Abe Gibron
American football player
Abe Gibron
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.
Biography
Abe Gibron's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Abe Gibron
News
News abour Abe Gibron from around the web
A Giddiness Reigns in the Bears Camp - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
Skepticism stems from a widespread belief that the Bears were more lucky than good last season — they were freakishly healthy, and they ran into a succession of quarterbacks who looked bad enough to have started for them in the Abe Gibron days
Article Link:
Google News article
Studrawa familiar with passing game - Opelousas Daily World
Google News - over 5 years
BATON ROUGE — Greg Studrawa may be a stocky, Abe Gibron-like offensive line coach with a husky voice and crew cut that certainly signal old school, but LSU's new offensive coordinator is familiar with the forward pass. Studrawa, 46, was announced as
Article Link:
Google News article
Five added to City Football Hall of Fame - The Herald Argus
Google News - over 5 years
The hall's inaugural class consisted of Tony Cline, Abe Gibron, Tom Nowatzke, Donnie Thomas, and Dick Tomey. Last year's class included Dick Buell, David Ellison, Andy Gill, Newt Meer, and Tim Nowatzke
Article Link:
Google News article
CHEERING SECTION; Bears Were Once the Home Team in Indianapolis
NYTimes - about 10 years
When I was growing up, Indianapolis was a basketball town, but it loved its pro football team, too. But when I was growing up in Indianapolis in the 1960s, being a pro football fan meant being a Chicago Bears fan. The Colts were unloved and in Baltimore. The Bears, meanwhile, were 180 miles and a flick of the TV dial away every Sunday, the closest
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Frank Gatski, 84, Hall of Fame Lineman for Powerful Browns
NYTimes - over 11 years
Frank Gatski, the Hall of Fame center on the Cleveland Browns teams that played in 10 consecutive professional football championship games in the decade after World War II, died Tuesday at a nursing home in Morgantown, W.Va. He was 84. His death was announced by his daughter Anne Harman. Anchoring the offensive line on Browns teams that dominated
Article Link:
NYTimes article
PRO FOOTBALL; Sideline Style In the Color Of Money
NYTimes - about 13 years
Take a look at National Football League coaches. Dressed down. Every game is Casual -- or Sloppy -- Sunday, time to don the caps, turtlenecks, windbreakers, jackets, sweatshirts, golf shirts, parkas and knit hats provided by the fashion arm of the league and made by Reebok. Dressing in jackets, suits, ties and overcoats like Vince Lombardi, Hank
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Creighton Miller, 79, Lawyer And Notre Dame Halfback
NYTimes - almost 15 years
Creighton Miller, an all-American halfback who was a member of a prominent Notre Dame football family and later helped organize the National Football League Players Association as its lawyer, died last week in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He was 79. Miller's body was found Friday at his apartment after he had been absent from his law office in Cleveland.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Lou Groza, 76, Star Kicker For Cleveland Browns, Dies
NYTimes - about 16 years
Lou (the Toe) Groza, one of football's greatest place-kickers and a superb offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns teams that dominated two leagues during the emergence of the modern professional game, died Wednesday night at a hospital in Middleburgh Heights, Ohio. He was 76. Groza, who had been in poor health, collapsed after attending a dinner
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Abe Gibron, 72, N.F.L. Coach, Wit and a Lover of Good Food
NYTimes - over 19 years
Abe Gibron, who left his mark on professional football as a player, coach, wisecracker and gourmand, died on Tuesday at home in Belleair, Fla. He turned 72 the day before and had been confined to home since strokes in December and February. Gibron played guard on offense and nose guard on defense. After graduation from Purdue, he played pro
Article Link:
NYTimes article
SPORTS PEOPLE; Taking Up Space
NYTimes - over 31 years
Sam Wyche, coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, has accused Chuck Knox, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, of sending a spy to the Bengals' final exhibition game to steal the sideline signals the Bengals use to communicate with their quarterbacks. ''I've never heard of anybody doing that,'' said Wyche, who acknowledged that teams try to figure out each
Article Link:
NYTimes article
SCOUTING; Presenting The Presenters
NYTimes - over 31 years
Behind every good man, there is a kind of best man, at least when it comes to inductions at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So when Joe Namath, O. J. Simpson, Roger Staubach, Frank Gatski and Pete Rozelle take center stage with enshrinement today in Canton, Ohio, each will have someone of his own choice to present the award, as has long been the
Article Link:
NYTimes article
SCOUTING; The Pride and Joy Of Paul Brown
NYTimes - about 34 years
You will have to excuse Paul Brown for feeling somewhat proud this week. But of the 16 teams in the first round of the National Football League playoffs, six head coaches are proteges of the former Cleveland and Cincinnati coach. On the list are Don Shula (Miami), Monte Clark (Detroit), Chuck Noll (Pittsburgh), Walt Michaels (Jets), Bud Grant
Article Link:
NYTimes article
SPORTS OF THE TIMES; THE 'ERASED' LABOR LEADER
NYTimes - over 34 years
CREIGHTON MILLER has always laughed about it, about having been ''erased'' from an official Cleveland Browns team photo on Coach Paul Brown's orders, as if he were Stalin in disgrace. But the 59-year-old Cleveland attorney, whose unforgiveable crime was organizing the National Football League Players Association in 1956, is not laughing about the
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Abe Gibron
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1997
    Age 71
    He died after suffering a series of strokes in 1997.
