Abe Gibron

Football Player
Born Sep 22, 1925

Abraham Gibron (September 22, 1925 – September 23, 1997) was an American football coach and player. He is best remembered for his tenure as head coach of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He played in the NFL as an offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Bears. He also played in the All-America Football Conference for the Buffalo Bills. Gibron graduated from Elston High School in Michigan City, Indiana. After a stint in the military, he played his freshman year of college football at Valparaiso University before lettering twice at Purdue University. It was at Purdue that he met John McKay, with whom he would later work on the Buccaneers staff. He was drafted in the first round of the secret AAFC draft in 1949 by the Buffalo Bills. He was also drafted in the sixth round of the 1949 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but chose to play with the Bills. After the league's merger with the National Football League, the players from the defunct teams went into a pool, from which Gibron was selected by the Cleveland Browns. Gibron played for the Browns for seven seasons. In six of those campaigns, the Browns played in the NFL Championship game, winning three times. Individually, he was selected to four Pro Bowls, and was named All-Pro from 1952-1954. In 1957, Gibron was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, then moved on the following year to play two seasons with the Chicago Bears. He ultimately played in 115 games over 11 seasons. From 1960-1964, he served as offensive line coach with the Washington Redskins, then went back to Chicago in a similar capacity for the Bears from 1965-1971. When head coach Jim Dooley was dismissed after three consecutive losing season, including a disastrous 1-13 slate in 1969, Gibron was elevated to the top slot on January 27, 1972. By time Gibron assumed the reins, Gale Sayers had finally been forced to retire due to his chronically bad knees, Dick Butkus was on in the twilight of his great career, and the team's passing game was severely limited with left-handed scrambler Bobby Douglass under center. In his three seasons, the Bears compiled an 11-30-1 record, resulting in Gibron's dismissal two days after the team's final game of the 1974 NFL season. The 4-10 record the Bears compiled in Gibron's last season allowed Chicago to pick fourth overall in the 1975 NFL Draft and select future all-time rushing leader Walter Payton. Gibron stayed in Chicago in 1975, serving as head coach of the World Football League's Chicago Winds. After the league folded in October of that year, Gibron resurfaced the following year as an assistant with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he served for nine seasons. Although not a successful head coach in terms of his won/lost record, Gibron was known for his colorful personality, and his substantial girth. Buccaneer rookie Charley Hannah once said after dining with him, "He was eating things we wouldn't even go swimming with in Alabama". A humorous clip of Gibron singing Joy to the World on the sidelines during a 1973 game against Denver was made famous by NFL Films in Football Follies. Gibron played himself in the critically acclaimed TV movie Brian's Song (1971), the story of Chicago Bears teammates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers. In December 1996 and February 1997, Gibron suffered strokes that confined him to his home for the remainder of his life. He died at home in Belleair, Florida.… Read More

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1925 Birth Born on September 22, 1925.


1943 17 Years Old After graduating in 1943, Gibron joined the United States Marine Corps during World War II.
1945 19 Years Old Gibron left the military as the war ended in 1945, however, enrolling at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. … Read More


1946 20 Years Old 1 More Event
Gibron transferred to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1946.
1948 22 Years Old Gibron was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of a secret draft held in 1948 by the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). … Read More
1949 23 Years Old 1 More Event
The NFL's New York Giants also selected Gibron in the sixth round of the 1949 draft, but he chose to play for the Bills instead.
1950 24 Years Old …  While he was initially a substitute, Gibron developed into a strong lineman on Cleveland teams that won NFL championships in 1950, 1954 and 1955 behind an offensive attack that featured quarterback Otto Graham, end Dante Lavelli and tackle Lou Groza. … Read More
1951 25 Years Old Cleveland finished the 1951 season with an 11–1 record and again reached the championship game, but lost this time to the Rams. … Read More
1952 26 Years Old The team again reached the NFL championship game in 1952 and again lost to the Detroit Lions. … Read More
1953 27 Years Old Another championship game appearance and loss to the Lions followed in 1953, when Gibron was again named to the Pro Bowl and was selected to one sportswriter's first-team All-Pro list. The Browns came back in 1954 and 1955 to win championships against the Lions and Rams.
1955 29 Years Old Gibron was named to the Pro Bowl both of those years and was a first-team All-Pro in 1955.


1956 30 Years Old 1 More Event
Gibron played part of the 1956 season for the Browns, but he suffered a leg injury and was cut in November to make room on the roster for rookie Don Goss. … Read More
1958 - 1960 2 More Events
1964 38 Years Old Gibron remained in Washington through the 1964 season.
1965 39 Years Old Gibron next returned to Chicago in 1965 to serve as the Bears' offensive line coach as part of a rebuilding project by team owner and head coach George Halas following a losing season in 1964 - only the seventh in franchise history. … Read More


1966 40 Years Old Gibron was seen as a successful coach, and was courted in 1966 to be head coach of the Miami Dolphins of the American Football League but turned down the offer.
1968 42 Years Old After Halas resigned, Gibron continued as an assistant under new head coach Jim Dooley in 1968. … Read More
1974 48 Years Old 1 More Event
Gibron was fired two days after the final game of the 1974 NFL season.
1975 49 Years Old Gibron stayed in Chicago in 1975, replacing Babe Parilli as head coach of the World Football League's Chicago Winds. … Read More


1976 50 Years Old Gibron was hired in 1976 as a defensive line coach with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was switched to defensive coordinator that March before returning to serve as line coach in later years. … Read More
1984 58 Years Old As his coaching career was drawing to a close in 1984, Gibron's teenage son James struck and killed a woman from Largo, Florida while driving drunk. … Read More
1985 59 Years Old Gibron was taken to the hospital in 1985 with severe abdominal pains and later had surgery to remove a brain tumor.


1996 70 Years Old Gibron suffered strokes in December 1996 and February 1997 that confined him to his home for the remainder of his life. … Read More
1997 72 Years Old He died after suffering a series of strokes in 1997. … Read More
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