Article appeared on November 18, 1998, Timeline appeared on November 19, 1998
By Jan Clark for the Palladium-Item
When Wilbur "Weeb" Ewbank, 91, died at his Oxford, Ohio, home Tuesday evening, a good-sized chunk of football history went with him.
The 1924 Richmond High School graduate will forever be remembered as the only coach to win championships in the American Football League and the National Football League.
He was a board member and inductee of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in Richmond and attended meetings regularly here.
His last highly publicized visit to his hometown was Sept. 26, 1996, when an "NFL Spectacular" was conducted here to raise money for Townsend Community Center. The event brought back Ewbank, former Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas and members of the Los Angeles Rams Fearsome Foursome, including Richmond resident Lamar Lundy.
Tom Milligan, a local attorney who helped put the NFL Spectacular together, remembers working closely with Ewbank on the details.
"Weeb was really sharp the day I went down there (to Oxford), he said. "He had a tremendous amount of material in his basement about his career film, clippings, everything.
Ewbank and his widow, Lucy, were Richmond natives and high school sweethearts.
Ewbank guided the upstart New York Jets and quarterback Joe Namath of the old AFL to the world title in 1969. They defeated his old team, the Baltimore Colts, 16-7, in Super Bowl III.
Earlier, he had directed the Colts to the NFL championship in 1959.
A 1928 graduate of Miami University, Ewbank was a standout quarterback, captain of the baseball team and a forward on the basketball team for the Redskins. He then moved to the sidelines, where he served for 14 years as an assistant coach at his alma mater.
After several other college coaching stints, Ewbank entered the pro ranks in 1949 as assistant under Brown with the Cleveland Browns.
Randy Walker, current head football coach at Miami, was especially saddened by Ewbanks death.
"Hes left a tremendous tradition and legacy behind on what its about to be a part of Miami University," Walker said.
May 6, 1907 Born to Mr. And Mrs. Charles Ewbank, owners of a small grocery in the Fairview area of Richmond.
1924 Graduated from Morton High School, Richmond.
1928 Graduated from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where he was quarterback in football.
1929-30 Coached football at Van Wert, Ohio.
1930 Head football coach McGuffey High School, Oxford, and assistant coach at Miami University.
World War II Joined Navy and was an assistant coach for Paul Brown at Great Lakes Naval Training Center.
After war Backfield coach at Brown University. The quarterback was Joe Paterno, now the head coach at Penn State.
1949 Joined Paul Brown as assistant coach of Cleveland Browns.
1954 Went to Baltimore Colts as head coach. Won NFL championship in 1959 behind the leadership of quarterback Johnny Unitas.
1958 Coached against New York Giants and won in overtime, termed "the greatest game in history".
Feb. 5, 1959 Declared Weeb Ewbank Day in Richmond.
1963 Named head coach of New York Jets. Won Super Bowl III in 1969 behind the leadership of quarterback Joe Namath.
February 1969 Ewbank inducted as charter member in Miami (Ohio) University Hall of Fame.
Feb. 6, 1969 Second Weeb Ewbank Day in Richmond.
1973 Retired from coaching.
1974 Inducted into Indiana Football Hall of Fame in Richmond.
October 1977 Co-authored book "Football Greats".
1978 Inducted into national professional Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio.
April 21, 1990 Rotary club "roast" at Oxford, Ohio
Reprinted with permission from the Palladium-Item.
Hodgin Road Christian Church
|Location:||East Central Indiana, USA|
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Richmond, IN 47374
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