    More Details Hide Details Gibron was born in Michigan City, Indiana to Lebanese immigrant parents and attended Elston High School there. Gibron was the captain of his high school football team and was named an All-Northern Indiana Athletic Conference player.
  • 1996
    Age 70
    Gibron suffered strokes in December 1996 and February 1997 that confined him to his home for the remainder of his life.
    More Details Hide Details He died at home in Belleair, Florida. Gibron and his wife, Susie, had three children. Gibron was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1976.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1985
    Age 59
    Gibron was taken to the hospital in 1985 with severe abdominal pains and later had surgery to remove a brain tumor.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1984
    Age 58
    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.
    More Details Hide Details James pleaded no contest to manslaughter charges and was tried as an adult, but the verdict was overturned on appeal. He eventually got 10 years of probation and went on to become a lawyer in Florida.
  • 1976
    Age 50
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He had been a college teammate of Bucs head coach John McKay at Purdue. Gibron stayed in Tampa for seven seasons until McKay retired in early 1985 and was replaced by Leeman Bennett. He then served as a scout for the Seattle Seahawks by head coach Chuck Knox, and was accused later in the year of spying on the Cincinnati Bengals and attempting to steal their signals. Knox responded by saying Gibron's presence at a preseason game in Cincinnati could not have been a secret, given his large size. He stayed on as a scout until 1989, and later worked as an advisor to Bucs coach Sam Wyche. While he was not successful as a head coach, Gibron was renowned for his colorful personality and immense appetite throughout his career. He weighed about 250 pounds during his playing career, but quickly ballooned to over 300 pounds as a coach. "Every time you went to dinner, it was a banquet", Browns teammate Lou Groza said of him. Buccaneer player 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 1971 TV movie Brian's Song, the story of Chicago Bears teammates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers.
  • FORTIES
  • 1975
    Age 49
    Gibron stayed in Chicago in 1975, replacing Babe Parilli as head coach of the World Football League's Chicago Winds.
    More Details Hide Details The Winds got out to a 1–4 record before they were expelled from the league in September for falling below league financial requirements, a month before the entire league folded.
  • 1974
    Age 48
    Halas hired Jim Finks as the Bears' general manager in 1974 to formulate a new strategy following the 4–10 record the Bears compiled in Gibron's last season.
    More Details Hide Details Chicago had the fourth overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft, using it to select future all-time rushing leader Walter Payton.
    Gibron was fired two days after the final game of the 1974 NFL season.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1968
    Age 42
    After Halas resigned, Gibron continued as an assistant under new head coach Jim Dooley in 1968.
    More Details Hide Details He switched to coaching the defensive line the following year when assistant coach Joe Fortunato resigned and Jim Ringo was hired to coach the offensive line. Dooley, however, was dismissed in late 1971 after three consecutive losing seasons, including a 1–13 record in 1969. Gibron was elevated to head coach the following January and said the team had the talent to make a run at the NFL championship. It was initially thought that Gibron would make good on his promise to deliver a championship to Chicago; he was regarded as one of the best line coaches in the game. However, he inherited a Bears team in the midst of a generational transition. Running back Gale Sayers, who had anchored Chicago's offense during the mid- to late-1960s, had suffered two knee injuries and was forced to retire during training camp in 1972. Star linebacker Dick Butkus was also hobbled by knee injuries and had to retire nine games into the 1973 season. Quarterback Bobby Douglass ran for 968 yards in 1972, setting an NFL record for quarterbacks, but passed for only 1,246 yards. In his three seasons, the Bears compiled an 11–30–1 record, finishing last in the NFC Central each time. His .268 winning percentage is the worst for a non-interim coach in Bears history.
  • 1966
    Age 40
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 1965
    Age 39
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The Bears finished with a 9–5 record in 1965, but struggled in 1966 and 1967, Halas's final two seasons as the Bears' coach.
