WEEB EWBANK

WEEB EWBANK

Class of 1978
Coach
(Miami - Ohio)
1954-1962 Baltimore Colts, 1963-1973 New York Jets

Wilbur Charles Ewbank. . .Only coach to win world championships in both NFL, AFL. . .His 1958, 1959 Colts won NFL crowns, 1968 Jets AFL, Super Bowl III titles. . .Took first pro head coach job at age of 47. . . Led both Colts, Jets to championships with patient, effective building programs paced by brilliant quarterbacks. . .Possessed great ability to judge, handle young talent. . .Coached 130 career wins. . . Born May 6, 1907, in Richmond, Indiana. . .Died November 17, 1998, at age of 91.

When Weeb Ewbank started his National Football League head coaching career with the 1954 Baltimore Colts, he was 47, not the age you ordinarily look for in a rookie coach. But the popular Ewbank stayed in command for the next 20 years, the first nine in Baltimore and the final 11 with the New York Jets. In so doing, he made an impact on pro football that has done much to insure its emergence as America's most popular spectator sport.

He is the only coach to lead teams from both the National and American Football Leagues to world championships. His Colts won NFL crowns in both 1958 and 1959 and the 1968 Jets followed up their AFL championship with victory in Super Bowl III. Of even more importance than the mere fact of victory itself is the effect that these Ewbank championships had on the growth of pro football.

Millions of fans watched on national television for the first time as the Colts defeated the New York Giants, 23-17, in overtime in 1958. Many still call this game "the greatest ever played" and there is no doubt the highly competitive nature of the contest did much to increase fan enthusiasm and anticipation in the years ahead.

A decade later, Weeb’s old team, the Colts, was heavily favored to make it three straight Super Bowl victories for the supposedly superior NFL over the overmatched AFL. But spurred along by Weeb's careful prodding the Jets pulled one of the most stunning upsets in history. The competitive validity of the Super Bowl was never again in doubt.

In both Baltimore and New York, Weeb inherited young, disorganized teams. In both places, Ewbank instituted a patented building program that proved effective. In each place, his skill of judging and handling players was quickly apparent and a predominant factor in his success.

 
Year Team W L T Pct. W L Pct. W L T Pct.
1954 Baltimore 3 9 0 .250              
1955 Baltimore 5 6 1 .458              
1956 Baltimore 5 7 0 .417              
1957 Baltimore 7 5 0 .583              
1958 Baltimore 9 3 0 .750 1 0 1.000        
1959 Baltimore 9 3 0 .750 1 0 1.000        
1960 Baltimore 6 6 0 .500              
1961 Baltimore 8 6 0 .571              
1962 Baltimore 7 7 0 .500              
1963 N.Y. Jets 5 8 1 .393              
1964 N.Y. Jets 5 8 1 .393              
1965 N.Y. Jets 5 8 1 .393              
1966 N.Y. Jets 6 6 2 .500              
1967 N.Y. Jets 8 5 1 .607              
1968 N.Y. Jets 11 3 0 .786 2 0 1.000        
1969 N.Y. Jets 10 4 0 .714 0 1 0.000        
1970 N.Y. Jets 4 10 0 .286              
1971 N.Y. Jets 6 8 0 .429              
1972 N.Y. Jets 7 7 0 .500              
1973 N.Y. Jets 4 10 0 .286              
Totals: 130 129 7 .502 4 1 .800 134 130 7 0.507

Full Name: Wilbur Charles Ewbank

Birthdate: May 6, 1907

Birthplace: Richmond, Indiana

Died: November 17, 1998

High School: Morton (Richmond, IN)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 14, 1978

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: July 29, 1978

Presenter: Paul Brown, general manager, Bengals and Browns coach who gave Ewbank his first coaching job

Other Members of Class of 1978: Lance Alworth, Alphonse "Tuffy" Leemans, Ray Nitschke, Larry Wilson

Coaching Career: 20 season, 271 games

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