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]


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.


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.


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

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  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.