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"I don’t look at myself as an innovator. I look at myself as a coach who is striving desperately to win…every head coach has to be a dictator…my only concern is doing it my way and winning.”
(Purdue)...Henry Louis Stram. . .Overall record: 136-100-10. . .Assistant coach at University of Miami when hired as first head coach of Dallas Texans, (Texans moved to Kansas City, renamed Chiefs, 1963) of new American Football League, 1960. . .Won 1962, 1966, 1969 AFL championships. . .Led Chiefs to two Super Bowl appearances. . .Devised "two tight end offense" and "stack defense". . .Named AFL Coach of the Year in 1968…Born January 3, 1923 at Chicago, Illinois. . .Died July 4, 2005, at age of 82.
Hank Stram was an assistant coach at the University of Miami in 1959 when Lamar Hunt hired him as the first head coach of the Dallas Texans (the Texans moved to Kansas City in 1963 and were renamed the Chiefs) of the new American Football League.
The young coach was an immediate winner in Dallas and won the 1962 AFL championship. He went on to become the only coach in AFL history to take his team to two Super Bowls, losing to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I and defeating the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. His 23-7 Super Bowl IV victory over the Vikings not only spotlighted his powerful team, it gave credibility to the entire AFL.
During the 10-year history of the AFL, Stram’s Texans/Chiefs won more games than any other AFL team and more championships than any other coach (1962, 1966, 1969). He also led the 1971 Chiefs to an AFC Western Division championship.
An innovative coach, Stram developed or utilized such things as the “moving pocket,” which used the talents of his quarterback Len Dawson. He devised a two-tight end offense – it provided an extra blocker and slowed down the pass rush. On defense, he made famous his “stack defense,” with linebackers stacked behind down linemen. Whether he used a 3-4 defensive alignment or a 4-3, Stram differed from other coaches of that day by always having a man head-up on the center.
An excellent evaluator and developer of talent, five players from the Stram-coached Chiefs are members of the Hall of Fame, including Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Dawson, Willie Lanier, and Jan Stenerud. Lanier, Bell and teammate Jim Lynch were considered by many to be the best linebacker trio of that era.
During his 17 seasons as coach of the Texans/Chiefs (1960-1974) and the New Orleans Saints (1976-1977) Stram compiled an impressive 131-97-10 regular-season record and was 5-3 in the post-season. He was named American Football League Coach of the Year in 1968.
Super Bowl I - Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10
Super Bowl IV - Kansas City Chiefs 23, Minnesota Vikings 7
AFL Coach of the Year - 1968 (UPI, PW)
Full Name: Henry Louis Stram
Birthdate: January, 3, 1924
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
High School: Lew Wallace (Gary, IN)
Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 25, 2003
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 3, 2003
Presenter: Len Dawson, Hall of Fame quarterback
Other Members of Class of 2003: Marcus Allen, Elvin Bethea, Joe DeLamielleure, James Lofton
Coaching Career: 17 seasons, 238 games
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