Jim Ringo

Last updated
Jim Ringo
Jim Ringo.jpg
circa 1966
No. 51, 54
Position: Center
Personal information
Born:(1931-11-21)November 21, 1931
Orange, New Jersey
Died:November 19, 2007(2007-11-19) (aged 75)
Chesapeake, Virginia
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:232 lb (105 kg)
Career information
High school: Phillipsburg (NJ)
College: Syracuse
NFL Draft: 1953  / Round: 7 / Pick: 79
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:187
Coaching record:3–20
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

James Stephen Ringo [1] (November 21, 1931 – November 19, 2007) was a professional American football player, a Hall of Fame center, and coach in the National Football League (NFL). He was a 10-time Pro Bowler during his 15-year playing career. [2] [3]

Contents

Early years

Born in Orange, New Jersey, Ringo grew up in Phillipsburg [4] and played high school football at Phillipsburg High School [5] and college football at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

Professional career

Green Bay Packers

The Packers selected him in the seventh round of the 1953 NFL draft. Ringo was considered vastly undersized at 211 pounds (96 kg).

He was not, however, unfit for the role; he used his outstanding quickness and excellent technique to build a 15-year NFL career, the first 11 with the Packers, as one of the game's best centers.

Ringo played for four different head coaches in Green Bay. In his first six seasons under Gene Ronzani (1953), Lisle Blackbourn (195457), and Ray "Scooter" McLean (1958), the Packers went 20–50–2 (.286).

But Vince Lombardi's arrival in January 1959 changed everything, and for Ringo's next five seasons, the Packers went 50–15–1 (.769) and 2–1 in championship games. Ringo certainly knew individual success before the Lombardi era—attending his first of seven straight Pro Bowls in 1957—but he flourished under the coaching legend, earning consensus All-Pro honors from 1959 to 1963.

Ringo's speed and mobility made him an ideal blocker for Lombardi's famous Packers sweep, and all but one of running back Jim Taylor's five 1,000-yard seasons—including his then-record 1,474-yard effort in 1962—came with Ringo at center.

Philadelphia Eagles

Ringo was a member of the Packers' NFL Championship teams of 1961 and 1962 but was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in May 1964. [6] [7] [8] [9] The details of Ringo's trade have been the subject of speculation. In his memoir, Jerry Kramer, who played guard next to Ringo from 1958 to 1963, recounted the story that following the 1963 season, Ringo showed up in Lombardi's office with an agent in tow and looking to negotiate a raise. Lombardi, according to this account, was so angered that he excused himself for five minutes only to return and announce that he had traded Ringo to the Eagles. [10] Over the years, it has been suggested that that story is more fiction than fact. In reality, Lombardi had probably been negotiating a trade for some time. The Packers also traded fullback Earl Gros and received in return linebacker Lee Roy Caffey and a first-round draft pick, which was used to select halfback-punter Donny Anderson as a "future pick" in 1965. Still, the legend persists. Ringo, who played 126 consecutive games for the Packers from 195463, finished out his career with the Eagles, attending three more Pro Bowls and retiring after the 1967 season.

Coaching

He went on to work on the coaching staffs of the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills (two separate engagements), Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, and New York Jets, and he served as Bills head coach after the resignation of Lou Saban in 1976, posting a 3–20 record. He is best known as a coach for creating the dominant Bills offensive line of the early- to mid-1970s called the Electric Company, which supported running back O. J. Simpson. He returned to Buffalo as the Bills offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in 1985. He held the positions until his retirement after the 1988 season.

Ringo was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981.

Death

Ringo died November 19, 2007, in Chesapeake, Virginia, after a short illness. [11] He is buried at Fairmount Cemetery in his hometown of Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

Head coaching record

TeamYearRegular SeasonPost Season
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
BUF 1976 090.0005th in AFC East
BUF 1977 3110.2144th in AFC East
BUF Total3200.130
NFL Total [12] 3200.130
Total3200.130

Related Research Articles

Vince Lombardi American football coach (1913–1970)

Vincent Thomas Lombardi was an American football coach and executive in the National Football League (NFL). He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls at the conclusion of the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons.

Ray Nitschke American football player (1936–1998)

Raymond Ernest Nitschke was a professional American football middle linebacker who spent his entire 15-year National Football League (NFL) career with the Green Bay Packers.Enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978, he was the anchor of the defense for head coach Vince Lombardi in the 1960s, leading the Packers to five NFL championships and victories in the first two Super Bowls.

Jerry Kramer American football player (born 1936)

Gerald Louis Kramer is a former professional American football player, author and sports commentator, best remembered for his 11-year National Football League (NFL) career with the Green Bay Packers as an offensive lineman.

Jim Taylor (fullback) American football player (1935–2018)

James Charles Taylor was an American football fullback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons, with the Green Bay Packers from 1958 to 1966 and with the expansion New Orleans Saints in 1967. With the Packers, Taylor was invited to five straight Pro Bowls and won four NFL championships, as well as a victory in the first Super Bowl. He was recognized as the NFL Most Valuable Player after winning the rushing title in 1962, beating out Jim Brown. An aggressive player and fluent trash talker, Taylor developed several personal rivalries throughout his career, most notably with New York Giants linebacker Sam Huff. This confrontational attitude, combined with his tenacious running style, a penchant for contact, and ability to both withstand and deliver blows, earned him a reputation as one of the league's toughest players.

Ron Kramer American basketball player, gridiron football player and athletics competitor

Ronald John Kramer was a multi-sport college athlete and professional American football player.

