2][8]

Ewbank joined the U.S. Navy in 1943 as American involvement in World War II intensified.[1] He was assigned for training to Naval Station Great Lakes near Chicago, where Paul Brown, a former classmate who succeeded him as Miami's starting quarterback, was coaching the base football team.[1][11] Brown had become a successful high school coach in Ohio before being named head football coach at Ohio State University in 1941.[12] At Great Lakes, Ewbank was an assistant to Brown on the football team and coached the basketball team.[9]

Following his discharge from the Navy at the end of the war in 1945, Ewbank became the backfield coach under Charles "Rip" Engle at Brown University.[1][13] He also was head coach of the basketball team in the 1946–47 season, his only one at Brown.[13][14]

Ewbank's next stop was as head football coach at Washington University in St. Louis for the 1947 and 1948 seasons.[13] Ewbank guided the Washington University Bears to a 14–4 record in two seasons, (5-3 in 1947, 9-1 in 1948).[15]

Cleveland Browns

Despite his success in St. Louis, Ewbank quit his job when he was given the chance to serve as an assistant under Paul Brown, who by 1949 was coaching the Cleveland Browns, a professional team in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC).[16][17] Ewbank was brought in to oversee the Browns' linemen after backfield coach John Brickels quit to take a job at Miami University and tackles coach Bill Edwards left to become the head coach at Vanderbilt University.[16] Ewbank expected to coach quarterbacks, having played the position in college, but Brown insisted that he oversee the tackles.[18] "He knew I'd have to work very hard at this job and bring a fresh approach", Ewbank said many years later.[18]

Led by quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley and ends Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie, the Browns won the AAFC championship in 1949, their fourth straight title.[19] The AAFC folded after the season, and the Browns were absorbed by the more established National Football League (NFL).[20] The team finished the 1950 season with a 10–2 record and won the NFL championship by beating the Los Angeles Rams.[21] The Browns reached the NFL championship each year between 1951 and 1953, but lost once to the Rams and twice to the Detroit Lions.[22]

Baltimore Colts

Ewbank got his first professional head coaching job in early 1954 for the NFL's Baltimore Colts, a franchise that had started play the previous year.[23] While it was a step up for Ewbank, Brown encouraged him not to take the job and told him he would not be successful.[24] After Ewbank took the job, Brown accused him of passing information about the Browns' draft targets to the Colts.[24] Brown had insisted that he stay with the Browns through the 1954 draft, and NFL commissioner Bert Bell agreed.[25] During the draft, Ewbank allegedly sent the names of players Brown liked to the Colts through Baltimore sportswriter John Steadman, including end Raymond Berry, who went on to have a long and successful career.[25]

The Colts struggled in Ewbank's first years as head coach, posting records of 3–9 in 1954 and 5–6–1 in 1955.[26][27] In 1956, however, the team signed quarterback Johnny Unitas after he was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers.[2] Ewbank brought in Otto Graham to tutor Unitas, who complemented an improving team that included Berry, fullback Alan Ameche, halfback Lenny Moore and defensive back Don Shula.[2][28]

The Colts began the 1956 season with a 3–3 record, and calls for Ewbank's firing intensified – just as they had the previous year.[28] Team owner Carroll Rosenbloom supported him, however, saying that while he had considered a coaching change in the past, Ewbank could stay with the Colts "forever – or until he fouls up".[28] When he came to Baltimore, Ewbank had promised to create a system like Paul Brown's in Cleveland, but said he would need time to turn the team into a winner.[28] The Colts finished 1956 with a 5–7 record.[29]

The team made a turnaround the following year, posting a 7–5 record, but still finished third in the NFL's Western Division behind the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions.[30] The team improved further in 1958, winning the Western Division with a 9–3 record and earning a spot in the NFL championship game against the New York Giants.[31] Led by Unitas, Berry and Ameche, the team won the game 23–17 in sudden-death overtime.[32] Often referred to as "The Greatest Game Ever Played", the championship was watched by a large national audience on television and helped make football into the most popular sport in the U.S.[33] Ewbank was named coach of the year by the Associated Press and United Press International after the season.[3]

Baltimore finished with a 9–3 record for the second year in a row in 1959 and repeated as NFL champions.[34] The team's performance fell off in subsequent years, however, and Rosenbloom fired Ewbank after the 1962 season.[35] He was replaced by former player Don Shula, who by then was a 33-year-old assistant with the Lions.[35]

