- Weeb Ewbank
May 6, 1907
DateOfDeath=death date and age|1998|11|17|1907|5|6
Super Bowl III
coachingteams=NFL Baltimore Colts
New York Jets
NFL New York Jets
He was born in
Richmond, Indiana, and lived there through high school. He then attended Miami Universityin Oxford, Ohio, where he played quarterback under head coach Chester Pittserand was a member of Phi Delta ThetaFraternity.
Ewbank's first football coaching job was in 1928 at
Van Wert High Schoolin Van Wert, Ohio. He soon moved back to Oxford, Ohio, and took a position to coach all sports at McGuffey High School. McGuffey was a school run by Miami University, separate from Oxford's public high school. In 1939, Ewbank agreed to coach both the McGuffey High School and the Miami Universitybasketball team when Miami’s basketball coach left for another job. [Kurz, Bob (1983) "Miami of Ohio, the Cradle of Coaches" p. 37 Library of Congress Catalog Card number 83-50645]
World War IIEwbank joined the Navy and was assigned to Naval Station Great Lakeswhere he was reunited with his Miami teammate Paul Brownwho was the base football coach. At Great Lakes, he assisted Brown with the football team and coach the basketball team [Kurz, Bob (1983) "Miami of Ohio, the Cradle of Coaches" p. 37 Library of Congress Catalog Card number 83-50645]
From 1947 through 1948 Ewbank was head coach of
Washington Universityin St. Louis, Missouri, where he compiled a 14–4 record. Ewbank started the 1947 team from scratch since the Bears did not have a football team from 1943 though 1946 due to World War II. His first team started off with 2 losses but rebounded with 5 straight wins before losing the final game to the University of Louisville. The 1948 squad won a school-record nine games while allowing just 77 points while posting a record of 9-1. [ [http://bearsports.wustl.edu/mediaguides.html Washington University Football 2006 media guide] p. 86]
As coach of the Baltimore Colts, Ewbank won the 1958 and 1959
NFLchampionships. The 1958 game is often referred to as "The Greatest Game Ever Played". By the end of the 1962 NFL season, Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloomthought that the Colts had slipped enough and Ewbank was fired. Rosenbloom hired in his place the then-youngest head coach in NFL history, Don Shula.
New York Jets
Sonny Werblinbought the New York Titansfranchise of the American Football Leaguein 1963, he changed both the team's name (to the New York Jets) and its coach. Ewbank took over a team that had not had a winning record in its first three years, and made them into a force to be reckoned with.
Matt Snellaway from the NFL in 1964, and in 1965, the Jets' signing of Joe Namathadded to the arsenal which would eventually pit Ewbank against his former team in the third AFL-NFL World Championship game ( Super Bowl III).
Ewbank's Jets won the American Football League Championship in 1968 with a victory over the defending AFL champions, the
Oakland Raiders. In the third World Championship Game, the Colts (proclaimed by some to be "the greatest pro football team of all time") were heavily favored over the AFL's "overmatched" Jets. But with Ewbank's confident planning the Jets ran a game plan that mystified the Colts and came out with a 16-7 victory.
After the 1972 season, Ewbank announced that at the end of the 1973 season he would retire as head coach in favor of his son-in-law,
Charley Winner, though he would continue as general manager. The 1973 Jets season is the subject of the book "The Last Season of Weeb Ewbank" by Paul Zimmerman.
Hall of Fame
Ewbank is the only man ever to coach two different American Pro Football teams to victory in a Championship Game, and the only man to coach winners of NFL, AFL, and World Championships: (
NFLChampionships in 1958 and 1959 with the Colts, an AFL Championship in 1968 with the Jets, and a World Championship in Super Bowl IIIin 1969 with the Jets] . Weeb's record in the AFL was 50-42-6 (71-77-6 all-time with the Jets) and his career regular season record in the NFL and AFL was 130-129-7 and his playoff record was 4-1. Ewbank was selected as the Head Coach of the AFL All-Time Team.
He was inducted into the
Pro Football Hall of Famein 1978.
He is a member of the
Indiana Football Hall of Fameand the Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame.
*"Pro Football Hall of Fame:" [http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?player_id=65 Member profile]
* [http://members.aol.com/rich953908/colts.html Most updated Baltimore Colts site]
* [http://www.waynet.org/people/biography/ewbank.htm Wilbur "Weeb" Ewbank, May 6, 1907 to November 17, 1998]
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