VINCE LOMBARDI

VINCE LOMBARDI

Class of 1971
Coach
(Fordham)
1959-1967 Green Bay Packers, 1969 Washington Redskins

Vincent Thomas Lombardi ... Began head coaching career at age 45 ... Transformed Green Bay into instant winner ... Acclaimed NFL Man of the Decade in the 1960s  ... Gave Packers 89-29-4 record, five NFL titles, first two Super Bowl crowns in nine years ... Led 1969 Redskins to first winning record in 14 years ... Noted taskmaster, never had a losing season ... Born June 11, 1913, in Brooklyn, New York ... Died September 3, 1970, at age of 57.

Vince Lombardi, at the age of 45, when most pro football luminaries have made their mark and passed from the scene of a young man's game, was embarking on the dual adventure of being head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Packers.

His previous NFL experience consisted of five years as an assistant coach with the New York Giants. Amazingly, Vince basked in the limelight for only one decade. Cancer struck him down just as he seemingly was about to create a "second miracle," the rejuvenation of the Washington Redskins. In remarkably few years, Lombardi became the symbol of excellence for an entire sport.

There have been few teams in pro football history in a more downtrodden state than the Packers were when Lombardi was first approached about the coaching job in 1959. Vince had gained a reputation with the Giants for his stylish, thorough, and imaginative craftsmanship on offense. He seemed to have all the credentials to be a successful head coach.

Lombardi insisted on a five-year contract to give his building program a fair chance but he set his plan into action at his very first team meeting. "I have never been on a losing team, gentlemen, and I do not intend to start now!" The Packers improved from 1-10-1 in 1958 to 7-5 in 1959. The next eight years, the Packers were in a class by themselves, winning six divisional and five NFL championships and achieving victories in Super Bowls I and II.

In 1968, Vince retired as the Packers coach but retained his general manager's duties. He found the hours "out of action" boring and, in 1969, moved to Washington, where the Redskins were struggling much the way the Packers had 10 years earlier. Remarkably, in his first season with the Redskins, Lombardi created an equally amazing result – a 7-5-2 record.

Team Year
W
L
T
PCT.
W
L
PCT.
W
L
T
PCT.
Division Finish
Green Bay 1959
7
5
0
.583
              3rd - Western Conference
Green Bay 1960
8
4
0
.667
0
1
.000
        1st - Western Conference
Green Bay 1961
11
3
0
.786
1
0
1.000
        1st - Western Conference
Green Bay 1962
13
1
0
.929
1
0
1.000
        1st - Western Conference
Green Bay 1963
11
2
1
.821
              2nd - Western Conference
Green Bay 1964
8
5
1
.607
              2nd - Western Conference
Green Bay 1965
10
3
1
.750
2
0
1.000
        1st - Western Conference
Green Bay 1966
12
2
0
.857
2
0
1.000
        1st - Western Conference
Green Bay 1967
9
4
1
.679
3
0
1.000
        1st - Central Division
Washington 1969
7
5
2
.571
              2nd - Capitol Division
Career Total
96
34
6
.728
9
1
.900
105
35
6
.740
 

Championship Games

1960 NFL – Philadelphia Eagles 17, Green Bay Packers 13
1961 NFL – Green Bay Packers 37, New York Giants 0
1962 NFL – Green Bay Packers 16, New York Giants 7
1965 NFL – Green Bay Packers 23, Cleveland Browns 12
1966 NFL – Green Bay Packers 34, Dallas Cowboys 27
1967 NFL – Green Bay Packers 21, Dallas Cowboys 17

Super Bowls

Super Bowl I – Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10
Super Bowl II – Green Bay Packers 33, Oakland Raiders 14

 

NFL Coach of the Year - 1959 (UPI, AP); 1961 (SN)

1960 Green Bay Packers (Western Conference champions)
1961 Green Bay Packers (Western Conference, NFL champions)
1962 Green Bay Packers (Western Conference, NFL champions)
1965 Green Bay Packers (Western Conference, NFL champions)
1966 Green Bay Packers (Western Conference, NFL, Super Bowl I champions)
1967 Green Bay Packers (Western Conference, NFL, Super Bowl II champions)


Lombardi - capsuleFull Name: Vincent Thomas Lombardi

Birthdate: June 11, 1913

Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
 
Died: September 3, 1970

High School: St. Francis Prep (Brookyn, NY)


Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame:
January 16, 1971

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: July 31, 1971

Represented by his son Vince Lombardi, Jr.

Presenter: Wellington Mara, President - New York Giants

Other Members of Class of 1971: Jim BrownBill HewittFrank "Bruiser" KinardAndy RobustelliY.A. TittleNorm Van Brocklin

Coaching Career: 10 seasons, 136 games (plus 10 post-season games)

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