Throughout his career, Ewbank was seen as a humble coach who had a good sense of humor and tried to stay out of the spotlight.[28][36] He could also be harsh with his players, however. Before the 1958 championship game, he gave a speech telling his stars they needed to improve and had barely made the team.[36] Unitas, he said, was obtained "with a seventy-five-cent phone call" and Ameche wasn't liked or wanted.[36] Ewbank was not universally liked by his players. Second-string running back Jack Call later said the team won "in spite of, not because of" Ewbank.[37] Other players saw him as overly easygoing, saying that while he was able to build teams up, he became too relaxed once he reached the top.[37] Hall of Famer Raymond Berry stated in his book All the Moves I Had "What it amounts to is that Ewbank knew exactly what he wanted his team to do and how to get them to do it well.. Being under Weeb's system was the number one reason why Unitas and I had the careers we had." [38]

New York Jets

A five-man syndicate led by Sonny Werblin bought the New York Titans franchise of the American Football League (AFL), a NFL competitor, as part of bankruptcy proceedings in 1963.[39] Shortly thereafter, the team changed its name to the New York Jets and hired Ewbank as its coach and general manager.[40] Ewbank took over a team that had not had a winning record in its first three years of existence and hired a coaching staff that included Chuck Knox, Walt Michaels and Clive Rush, all of whom later became head coaches.[40] When he was hired, Ewbank said he had a five-year plan to succeed in Baltimore, and "I don't see why we can't build a winner here in five years."[40]

While the Jets won their first three games with Ewbank as coach, his first several years were unsuccessful.[40] The team, meanwhile, had to deal with numerous logistical issues stemming from its second-tier status among New York's sports teams.[40] The Jets switched stadiums from the Polo Grounds in Manhattan after the 1963 season to the newly built Shea Stadium, but shared Shea with baseball's New York Mets.[40] Concerned about possible damage to the stadium's turf, the Mets would not allow the Jets to practice at Shea, forcing the team to hold practices at the Rikers Island jail complex.[40] The Jets posted a 5–8–1 win–loss–tie record each year between 1963 and 1965.[41][42][43]

Despite limited on-field success in Ewbank's first years, the Jets began to put the pieces of a winning team in place.[40] In 1964, they outbid cross-town NFL rivals the New York Giants for Matt Snell, a top running back prospect out of Ohio State University.[40] Linebacker Larry Grantham became a consistent All-Pro selection and safety Dainard Paulson had 12 interceptions in 1964, which remains a team record.[44] An even bigger coup came in 1965, when the Jets signed Joe Namath, a star quarterback at Alabama under coach Bear Bryant.[45] The St. Louis Cardinals selected Namath as the 12th pick in the NFL draft, but Namath later said he chose the Jets in part because he got along with Ewbank and was impressed by how he had developed Unitas while with the Colts.[45]

Namath quickly became a star for the Jets. The team improved to 6–6–2 in 1966 and 8–5–1 in 1967, when Namath became the first-ever quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a single season.[46][47][48] By 1968, Ewbank's team was becoming one of the top teams in the AFL. All of its main starters returned from the year before, and the Jets brought in All-Pro guard Bob Talamini from the Houston Oilers.[49] The team started the season with a 3–2 record, but won eight of its last nine games to finish the regular season 11–3 and win the AFL East Division by four games.[50] One of the Jets' losses in 1968 was a November contest against the Oakland Raiders that later came to be known as the Heidi Game.[51] After Jim Turner kicked a field goal for the Jets that gave them a 32–29 lead with just over a minute left to play, NBC cut away from the game to a scheduled broadcast of the children's movie Heidi.[51] The Raiders went on to win the game by scoring two touchdowns in the final 42 seconds.[51] Ewbank's wife Lucy called the locker room to congratulate him on the win, only to learn the team had lost.[51]

The Jets' first-place finish in their division in 1968 set up a rematch with the Raiders – the winners of the AFL West – for the league championship.[51] Namath threw three touchdowns as the Jets won 27–23, putting them through to the third World Championship, a matchup between the winner of the AFL and NFL now known as Super Bowl III.[51] The Jets were 17-point underdogs to the Colts, who had continued to succeed after Ewbank's departure with Unitas at quarterback and Shula as head coach.[52] Nevertheless, Namath publicly guaranteed a Jets win before the game, which rankled Ewbank.[53] Ewbank liked that the Colts were favored, thinking it would make them complacent, and did not want to agitate them by boasting about the Jets' chances.[52]

Ewbank and the Jets played an unconventional game against the Colts, opting for an uncharacteristically conservative strategy in part because star wideout Don Maynard was nursing a hamstring injury.[54] The tactic worked against the Colts, and the Jets built a 16–0 lead going into the game's fourth quarter by relying on Snell's running against the aging right side of the Baltimore defense.[54] Snell had 121 yards on 30 carries.[54] The Jets' defense, meanwhile, held back a Colts offense that scored 460 points as the team finished with a 15–1 regular-season record.[55] New York intercepted four Baltimore passes, three thrown by Earl Morrall, who was substituting for an injured Unitas and one by Unitas who entered the game in the second half.[56] The Jets won the game 16–7, aided by Ewbank's familiarity with many of the Colts' players and strategies.[54]

