Curly Lambeau: Wikis

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Curly Lambeau
CurlyLambeauNotreDame.jpg
Lambeau during his college career at Notre Dame in 1918.
Date of birth April 9, 1898(1898-04-09)
Place of birth Green Bay, Wisconsin
Date of death June 1, 1965 (aged 67)
Position(s) Head Coach
College Notre Dame
Honors NFL 1920s All-Decade Team
Green Bay Packers HOF
Pro Football HOF
Wisconsin Athletic HOF
Records Green Bay Packers
Career Wins (209)
Career record 229-134-22
Championships
      won
1929 NFL Championship
1930 NFL Championship
1931 NFL Championship
1936 NFL Championship
1939 NFL Championship
1944 NFL Championship
Stats
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1919-1949
1950-1951
1952-1953
Green Bay Packers
Chicago Cardinals
Washington Redskins
Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1963

Earl Louis "Curly" Lambeau (April 9, 1898 – June 1, 1965) was founder, player, and first coach of the Green Bay Packers professional American football team. He shares the distinction with rival George Halas of the Chicago Bears of coaching his team to the most NFL championships, with 6.

Contents

Biography

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East High School and Notre Dame

Lambeau was a standout multi-sport athlete at Green Bay East High School, and captain of its football team as a senior in 1917. Lambeau then played for legendary coach Knute Rockne at Notre Dame in 1918, making the Irish's varsity squad as a freshman, but a severe case of tonsillitis forced him to return home before his sophomore year.[1]

Founding the Packers

Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun formed the Green Bay Packers on August 11, 1919, while Lambeau was working as a shipping clerk at the Indian Packing Company. The Packers initially played teams from Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula; however, the success of the team in 1919-20 quickly led to its joining of the National Football League in 1921.

Playing career

Lambeau played for the Packers from 1919 to 1929. Although Lambeau played halfback, he was the player who took the snap from the center, as was common practice during that period. Lambeau threw the Packers' first official pass, first official touchdown pass, and kicked the Packers' first official field goal.[1]

Career as a coach

Green Bay Packers

Lambeau coached the Packers as an NFL team from 1921 to 1949. As head coach, he led the Packers to six NFL championships (1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, 1944). As Packers' head coach, Lambeau compiled a regular-season record of 209–104–21 (.656 winning percentage) with a playoff record of 3–2 [212–106–21 (.656) overall]. These official records do not include the Packers' 19–2–1 record under Lambeau prior to joining the NFL.[1]

In 1946, Lambeau purchased Rockwood Lodge, creating the first self-contained training facility in professional football. The purchase was controversial among the Packers' board of directors, and Lambeau's deteriorating relationship with the board was one of the factors that would lead to his departure in early 1950.[2] In addition, Lambeau's record as a coach had dropped sharply after Hall of Fame receiver Don Hutson retired in 1945.

Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins

After Lambeau's career with the Packers came to an end, he went on to coach the Chicago Cardinals for the 1950 season and most of the 1951 season. His record with the Cardinals was 7–15 (.318 winning percentage). After leaving the Cardinals, Lambeau went on to coach the last two years of his career with the Washington Redskins for the 1952 and 1953 seasons. His record in Washington was a disappointing 10–13–1 (.417).

Career record

Lambeau completed his 33-year NFL coaching career with an official overall record of 229–134–22 (.595 winning percentage).

Personal life

Lambeau was married three times, first to Marguerite Van Kessel from 1919 ending in divorce with one son in 1934. His second wife Susan Johnson was a former Miss California. They were married from 1935 to 1940. He married Grace Garland in 1945 and was divorced in 1955.

Lambeau died of a heart attack in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, while visiting a friend.[3]

Legacy

A statue of Curly Lambeau stands near the main entrance to Lambeau Field

The Packers' stadium, Lambeau Field in Green Bay, is named after Curly Lambeau. The venue opened in 1957, informally called "New" City Stadium for its first eight years. It was renamed "Lambeau Field" in September 1965, three months after Lambeau's death.

Erected after the stadium's 2003 renovation, a 14-foot statue of Lambeau greets visitors.

Lambeau Street, in Green Bay's Packerland Industrial Park, is also named in his honor.

Among other things, Lambeau is credited with pioneering daily practices, forward pass in the NFL, and flying to road games.[2]

Lambeau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's inaugural class in 1963.

References

  1. ^ a b c http://www.packers.com/history/hall_of_famers/lambeau_earl/
  2. ^ a b http://www.packers.com/team/coaches/lambeau_earl/
  3. ^ http://www2.jsonline.com/packer/sbxxxiii/news/lamb101798.asp

External links

Preceded by
First coach
Green Bay Packers Head Coach
1919–1949
Succeeded by
Gene Ronzani
Preceded by
First GM
Green Bay Packers General Manager
1919–1949
Succeeded by
Gene Ronzani
Preceded by
Buddy Parker
Chicago Cardinals Head Coach
1950–1951
Succeeded by
Phil Handler
Preceded by
Dick Todd
Washington Redskins Head Coach
1952–1953
Succeeded by
Joe Kuharich

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