Mike McCormack (American football)

Last updated
Mike McCormack
Mike McCormack 1973.JPG
McCormack in 1973
No. 71, 74
Position: Offensive tackle
Personal information
Born:(1930-06-21)June 21, 1930
Chicago, Illinois
Died:November 15, 2013(2013-11-15) (aged 83)
Palm Desert, California
Career information
High school: Kansas City (MO) De LaSalle
College: Kansas
NFL Draft: 1951  / Round:  3  / Pick: 34
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Win–Loss Record:29–51–1
Winning %:.363
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Michael Joseph McCormack Jr. (June 21, 1930 – November 15, 2013) was an American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL). He played with the Cleveland Browns from 1954 through 1962 and served as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Colts, and Seattle Seahawks. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984.


Playing career

McCormack played college football at University of Kansas and assumed that he would take up a career as a high school coach. He was selected by the New York Yanks in the 1951 NFL Draft, but had to wait until the third round before being taken. After the 1951 season concluded, he was conscripted into the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War. While he was away, the Yanks moved to Dallas and became the Texans, which folded after just one season.

McCormack came home in 1954 to find that his team had ceased to exist, so he became a free agent and was immediately signed by the Baltimore Colts, a new franchise created the previous year to replace the defunct Yanks/Texans. Cleveland Browns founder Paul Brown had not forgotten seeing McCormack play in his rookie season three years earlier and was sufficiently impressed that he decided to add him to the roster in a trade exchange with Baltimore. In his first season with the team in 1954, he played on the defensive line, and famously grabbed the ball out of Lions QB Bobby Layne's hands (in what the referees ruled as a fumble recovery) in the 1954 NFL Championship game against the Detroit Lions, helping set up an important early touchdown.

The following season, he was shifted to offensive tackle and helped the Browns once again capture the NFL title. He played a key role in helping legendary running back Jim Brown become one of the dominant players in the game, ending his career with six selections to the Pro Bowl.

Paul Brown, legendary Cleveland Browns founder, owner, and coach, stated in his 1979 memoir, PB: The Paul Brown Story, "I consider (Mike) McCormack the finest offensive tackle who ever played pro football." [1] [2] Also, according to Paul Zimmerman's 1984 book, The New Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football, Brown also stated that McCormack was the best offensive lineman he ever coached. [3] The book states that McCormack "[c]ould handle the Colts' Gino Marchetti better than any tackle in the game. Power combined with great intelligence and 4.8 speed. 'I've seen him have games,' former player and NFL executive Bucko Kilroy says, 'where if you were grading him, he'd score 100. Not one mistake, and his guy would never make a tackle.'"

Coaching career

McCormack retired from playing in 1962 and began coaching with the first of four consecutive stints as an assistant in the annual College All-Star Game. In 1965, he was hired as an assistant coach with the Washington Redskins, spending the next eight seasons working under four different head coaches, including former teammate Otto Graham from 1966 1968.

McCormack was hired to replace Ed Khayat as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles on January 17, 1973. He inherited a team that ended 1972 in the NFC East cellar at 2111 and hadn't had a winning campaign since 1966. [4] Three seasons and a 16251 record later, he was dismissed on December 22, 1975, following a 410 last-place finish. [5]

After four years as offensive line coach with the Cincinnati Bengals from 1976 through 1979, [6] he was selected over Frank Kush and George Welsh to succeed Ted Marchibroda as head coach of the Baltimore Colts on January 17, 1980. The ballclub finished in last place at 511 in each of the two seasons prior to McCormack's arrival. [7] When the Colts fell from 79 in 1980 to 214 the following year, he was fired on December 21, 1981, and replaced by Kush the next day. [8] As McCormack put it, "I wanted to be like my mentor, Paul Brown. He was a great teacher and I tried to do the same but unfortunately I always let my emotions carry me away."

Administrative career

In 1982, McCormack joined the Seattle Seahawks, eventually becoming president and general manager. That year, the Seahawks lost their first two games, then a 57-day players strike ensued. During the hiatus, seventh-year head coach Jack Patera was fired in mid-October and McCormack took over as interim head coach. [9] [10] He led them to a 4–3 record, the only time he compiled a winning record as an NFL head coach, but Seattle did not qualify for the 16-team postseason. McCormack then returned to his management position when the Seahawks hired Chuck Knox as their new head coach in 1983 and declined all further offers to become a head coach.

In late January 1989, he was abruptly fired by the new Seahawks owner, Ken Behring, who explained the decision was necessary in order to make changes in the financial operations of the team. [11] [12] Later that year, McCormack became a consultant for Jerry Richardson and his ownership group that were seeking to land an NFL expansion team in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1993, he was hired by the newly-formed Carolina Panthers as their team president and general manager, and their inaugural season was in 1995. He retired from the Panthers organization in 1997, which erected a monument in their stadium honoring him.


At age 83 in 2013, McCormack died of heart failure in Palm Desert, California. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

The 1996 NFL season was the 77th regular season of the National Football League and the season was marked by notable controversies from beginning to end. The season ended with Super Bowl XXXI when the Green Bay Packers defeated the New England Patriots 35–21 at the Louisiana Superdome.