The Jets had a 10–4 record in 1969, but lost a divisional playoff to the Kansas City Chiefs.[57] Ewbank was named the AFL's coach of the year after the season, but the team did not post a winning record in any of the following four years.[3][58][59][60][61] In December 1972, Ewbank announced that he would retire as head coach after the 1973 season, saying he wanted to spend more time with his wife.[62] He continued as general manager, however, and was named the team vice president.[62] Charley Winner, the former coach of the St. Louis Cardinals and the husband of Ewbank's daughter Nancy, was appointed as his replacement in early 1973.[63] The 1973 Jets season is the subject of the book The Last Season of Weeb Ewbank by Paul Zimmerman.[64] After the team lost seven of its first eight games in 1974, Ewbank resigned as vice president and general manager.[65] He agreed to coach quarterbacks at Columbia University in 1975.[66]

Later life and honors

Ewbank moved back to Oxford in retirement and wrote a book in 1977 called Football Greats.[67] He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978, but said later that year that he was glad to be out of coaching.[68] With the expansion of the NFL, he said, talent had become diluted and fielding a good team was difficult.[68] Coaches, meanwhile, customarily took the blame for a team's failures, and the sport had become too violent.[68]

Ewbank's coaching style was laid-back but efficient, combining his mild personality with an orderliness inherited from Paul Brown.[22][69] "Weeb combined a low-key style with a flair for the most dramatic of accomplishments", former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in 1998. "He led two of the legendary teams during the era of pro football's greatest growth. But he preferred to stay in the background and let the players take the credit."[22] He favored well-practiced execution of a limited number of plays over complicated offensive and defensive systems.[69] Paul Brown "had the exact same approach: Don't do too much, but what you do, execute it flawlessly", Raymond Berry said in 2013, adding that the Colts' 1958 championship team had only six passing plays.[69]

Ewbank is the only man to coach two professional football teams to championships, and the only man to win the NFL championship, the AFL championship and a Super Bowl.[3] His regular-season career record in the NFL and AFL was 130–129–7, and his playoff record was 4–1.[70] Ewbank was selected as the head coach on the AFL All-Time Team in 1970.[71] In addition to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1969, the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1974 and the Talawanda School District Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.[3][8][72] He also won the Walter Camp Distinguished American Award in 1987 and was inducted into the Jets' Ring of Honor in 2010.[73][74]

Ewbank suffered a dislocated hip in the aftermath of the Jets' 1968 AFL championship game win, and had other health issues in his later years.[2] He broke his leg and had two hip replacements in the 1990s.[2] He also had myasthenia in his right eye.[2] Ewbank died at 91 on November 17, 1998, the 30th anniversary of the "Heidi Game", after suffering from heart problems.[22][75] He and his wife Lucy had three daughters.[22]

Head coaching record

AFL/NFL

Team Year Regular Season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
BAL 1954 3 9 0 .250 6th NFL Western
BAL 1955 5 6 1 .455 4th NFL Western
BAL 1956 5 7 0 .417 4th NFL Western
BAL 1957 7 5 0 .583 3rd NFL Western
BAL 1958 9 3 0 .750 1st NFL Western 1 0 1.000 1958 NFL Championship Game winners
BAL 1959 9 3 0 .750 1st NFL Western 1 0 1.000 1959 NFL Championship Game winners
BAL 1960 6 6 0 .500 4th NFL Western
BAL 1961 8 6 0 .571 T–3rd NFL Western
BAL 1962 7 7 0 .500 4th NFL Western
BAL Total 59 52 1 .532 2 0 1.000
NYJ 1963 5 8 1 .385 4th AFL East
NYJ 1964 5 8 1 .385 3rd AFL East
NYJ 1965 5 8 1 .385 2nd AFL East
NYJ 1966 6 6 2 .500 3rd AFL East
NYJ 1967 8 5 1 .615 2nd AFL East
NYJ 1968 11 3 0 .786 1st AFL East 2 0 1.000 Super Bowl III champions
NYJ 1969 10 4 0 .714 1st AFL East 0 1 .000 Lost to Kansas City Chiefs 13–6 in Interdivisional Playoffs
NYJ 1970 4 10 0 .286 3rd AFC East
NYJ 1971 6 8 0 .429 3rd AFC East
NYJ 1972 7 7 0 .500 2nd AFC East
NYJ 1973 4 10 0 .286 4th AFC East
NYJ Total 71 77 6 .480 2 1 .667
Total 130 129 7 .502 4 1 .800
Source: Pro Football Reference