  • 1964
    Age 38
    Gibron remained in Washington through the 1964 season.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1960
    Age 34
    Shortly after Gibron ended his playing career, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Nixon hired him as his line coach. Washington finished with a 1–9–2 record in 1960 and Nixon was replaced by Bill McPeak, but Gibron stayed in his position under the new coach.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1958
    Age 32
    Gibron finished his playing career with the Chicago Bears, who signed him in 1958.
    More Details Hide Details The Bears had an 8–4 record in both of Gibron's seasons there, but the team did not advance to the NFL championship game. Over his 11-season career, Gibron played in 116 games and started nine of them, all in his first season in Buffalo.
  • 1956
    Age 30
    The Eagles finished with losing records in both 1956 and 1957, Gibron's last year with the team.
    More Details Hide Details
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The Philadelphia Eagles signed him two weeks later to replace Norm Willey, who was out with a broken leg.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1955
    Age 29
    Gibron was named to the Pro Bowl both of those years and was a first-team All-Pro in 1955.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1953
    Age 27
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1952
    Age 26
    The team again reached the NFL championship game in 1952 and again lost to the Detroit Lions.
    More Details Hide Details Gibron, who was unusually quick for his large size, was selected to play in the Pro Bowl, the league all-star game, after the season. He was also named a second-team All-Pro by sportswriters.
  • 1951
    Age 25
    Cleveland finished the 1951 season with an 11–1 record and again reached the championship game, but lost this time to the Rams.
    More Details Hide Details Gibron was used primarily as a messenger guard early in his career – primarily as a substitute used to send plays in to the quarterback – but later developed into an anchor of Cleveland's offensive line, helping protect Graham and open up space for the team's backs to run.
  • 1950
    Age 24
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He was named to the Pro Bowl, the NFL's all-star game, each year between 1952 and 1955. After short stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Bears, Gibron ended his playing career and got into coaching. He served first as a line coach for the Redskins for five years, and then in a similar role for the Bears beginning in 1965. He rose to become Bears' defensive coordinator in the early 1970s, and was named head coach in 1972, replacing Jim Dooley. Gibron's three years leading the Bears were unsuccessful, however. His teams posted a combined win–loss–tie record of 11–30–1 over three seasons. Gibron was fired in 1974, and spent the following year as coach of the Chicago Winds, a team in the short-lived World Football League. Gibron, who was known for his colorful personality and large size – he ballooned to more than 300 pounds as a coach – spent seven seasons as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring from coaching. He stayed close to the game, however, by serving as a scout for the Seattle Seahawks in the late 1980s and as an advisor to the Buccaneers in the early 1990s.
  • 1949
    Age 23
    Buffalo posted a 5–5–2 win–loss–tie record in 1949, Gibron's only season with the team.
    More Details Hide Details That record made Bills the last-ranked team in a four-team Shaughnessy playoff held at the end of the season. The playoff was instituted after the AAFC's financial struggles led to the consolidation of its divisions that year. The Bills lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Cleveland Browns, and subsequently lost to the Chicago Hornets in a game for third place. The AAFC dissolved after the season, and the Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Colts were absorbed into the NFL. Gibron was selected as a second-team All-Pro by sportswriters after the season and was named the AAFC's rookie lineman of the year. In 1950, players from the AAFC's defunct teams – including the Bills – went into a dispersal draft. Gibron, however, was sold along with halfback Rex Bumgardner and defensive tackle John Kissell to the Browns in a deal that gave Bills owner James Breuil a 25% share in the team. In the Browns, Gibron joined a team that had won all of the AAFC's four championships behind an offense that featured quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley and ends Mac Speedie and Dante Lavelli. Yet while the Browns had been the league's best team, many sportswriters and owners doubted that the team would continue its string of success against NFL teams starting in 1950. Cleveland started the season by beating the previous year's NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles and went on to win the NFL championship over the Los Angeles Rams.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1948
    Age 22
    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).
    More Details Hide Details The AAFC organized the draft for players expected to graduate in 1949 so that its teams could begin wooing their selections before the rival National Football League (NFL) had its draft the following year.
  • 1946
    Age 20
    He played there between 1946 and 1948, making the varsity team twice.
    More Details Hide Details Purdue had a losing record in each of those years, but Gibron was named an All-Big Ten Conference player and an honorable mention All-American.
    Gibron transferred to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1946.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TEENAGE
  • 1945
    Age 19
    Gibron left the military as the war ended in 1945, however, enrolling at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.
    More Details Hide Details He played his freshman year of college football there and was captain of the team, which finished the season with a 6–1 win–loss record and won the Indiana Intercollegiate Conference championship under head coach Loren Ellis. Gibron was named an All-Conference guard and was an honorable mention Little College All-American.
  • 1943
    Age 17
    After graduating in 1943, Gibron joined the United States Marine Corps during World War II.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1925
    Born
    Born on September 22, 1925.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)