Earl Roy Gros was an American football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons. Born and raised in Louisiana, he played college football at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge.

Bill Austin (American football, born 1928) American football player and coach

William Lee Austin was an American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL). He played as a lineman for the New York Giants for seven seasons, was the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers for three seasons, (1966–1968) and one for the Washington Redskins in 1970.

Zeke Bratkowski American football player and coach

Edmund Raymond "Zeke" Bratkowski was an American professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons with the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams, and Green Bay Packers.

Lee Roy Caffey was an American football outside linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers. Caffey is one of the top 100 Green Bay Packers of All-Time (#57). Caffey and teammates, Ray Nitchke and Dave Robinson, were named one of the top 10 best linebacking trios in the history of the NFL by ESPN. He played college football at Texas A&M University and is one of Texas A&M’s top 10 best players in the NFL.

Gale Herbert Gillingham was a professional football player, a guard for ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers.

Lew Carpenter American football player and coach

Lewis Glen Carpenter was an American football player and coach. He played college football for the University of Arkansas and professionally for ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as a halfback and fullback with the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and Green Bay Packers. He played on three NFL Championship teams, with Detroit in 1953 and with Green Bay in 1961 and 1962. After his playing career ended, Carpenter spent 31 years as an assistant coach in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings (1964–1966), Atlanta Falcons (1967–1968), Washington Redskins (1969), St. Louis Cardinals (1970–1972), Houston Oilers (1970–1974), Green Bay Packers (1975–1985), Detroit Lions (1987–1988), and Philadelphia Eagles (1990–1994). Carpenter also coached the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League of American Football in 1996 and at Southwest Texas State University. He concluded his 47 years of playing and coaching football at the end of the 1996 season. Scientific tests on his brain diagnosed post-mortem that he had an advanced case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

John Richard Symank was an American college and professional football player who was a defensive back in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons during the 1950s and 1960s. Symank played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL. He was later the head coach for Northern Arizona University and the University of Texas at Arlington football teams.

The 1958 Green Bay Packers season was their 40th season overall and their 38th season in the National Football League. The team finished with a 1–10–1 record under first-year head coach Ray McLean for a last-place finish in the league in 1958 and the worst record ever posted by a Packers team.

The 1963 Green Bay Packers season was their 45th season overall and their 43rd season in the National Football League. The two-time defending NFL champions finished with an 11–2–1 record under fifth-year head coach Vince Lombardi for a second-place finish in the Western Conference, a half game back.

Red Cochran

John Thurman "Red" Cochran Jr. was an American football cornerback and later an assistant coach and scout in the National Football League. He played college football at Wake Forest University.

The 1964 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 32nd season in the National Football League.

Herbert Anthony Adderley was an American professional football player who was a cornerback for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). In 1980, he was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Packers sweep, also known as the Lombardi sweep, is an American football play popularized by Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. The Packers sweep is based on the sweep, a football play that involves a back taking a handoff and running parallel to the line of scrimmage before turning upfield behind lead blockers. The play became noteworthy due to its extensive use by the Packers in the 1960s, when the team won five National Football League (NFL) Championships, as well as the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi used the play as the foundation on which the rest of the team's offensive game plan was built. The dominance of the play, as well as the sustained success of Lombardi's teams in the 1960s, solidified the Packers sweep's reputation as one of the most famous football plays in history.

Jack Vainisi American football scout

Jack Vainisi was an American scout and personnel director for the Green Bay Packers from 1950 to 1960. At the age of 23, he was hired by Packers head coach Gene Ronzani to lead the team's player personnel department. In a time when most professional football teams relied on the media for information on college players, Vainisi enlisted college coaches to provide scouting reports on not only their own players, but also opposition players. During his time in charge of player personnel, the Packers drafted or acquired eight future Pro Football Hall of Fame players. Vainisi also was instrumental in attracting Vince Lombardi to the vacant head coaching job in Green Bay in 1959. Vainisi did not live to see the success of the teams he helped assemble though, as he died from a heart attack in 1960 at the age of 33.

References

  1. "Jim Ringo's playing stats". Databasefootball.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  2. "Jim Ringo's stats". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  3. Litsky, Frank (November 21, 2007). "Jim Ringo, Pro Football Hall of Fame center, dies at 75". New York Times. p. A25.
  4. Schudel, Matt. "NFL's Jim Ringo; Hall of Famer With Packers and Eagles", The Washington Post , November 22, 2007. Accessed March 14, 2011. "James S. Ringo Jr. was born Nov. 21, 1931, in Orange, N.J., and grew up in Phillipsburg, N.J."
  5. via Associated Press. "Phillipsburg grad, NFL great Jim Ringo dies at 75", The Star-Ledger , November 19, 2007. Accessed March 14, 2011. "Jim Ringo, who played for Phillipsburg High School before going on to a Hall of Fame career as a center for the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles, died this morning after a short illness. He was two days shy of his 76th birthday."
  6. Lea, Bud (May 6, 1964). "Gros, Ringo traded to Eagles". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
  7. "Ringo, Gros traded to Eagles, Packers get a linebacker". Milwaukee Journal. May 6, 1964. p. 2, part 2.
  8. "Packers trade Ringo, Gros". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. May 6, 1964. p. 2C.
  9. "Packers pull trade, create new problem". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. May 6, 1964. p. 58.
  10. Schaap, Dick; Kramer, Jerry; Kramer, Gerald L. (15 August 2011). Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer. ISBN   978-0307743381.
  11. "Ringo dies at age 75". profootballhalloffame.com. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  12. "Jim Ringo Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com.