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Cradle of Coaches: Weeb Ewbank" (PDF). Miami University Libraries. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 6, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Anderson, Dave (September 18, 1994). "His Championship Seasons: Ewbank Reflects". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Ewbank, Wilbur "Weeb"". Indiana Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  4. ^ Gifford & Richmond 2008, p. 168.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Miami Has Tiny Star in Ewbank". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Oxford, O. December 2, 1927. p. 28. He is Miami's smallest athlete, yet one of the most versatile in the Ohio Conference. He weighs only 146 pounds and stands 5 feet 7 inches. Ewbank is the only man at Miami who has won three "M's" since the start of 1927. He copped them as forward on the basketball team, centerfielder on the baseball outfit and quarterback on the football squad.
  6. ^ "Miami Yearly Results". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  7. ^ "'Famous Phi's' from Phi Delta Theta Chapters nationwide". Purdue Phi Delta Theta. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e "TSD Athletic Hall of Fame". Talawanda School District. Archived from the original on August 7, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Kurz 1983, p. 37.
  10. ^ Markoe & Jackson 2002, p. 269.
  11. ^ Cantor 2008, p. 15.
  12. ^ Cantor 2008, pp. 29–44.
  13. ^ a b c Cooper, John. "From the Stacks: Weeb Ewbank and the Cradle of Coaches". Miami University Library. Archived from the original on August 7, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  14. ^ "Weeb Ewbank Is Named New Hoop Coach at Brown". Nashua Telegraph. Providence, R.I. Associated Press. May 24, 1946. p. 9. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  15. ^ Broeg 2000, p. 78.
  16. ^ a b "Ewbank Is New Browns' Coach". Cleveland Plain Dealer. March 1, 1949. p. 21.
  17. ^ Piascik 2007, pp. 123–128.
  18. ^ a b Cantor 2008, p. 203.
  19. ^ Piascik 2007, pp. 144–146.
  20. ^ Piascik 2007, pp. 140–143.
  21. ^ "1950 Cleveland Browns Statistics & Players". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on August 7, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  22. ^ a b c d e "NFL legend Ewbank dead at 91". CNN Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. November 18, 1998. Archived from the original on August 7, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  23. ^ "Baltimore Colts Select Ewbank". Eugene Register-Guard. Baltimore. United Press International. January 15, 1954. p. 2B. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  24. ^ a b Piascik 2007, p. 310.
  25. ^ a b Cantor 2008, p. 140.
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  30. ^ "1957 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on August 7, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
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  32. ^ Gifford & Richmond 2008, pp. 224–228.
  33. ^ Gifford & Richmond 2008, pp. 5–9.
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  35. ^ a b "Baltimore Colt Coach Ewbank Fired, Replaced By Shula". Lodi News-Sentinel. Baltimore. United Press International. January 9, 1963. p. 10. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  36. ^ a b c Gifford & Richmond 2008, p. 90.
  37. ^ a b Gifford & Richmond 2008, p. 170.
  38. ^ Berry, Raymond (2016). All the Moves I Had. Lyons Press. pp. 61, paragraph 6. ISBN 978-1-4930-1780-5.
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  44. ^ Cannizzaro 2011, pp. 20–21.
  45. ^ a b Cannizzaro 2011, p. 21.
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  47. ^ "1967 New York Jets Statistics & Players". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  48. ^ Cannizzaro 2011, p. 22.
  49. ^ Cannizzaro 2011, p. 26.
  50. ^ Cannizzaro 2011, p. 27.
  51. ^ a b c d e f Cannizzaro 2011, p. 28.
  52. ^ a b Cannizzaro 2011, p. 29.
  53. ^ Cannizzaro 2011, pp. 28–29.
  54. ^ a b c d Cannizzaro 2011, p. 32.
  55. ^ Cannizzaro 2011, pp. 30, 32.
  56. ^ kmslegal 2019, pp. 33–34.
  57. ^ "1969 New York Jets Statistics & Players". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  58. ^ "1970 New York Jets Statistics & Players". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  59. ^ "1971 New York Jets Statistics & Players". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
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  62. ^ a b "Weeb Leans Toward End Of Coaching". The Victoria Advocate. New York. Associated Press. December 19, 1972. p. 2B. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  63. ^ "Winner Takes Over Reigns As N.Y. Jets New Coach". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. New York. Associated Press. December 18, 1973. p. 4–C. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  64. ^ "The Last Season of Weeb Ewbank". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  65. ^ "Heat's Off Weeb Now". The Evening Independent. New York. Associated Press. November 17, 1974. p. 3–C. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  66. ^ Herman, Robin (December 13, 1974). "Ewbank to Help Columbia Quarterbacks". The New York Times. p. 40. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  67. ^ Anderson, Dave (September 26, 1977). "The Jets may have lost, but they beat up the Colts". The Miami News. East Rutherford, N.J. New York Times News Service. p. 2B. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  68. ^ a b c Grimsley, Will (November 3, 1978). "Ewbank happy to be out of coaching". St. Joseph News-Press. New York. Associated Press. p. 2C. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  69. ^ a b c "Weeb Ewbank's sphere of influence". ESPN.com. May 22, 2013. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  70. ^ "Weeb Ewbank Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks". Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  71. ^ "All-Time AFL Team – DEFENSE". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  72. ^ "Hall of Fame Inductees". Miami University. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  73. ^ Blevins 2012, p. 65.
  74. ^ "Jets Unveil Ring of Honor, Class of 2010". New York Jets. July 20, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  75. ^ Wallace, William N. (November 18, 1998). "Weeb Ewbank, 91, Hall of Fame Coach of Jets, Is Dead". The New York Times. p. 15.

