Dick Nolan (American football)

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Dick Nolan
Dick Nolan (American football).jpg
Nolan while the 49ers' head coach, c. 1970
No. 25, 23
Position: Safety
Personal information
Born:(1932-03-26)March 26, 1932
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died:November 11, 2007(2007-11-11) (aged 75)
Grapevine, Texas, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school: White Plains (NY)
College: Maryland
NFL Draft: 1954  / Round: 4 / Pick: 41
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season:69–82–5 (.458)
Postseason:2–3 (.400)
Career:71–85–5 (.457)
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Richard Charles Nolan (March 26, 1932 – November 11, 2007) was an American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL), and served as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.

Contents

Early years

In his youth, Nolan was the starting quarterback at White Plains High School. He accepted a scholarship from the University of Maryland, where he was converted to running back and safety. He received honorable-mention All-American honors as a senior. [1] He was a key contributor to the school's 1953 championship team.

Professional career

In the NFL, he played for a total of nine seasons (195462) in the defensive halfback, safety, and defensive back positions. [2] He was selected in the fourth round (41st overall) of the 1954 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. [3] On May 10, 1958, he was traded to the Chicago Cardinals. [4] He returned to the Giants in 1959.

On April 27, 1962, he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in a three-team deal, with the Green Bay Packers acquiring kicking specialist Allen Green and the Giants obtaining a draft pick from the Packers. [5] He reunited with former teammate Tom Landry, who used Nolan as a "player-coach". When Nolan was injured halfway through his first season, he became the Cowboys' defensive coordinator. [6]

Coaching career

Nolan was on the Cowboys' staff for six years, the last year being the season in which the Cowboys played in the Ice Bowl. Afterwards, he was head coach of the San Francisco 49ers for eight seasons from 1968 through 1975, noted for developing the defense and taking the team to three straight NFC West division titles (1970–72), twice missing the Super Bowl by only one game (197071). Additionally, he was head coach for the New Orleans Saints from 197880 going 1529. He was the first Saints head coach to win six, seven, and eight games in a single season, going 79 in 1978 and 88 in 1979. [7] Nolan was fired by the Saints in 1980 after an 012 start. His last game was on November 24 of that season, a 277 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football . The Saints finished the 1980 season 115, as interim coach Dick Stanfel won only one of his four games, a 2120 victory over the New York Jets in week 15.

His alma mater, the University of Maryland, College Park, interviewed Nolan for the head coach vacancy created when Jerry Claiborne left for Kentucky, but ultimately, chose Bobby Ross, instead. [8]

Nolan holds the dubious distinction of being the head coach of the Arena Football League's San Antonio Force in 1992, the only team in Arena history to be shut out, 50-0 by the Orlando Predators on June 13, 1992

Nolan was well known for wearing business suits while coaching, as did many other coaches during his era. The NFL has since disallowed this practice in most circumstances due to the league signing exclusive apparel deals with sportswear companies (specifically Reebok). The league made an exception after Nolan's death in 2007, allowing Nolan's son Mike [9] and Jack Del Rio, coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, to wear suits in the elder Nolan's honor. [10]

Head coaching record

TeamYearRegular SeasonPost Season
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
SF 1968 761.5383rd in NFL Coastal---
SF 1969 482.3334th in NFL Coastal---
SF 1970 1031.7691st in NFC West11.500Lost to Dallas Cowboys in NFC Championship Game
SF 1971 950.6431st in NFC West11.500Lost to Dallas Cowboys in NFC Championship Game
SF 1972 851.6071st in NFC West01.000Lost to Dallas Cowboys in NFC Divisional Game
SF 1973 590.3573rd in NFC West---
SF 1974 680.4292nd in NFC West---
SF 1975 590.3572nd in NFC West---
SF Total54535.50423.400
NO 1978 790.4383rd in NFC West---
NO 1979 880.5002nd in NFC West---
NO 1980 0120.000Fired mid-season---
NO Total15290.341---
Total69825.45823.400

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References

  1. Kroichick, Ron (November 12, 2007). "Coach established 49ers as a winner". SFGATE.
  2. "Former NFL Player and 49ers Head Coach Dick Nolan Passes Away". Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
  3. "Dick Nolan Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  4. "Grid Giants, Cards Trade Four Players" . Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  5. "Three-Way Trade Set" . Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  6. Dick Nolan 1932–2007, Sports Illustrated , November 19, 2007.
  7. "New Orleans Saints – Sports Ecyclopedia".
  8. Nolan among prospects for Maryland vacancy, The Free-Lance Star , December 29, 1981.
  9. Torregrossa, Richard (September 7, 2007). "Mike Nolan scores one for the suit". SFGate. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
  10. "404 Not Found | firstcoastnews.com". www.firstcoastnews.com. Archived from the original on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help).CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)