EARL (CURLY) LAMBEAU

EARL (CURLY) LAMBEAU

Class of 1963
Founder, Coach
(Notre Dame)
1919-1949 Green Bay Packers, 1950-1951 Chicago Cardinals, 1952-1953 Washington Redskins

Earl Louis Lambeau. . .Founded pre-NFL Packers in 1919. . . Coach-general manager for Packers until 1949. . .Credited with keeping pro football alive in Green Bay. . .First coach to make forward pass an integral part of the offense. . .33-year NFL coaching record: 229-134-22 with six championships in Green Bay. . .Played halfback for 11 years until 1929. . . Born April 9, 1898, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. . . Died June 1, 1965, at age of 67.

Earl "Curly” Lambeau founded the Green Bay Packers in 1919 and was the team's first playing star and its coach for 31 years. More than any other person, he is responsible for the existence today of the Packers' unique small-town franchise. Curly played fullback as a Notre Dame freshman in 1918 before an illness forced him to leave school.

Back in Green Bay, he was offered $250 a month to work for the Indian Packing Company, which, a year later, organized a football team called the "Packers." Lambeau became the team's coach and playing captain. Lambeau was the first pass-minded coach in the NFL and his teams were like their leader, impatient and explosive. An excellent passer in his own right, Curly flew in the face of common practice.

Despite rules that made it difficult to use the forward pass, Lambeau’s Packers were a team whose main offensive weapon was the pass – at any time, on any down, from anywhere on the field. With his vaunted passing attack, he led the Packers to championships in 1929, 1930, and 1931. After signing future Hall of Fame receiver Don Hutson in 1935, they won three more titles.

So advanced were Lambeau’s coaching theories and Hutson’s abilities that many of Hutson’s records stood for four decades or more. After he retired as a player, Curly replaced himself with future Hall of Fame quarterback, Arnie Herber and later Cecil lsbell, and the Packers remained a powerhouse for almost three decades.

A sometimes-hotheaded disciplinarian, Lambeau always got the most out of his players. Tackle Cal Hubbard, guard Mike Michalske, and halfback Johnny “Blood” McNally, were fine players who enjoyed Hall of Fame careers under Lambeau. Lambeau resigned from the Packers following the 1949 season and later coached the Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins. For many years his 229 career victories ranked second only to George Halas.

Year
Team
G
1921 Green Bay
6
1922 Green Bay
8
1923 Green Bay
10
1924 Green Bay
11
1925 Green Bay
11
1926 Green Bay
12
1927 Green Bay
10
1928 Green Bay
8
1929 Green Bay
1
Career Total
77
Additional Career Statistics: Passing: 24 TDs; Rushing: 8 TDs; Receiving: 3 TDs

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