Bibliography

  • Blevins, David (2012). College Football Awards: All National and Conference Winners Through 2010. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-4867-8.
  • Broeg, Bob (2000). The 100 Greatest Moments in St. Louis Sports. St. Louis: Missouri History Museum Press. ISBN 978-1-883982-31-7.
  • Cannizzaro, Mark (2011). New York Jets: The Complete Illustrated History. Minneapolis: MVP Books. ISBN 978-0-7603-4063-9.
  • Cantor, George (2008). Paul Brown: The Man Who Invented Modern Football. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-57243-725-8.
  • Gifford, Frank; Richmond, Peter (2008). The Glory Game:How the 1958 NFL Championship Changed Football Forever. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-154255-8.
  • Kurz, Bob (1983). Miami of Ohio, the Cradle of Coaches. Troy, Ohio: Troy Daily News. ISBN 978-99932-691-6-8.
  • Markoe, Arnold; Jackson, Kenneth T., eds. (2002). The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Thematic Series: Sports Figures. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. ISBN 978-0-684-80665-5.
  • Piascik, Andy (2007). The Best Show in Football: The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns. Lanham, Maryland: Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58979-571-6.

External links

1954 Cleveland Browns season

The 1954 Cleveland Browns season was the team's fifth season with the National Football League. The Browns' defense became the first defense in the history of the NFL to lead the league in fewest rushing yards allowed, fewest passing yards allowed and fewest total yards allowed. Assistant coach Weeb Ewbank left the club to coach the Baltimore Colts.

1959 Pro Bowl

The 1959 Pro Bowl was the NFL's ninth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1958 season. The game was played on January 11, 1959, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 72,250 fans. The final score was East 28, West 21.The West team was led by the Baltimore Colts' Weeb Ewbank while Jim Lee Howell of the New York Giants coached the East squad. New York Giants quarterback Frank Gifford was selected as the outstanding back of the game and defensive lineman Doug Atkins of the Chicago Bears was named the outstanding lineman.

1963 New York Jets season

The 1963 New York Jets season was the fourth season for the team in the American Football League (AFL) and the first under the moniker Jets. The season began with the team trying to improve on their 5–9 record from 1962 under new head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets finished the season 5–8–1, while playing their final season of home games at the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan, before relocating to Shea Stadium in the borough of Queens the following season.

In rebranding itself as the Jets, the club abandoned its navy-blue and gold uniforms in favor of kelly green and white. The jerseys had opposite-colored sleeves with thick stripes on the shoulders and cuffs, above and below the TV numerals. The pants were white with two parallel green stripes on each side. The new helmets were white with a single green stripe down the center; the logo on each side was a silhouette of a jet airplane in green, with the word "JETS" in thick white sans-serif italics along the fuselage.

1964 New York Jets season

The 1964 New York Jets season was the fifth season for the team in the American Football League (AFL). The season marked their first in Shea Stadium, after four seasons in the Polo Grounds. The season began with the team trying to improve on their 5–8–1 record from 1963 under head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets finished the season 5–8–1.

The Jets modified their helmet and logo design for 1964, switching from a single green stripe to two parallel green stripes down the center of the helmet crown. The jet-airplane logo decal was replaced by a white football shape outlined in green, with the word "JETS" in thick green sans-serif capitals over "NY" in green outline serif lettering, and a miniature football at bottom center.

Both the Jets and the baseball New York Mets moved to Shea in 1964. The team's original owner when it was the Titans, Harry Wismer, hoped the team could play in Shea beginning in 1961, but funding difficulties and legal problems delayed construction of the stadium. Wismer signed a memorandum of understanding in late 1961 to secure the Titans' new home. That memorandum recognized that the Mets would have exclusive use of the stadium until they had completed their season. As the Jets moved to Shea under new ownership, they were, in most years, required to open the season with several road games, a problem which would become worse in 1969 and 1973 when the Mets had long playoff runs.The Jets' popularity had reached a zenith at this point, in that the attendance at any one of their home games this season (except for one, and it wasn't by much) outdrew the Titans' entire 1962 season attendance at the Polo Grounds.

