JIMMY CONZELMAN

JIMMY CONZELMAN

Class of 1964
Quarterback; Coach-Owner >>> 6-0, 175
(Washington of St. Louis)
1920 Decatur Staleys, 1921-1922 Rock Island Independents, 1922-1924 Milwaukee Badgers, 1925-1926 Detroit Panthers, 1927-1930 Providence Steam Roller, 1940-1942, 1946-1948 Chicago Cardinals

James Gleason Conzelman. . .Multi-talented athlete, editor, executive, songwriter, orator. . .Began NFL career with Staleys, 1920. . .Player-coach of four NFL teams in the 1920s, including 1928 champion Providence. . .Player-coach-owner of Detroit team, 1925-1926. . .Knee injury ended 10-year playing career, 1929. . .Coached Cardinals to 1947 NFL, 1948 division crowns. . . Born March 6, 1898, in St. Louis, Missouri. . .Died July 31, 1970, at age of 72.

While Jimmy Conzelman was a success at most of his endeavors, which included stints as a newspaper publisher, playwright, author, orator, and actor, it was primarily as a football player and coach that he excelled.

A halfback at Washington University in St. Louis, he began his post-college career as a member of the Great Lakes Navy team that won the 1919 Rose Bowl. One of his Great Lakes teammates was George Halas, who recruited him for his 1920 Decatur Staleys team in the newly formed American Professional Football Association, which later changed its name to the National Football League.

After one season with the Staleys, Conzelman moved on to the Rock Island Independents where he began his career as a player-coach. He stayed with the Independents through seven games of the 1922 season before jumping to the Milwaukee Badgers for the remainder of the season and the 1923 season. Offered an NFL franchise in Detroit in 1925 for a reported $100 investment, Conzelman became an NFL owner. Although the team was fairly successful on the field (8-2-2 in 1925 and 4-6-2 in 1926) the team received little support from the Motor City fans.

Eventually he returned the franchise back to the league and in 1927 joined the Providence Steam Roller as the player-coach. Quarterback Conzelman suffered a knee injury in 1928, but coach Conzelman led the team to an 8-1-2 record and the NFL title. Conzelman left Providence in 1930 wanting to try his hand at other careers. But, in 1940, the popular Irishman was lured back into the NFL with the Chicago Cardinals. He helped the team stay strong during the challenging World War II years before leaving to work in major league baseball. In 1946, Conzelman returned to the Cardinals. The following year his Cards won the NFL title and in 1948 a second straight division title.

Playing Record
Year
Team
G
1920 Decatur
11
1921 Rock Island
7
1922 Rock Island/Milwaukee
10
1923 Milwaukee
13
1924 Milwaukee
13
1925 Detroit
12
1926 Detroit
12
1927 Providence
14
1928 Providence
4
1929 Providence
6
Career Total
102
Additional Career Statistics: 10 Passing TDs; 13 Rushing TDs; 11 Receiving TDs; 1 Interception TD; Scoring: 26 TDs

Coaching Record
Team
Year
W
L
T
PCT.
W
L
PCT.
W
L
T
PCT.
Division Finish
Rock Island 1921
4
1
0
.800
               
Rock Island 1922
4
2
1
.667
               
Milwaukee 1922
0
3
0
.000
               
Milwaukee 1923
7
2
3
.778
               
Detroit 1925
8
2
2
.800
               
Detroit 1926
4
6
2
.400
               
Providence 1927
8
5
1
.615
               
Providence 1928
8
1
2
.889
               
Providence 1929
4
6
2
.400
               
Providence 1930
6
4
1
.600
               
Chicago Cardinals 1940
2
7
2
.222
              5 NFL-W
Chicago Cardinals 1941
3
7
1
.300
              4 NFL-W
Chicago Cardinals 1942
3
8
0
.273
              4 NFL-W
Chicago Cardinals 1946
6
5
0
.545
              4 NFL-W
Chicago Cardinals 1947
9
3
0
.750
1
0
          1 NFL-W
Chicago Cardinals 1948
11
1
0
.917
0
1
          1 NFL-W
Rock Island Totals
8
3
1
.727
     
8
3
1
.727
 
Milwaukee Totals
7
5
3
.467
     
7
5
3
.467
 
Detroit Totals
12
8
4
.500
     
12
8
4
.500
 
Providence Totals
26
16
6
.542
     
26
16
6
.542
 
Chicago Cardinals Totals
34
31
3
.500
1
1
.500
34
31
3
.500
 
Career Totals
87
63
17
.572
1
1
.500
88
64
17
.521
 

 

Full Name: James Gleason Conzelman

Birthdate: March 6, 1898

Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri

Died: July 31, 1970

High School: McKinley (St. Louis, MO)

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: Sept. 6, 1964

Presenter: Justice Williams O. Douglas, United States Supreme Court

Other Members of Class of 1964: Ed Healey, Clarke Hinkle, Link Lyman, Mike Michalske, Art Rooney, George Trafton

Pro Career: 10 seasons, 102 games

Drafted: Conzelman played prior to the NFL Draft being implemented.

Uniform Number: 1

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