1965 New York Jets season

The 1965 New York Jets season was the sixth season for the team in the American Football League (AFL). The season began with the team trying to improve on their 5–8–1 record from 1964 under head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets finished the season 5–8–1, their third consecutive season with that record.

The Jets changed their primary logo in 1965, reversing the colors and slightly enlarging the helmet decal, which was now solid green with white lettering ("JETS" in thick sans-serif italics in front of "NY" in outline serif lettering) and a white miniature football at bottom center.

1966 New York Jets season

The 1966 New York Jets season was the seventh season for the team in the American Football League (AFL). The season began with the team trying to improve on their 5–8–1 record from 1965 under head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets finished the season 6–6–2.

1967 New York Jets season

The 1967 New York Jets season was the eighth season for the team in the American Football League (AFL). The season began with the team trying to improve on their 6–6–2 record from 1966 under head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets finished the season 8–5–1.

1970 New York Jets season

The 1970 New York Jets season was the 11th season for the team and the first in the National Football League, following the AFL–NFL merger. It began with the team trying to maintain or improve upon its 10–4 record from 1969 under head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets finished with a record of 4–10.

One of the highlights of the season was the Jets' first game when they appeared on the first ever Monday Night Football game vs. the Cleveland Browns. The Jets lost the game 31–21.

In the fifth game of the season, quarterback Joe Namath was lost for the season when he broke his wrist vs. the Baltimore Colts in Shea Stadium, the first meeting between the teams since Namath guaranteed victory in Super Bowl III. Namath's injury occurred when he hit his hand on the helmet of Colts defensive tackle Fred Miller. With Namath on the sidelines, the Jets were forced to play untested Al Woodall, who guided New York to upsets of NFC powerhouses Los Angeles and Minnesota, but only one other victory, over the lowly Boston Patriots.

1972 New York Jets season

The 1972 New York Jets season was the 13th season for the team and the third in the National Football League. It began with the team trying to improve upon its 6–8 record from 1971 under legendary head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets star quarterback Joe Namath was healthy for a full season for the first time in three years but the rest of the squad was decimated by injuries and, after a strong start, the Jets finished with a record of 7–7.

The 1972 Jets have the distinction of being the last NFL team to play a team from another league. During the 1972 preseason, a squad composed of the Jets’ rookies defeated the Long Island Chiefs of the Seaboard Football League 29–3.Namath threw for 496 yards and six touchdowns (on just 15 of 28 passes) in a 44–34 victory over the Baltimore Colts in Broadway Joe’s first appearance at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium in week two, but the next week, the Jets were humbled 26–20 by the Houston Oilers, the Oilers' only victory of 1972 and their last before embarking on an 18-game losing streak.

They Jets were eliminated from playoff contention in the season’s thirteenth week, a Monday Night Game with the Raiders in which a battered and bruised Namath threw for 403 yards and nearly pulled off the upset. After the game Raiders coach John Madden went into the Jets locker room and shook Namath’s hand out of respect; it was the only time in his coaching career Madden ever did that. Eliminated from postseason play, the Jets’ coaches decided Namath would sit out the final game of the season to make sure no serious injuries were incurred prior to the 1973 season.

1973 New York Jets season

The 1973 New York Jets season was the fourteenth season for the team and the fourth in the National Football League. It began with the team trying to improve upon its 7–7 record from 1972 under head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets finished with a record of 4–10 in the final season under head coach Weeb Ewbank, with their only wins coming against division rivals New England and Baltimore.

The memorandum of understanding signed by team original owner (as the New York Titans) Harry Wismer gave Shea Stadium’s co-tenants, the New York Mets’, exclusive use of the stadium until they had completed their season. The Jets were required to open 1973 with several road games. As the Mets had a long playoff run to the World Series, the Jets' first six games were on the road.The 1973 season would be the last for legendary coach Weeb Ewbank.

Cradle of Coaches

The Cradle of Coaches is a nickname given to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for its history of producing successful sports coaches, especially in football. Bob Kurz, a former Miami sports communications worker, popularized the term in a 1983 book, though the school's association with the nickname goes as far back as 1971. Miami frequently inducts former coaches into the Cradle of Coaching Association for their feats as alumni.

George Rider

George L. Rider (December 24, 1890 – August 8, 1979) was an American football, basketball, baseball, track and cross country coach and athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Olivet College in 1914, at Hanover College from 1915 to 1916, at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio from 1917 to 1918, and at Washington University in St. Louis from 1920 to 1922, compiling a career college football record of 29–22–5. At Miami he also coached basketball from 1917 to 1919, baseball from 1918 to 1919, and track and cross country from 1924 to 1960. In addition he served as athletic director at Miami from 1924 to 1940. In 1959 Rider served as honorary president of the International Track and Field Coaches Association. He is a charter member of Miami University's Hall of Fame along with coaching legends including Walter Alston, Earl Blaik, Paul Brown, Weeb Ewbank, Ara Parseghian. and John Pont.

Jim Turner (placekicker)

James Bayard Turner (born March 28, 1941) is a former American football player. A quarterback and placekicker, he played college football for Utah State University and was signed as a free agent in 1964 by the American Football League's New York Jets head coach Weeb Ewbank. "Tank" kicked a then record 145 points in the 1968 regular season, with a professional football record 34 field goals. Turner kicked for nine points in the AFL Championship game win over the Oakland Raiders, and ten points in the Jets's 16-7 defeat of the Baltimore Colts in the Third World Championship of Professional Football, Super Bowl III.The last of Turner's three field goals in Super Bowl III was for 9 yards, the shortest in Super Bowl history. At that time, the goal posts were located at the front of the end zones. They have since been moved to the back, so it's no longer possible to kick a field goal from this short a distance. Mike Clark of the Dallas Cowboys tied Turner's record for the shortest Super Bowl field goal in Super Bowl VI.In the locker room after the game, on national television (NBC-TV), Turner shouted "Welcome to the AFL !"

Following the AFL-NFL merger, Turner also played with the Denver Broncos for another nine seasons and kicked four points in a losing effort in Super Bowl XII against the Dallas Cowboys, connecting on a 47-yard field goal and an extra point following a 5-yard touchdown run by Rob Lytle. He was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 1988.Turner finished his career with 304 of 488 (62%) field goals and 521 of 534 extra points, giving him 1,439 total points.

John Sandusky

John Thomas "Sandy" Sandusky, Jr. (December 28, 1925 – March 5, 2006) was an American football player and coach. He played seven seasons as an offensive and defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1950s for the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers before starting a 36-year career as an assistant coach. He was head coach of the Baltimore Colts for part of the 1972 season.

Sandusky grew up in Philadelphia and attended the nearby Villanova University. He played tackle on Villanova's football team and was named a first-team All-American in 1949, his senior year. The Browns selected him in the second round of the 1950 NFL draft. Sandusky played six seasons for the Browns, who won NFL championships in 1950, 1954 and 1955 behind an offense that featured quarterback Otto Graham and end Dante Lavelli. He spent the 1956 season with the Packers before ending his playing career.

Sandusky started coaching at Villanova for two years before being hired as an assistant with the Baltimore Colts in 1959. He spent 13 seasons in Baltimore overseeing the offensive and defensive lines under head coaches Weeb Ewbank, Don Shula and Don McCafferty. Led by quarterback Johnny Unitas, the Colts won an NFL championship in 1959 and beat the Dallas Cowboys to win Super Bowl V in 1970. When McCafferty was fired midway through the 1972 season, Sandusky replaced him as head coach. Sandusky himself was fired after the season, however, and went on to spend three years as an assistant for the Philadelphia Eagles, followed by 19 seasons with the Miami Dolphins under Shula. His son Gerry is a radio broadcaster in Baltimore and calls Baltimore Ravens games.

List of Indianapolis Colts head coaches

The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are a member of the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). In 1953, a Baltimore-based group led by Carroll Rosenbloom won the rights to a new Baltimore franchise. Rosenbloom was granted an NFL team, and was awarded the holdings of the defunct Dallas Texans organization. The team was known as the Baltimore Colts for 31 seasons before moving to Indianapolis in March 1984.There have been 19 head coaches for the Colts franchise. Keith Molesworth became the first coach of the Baltimore Colts in 1953, but he was reassigned to a different position with the team following the season. In terms of tenure, Weeb Ewbank has led the team for more games (112) and more complete seasons (nine) than any other head coach. He led the team to two of their NFL championships. Three Colts head coaches; Ewbank, Don Shula (3), and Ted Marchibroda, have been named coach of the year by at least one major news organization. Ewbank and Shula are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 1978 and 1997 respectively.Six times in Colts history there were interim head coaches. In 1972, Don McCafferty was fired five games into the season. John Sandusky was named as the interim head coach for the rest of the season, during which he led the Colts to a 4–5 record, but he was not made the permanent coach the next year. In 1974, head coach Howard Schnellenberger started off the season 0–3 and was fired. Joe Thomas assumed the duties of head coach and finished the season at 2–12. In 1991, the Colts started off 0–5 and Ron Meyer was fired as head coach. Rick Venturi was named as the interim for the final 11 games. In 2005 Tony Dungy was forced to miss one game due to personal issues. Jim Caldwell was named as the one game interim. In 2012 offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was named as the interim head coach indefinitely after Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia four weeks into the 2012 NFL season. Arians led the Colts to a 9–3 record – the record being credited to Pagano – and made the playoffs.

List of New York Jets head coaches

There have been 18 head coaches in the history of the New York Jets football franchise. The team began as the New York Titans in the American Football League in 1960, but was renamed the New York Jets three years later. The Jets remained in the American Football League until the merger with the National Football League prior to the 1970 season.

Sammy Baugh became the first head coach of the New York Titans in 1960, serving for two seasons before team owner Harry Wismer replaced him with Clyde "Bulldog" Turner. In terms of tenure, Weeb Ewbank has coached more games (158) and more complete seasons (11) than any other head coach in franchise history. He led the Jets to the AFL championship in 1968 and the AFL-NFL championship in Super Bowl III. Walt Michaels led the team to the AFC championship game in 1982; he was also honored as the Pro Football Weekly NFL Coach of the Year and UPI AFC Coach of the Year in 1978. Coaches Baugh, Turner, Ewbank are all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame; Baugh and Turner were inducted as players, while Ewbank was inducted as a coach/administrator.

Twice in Jets history has there been an "interim" head coach. In 1975, Charley Winner was fired as head coach after leading the Jets to a 2–7 record. The team offensive coordinator Ken Shipp was named the interim coach for the remainder of the season, during which he won only one of five games. Shipp was succeeded by Lou Holtz for the 1976 season. Holtz resigned as Jets head coach with one game left in the 1976 season; Mike Holovak was named interim coach for the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.Bill Belichick was twice named head coach of the Jets but never coached a single game or practice in that capacity. In 1997 he was named head coach for six days before the deal to allow Bill Parcells to leave the New England Patriots for the Jets was brokered, and Belichick became defensive coordinator; then, when Parcells stepped down after the 1999 season Belichick was named to replace him, but resigned the next day.

Herman Edwards is the only Jets head coach to lead the team to the playoffs more than twice; Rex Ryan is the only one with more than two postseason wins. Todd Bowles is the only one to coach the Jets for more than two seasons without making the playoffs.

Senior Bowl

The Senior Bowl is a post-season college football all-star game played each January in Mobile, Alabama, which showcases the best NFL Draft prospects of those players who have completed their college eligibility. First played in 1950 in Jacksonville, Florida, the game moved to Mobile's Ladd–Peebles Stadium the next year. Produced by the non-profit Mobile Arts & Sports Association, the game is also a charitable fund-raiser benefiting various local and regional organizations with over US$5.9 million in donations over its history.

In 2007, telecast of the game moved from ESPN to NFL Network. In 2013, Reese's took over sponsorship, starting with the 2014 game. In January 2018, Reese's announced that they were extending their sponsorship of the game; a specific duration was not given.

Washington University Bears football

The Washington University Bears football team represents Washington University in St. Louis in collegiate level football. The team competes in NCAA Division III and starting in 2018 as an affiliate member of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. They are a primary member of the University Athletic Association. They were previously a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.. The school's first football team was fielded in 1890. The team plays its home games at the 3,300 seat Francis Field.

Former Washington University Bears football player and head coach Jimmy Conzelman is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Former Washington University Bears football head coach Weeb Ewbank, later coach of AFL, NFL, and Super Bowl champion teams is also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Wendell Harris

Wendell Preston Harris Jr. (born October 2, 1940) is a former American football defensive back in the National Football League in the 1960s. He played college football at Louisiana State University, where he guided the Tigers to the 1961 Southeastern Conference championship and an Orange Bowl victory over Colorado.

Harris was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 1962 NFL Draft.

Harris, a first-round draft pick out of LSU became an NFL kick and punt returner who played in other offensive positions as well, beginning his career in 1962 with the Baltimore Colts, coached by Weeb Ewbank. Assigned to both special teams and right cornerback, he returned 10 kicks or punts; his yards per return were 28.7, highest among his special-teammates. (All statistics here were gathered from pro-football-reference.com.)

Sharing the field in 1963 with such players as Johnny Unitas, and now coached by Don Shula, Harris returned 8 kicks for 198 yards, including a 41-yard run. His yards per return, 24.8, were eclipsed only by John Mackey's. For the year Harris wracked up 1,000 yards, his team achieving 3rd place in the NFL West.

As Shula built the team, pushing it to 1st in the NFL West in 1964, Harris, #26, picked up 17 kicks and carried them for 214 yards, including a run of 39 yards. He also intercepted a ball for a 20-yard run.

In 1966 Harris moved to the New York Giants, a season of misery coached by Allie Sherman that left the Giants 8th in their division. Harris spent that longest season as a long-snapper for punters, with a total annual yardage of 9 for the year.

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