The 1992 NFL season was the 73rd regular season of the National Football League. Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Andrew, the New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins game that was scheduled for September 6 at Joe Robbie Stadium was rescheduled to October 18. Both teams originally had that weekend off. This marked the first time since the 1966 NFL season and the AFL seasons of 1966 and 1967 that there were byes in week 1; in those years, byes were necessary every week since there were an odd number of teams, which would happen again between 1999 and 2001. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dolphins also had their 2017 season opener postponed due to Hurricane Irma.

1984 NFL season Sports season

The 1984 NFL season was the 65th regular season of the National Football League. The Colts relocated from Baltimore, Maryland to Indianapolis, Indiana before the season.

The 1983 NFL season was the 64th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XVIII when the Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38–9 at Tampa Stadium in Florida.

1982 NFL season Sports season

The 1982 NFL season was the 63rd regular season of the National Football League. A 57-day-long players' strike reduced the 1982 season from a 16-game schedule per team to an abbreviated nine game schedule. Because of the shortened season, the NFL adopted a special 16-team playoff tournament; division standings were ignored for seeding. Eight teams from each conference were seeded 1–8 based on their regular season records. Two teams qualified for the playoffs despite losing records. The season ended with Super Bowl XVII when the Washington Redskins defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-17 at the Rose Bowl.

Jim Zorn American football coach and quarterback

James Arthur Zorn is a former American football player and coach. Zorn was a left-handed quarterback, and is best known as the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks for their first eight seasons. He was the quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks from 2001 until the 2007 season, before being hired by the Washington Redskins to be their head coach starting in the 2008 season.

Ted Marchibroda American football player and coach

Theodore Joseph Marchibroda was an American football quarterback and head coach in the National Football League (NFL). He spent his four years as an active player with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Cardinals (1957). He was later head coach of the Colts in two different cities and decades, first in Baltimore during the 1970s and then Indianapolis during the early-1990s. Upon joining the Baltimore Ravens in a similar capacity in 1996, he became the only individual to serve as head coach with both of Baltimore's NFL teams. His career coaching record was 87–98–1 (.470) and 2–4 in the playoffs.

Abe Gibron American football player and coach

Abraham "Abe" Gibron was a professional American football player and coach. Gibron played 11 seasons as a guard in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and National Football League (NFL) in the 1940s and 1950s, mostly with the Cleveland Browns. He was then hired as an assistant coach for the NFL's Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears before becoming head coach of the Bears between 1972 and 1974.

Mike Solari is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the offensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). Solari has previously worked for five other NFL teams, including a stint as offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs from 2006 to 2007. He played collegiately as an offensive lineman at San Diego State University.

John Arlen Patera was an American football player and coach in the National Football League. He played for the Baltimore Colts,Chicago Cardinals, and Dallas Cowboys, and was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams,New York Giants, and Minnesota Vikings. Patera was the first head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, with a career head coaching record of 35–59–0 (.372), all with the Seahawks.

Roger Dale Carr is a former National Football League wide receiver who played mainly for the Baltimore Colts. He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1976 season, during which he caught 43 passes and led the NFL in both receiving yardage with 1,112 yards, and yards per catch, at 25.9 YPC.

Robert Lee Newton is a former American football guard in the NFL from 1971 to 1981.

John Sandusky

John Thomas "Sandy" Sandusky, Jr. was an American football player and coach. He played seven seasons as an offensive and defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1950s for the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers before starting a 36-year career as an assistant coach. He was head coach of the Baltimore Colts for part of the 1972 season.

Duane Brown American football offensive tackle

Duane Anthony Brown is an American football offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Virginia Tech, and was drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Mike Iupati Samoan American football guard

Michael Iupati is an American football guard for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). A native of American Samoa, Iupati went to high school in southern California, played college football at Idaho, and earned consensus All-American honors. Iupati was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft; he played five seasons with the 49ers and four with the Arizona Cardinals.

Ryan Richard Grigson is an American football executive currently serving as senior football advisor for the Cleveland Browns. From 2012 to 2016, he served as the general manager of the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL).

John Eugene DeFilippo is an American football coach who is the quarterbacks coach for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at James Madison University, and has served as offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Mychal Kendricks American football outside linebacker

Marvin Mychal-Christopher Kendricks is an American football linebacker for the Washington Football Team of the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football for the California Golden Bears, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Kendricks won Super Bowl LII with the Eagles. In September 2018 he pleaded guilty to insider trading and was released by the Cleveland Browns. His sentencing date was first set for January 2019 but has since since been postponed to January 2021.

Hal Hunter (American football, born 1932)

Harold Theo Hunter Jr. was an American football coach. He participated in football, wrestling and track at Canonsburg High School in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He played college football at Pittsburgh, where he was a three-year letterman at offensive guard and linebacker. Hunter earned Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American honors for his senior season in 1955. He was also a three-year letterman in wrestling at Pittsburgh. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1956. Hunter was a football coach at various high schools and colleges from 1956 to 1976, mainly serving as his team's offensive line coach. He was then the head coach at California State College from 1977 to 1980, accumulating a record of 9–30–1. He began his professional coaching career as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' offensive coordinator in 1981. Hunter later served as an assistant coach for several National Football League (NFL) teams from 1982 to 1992, including a one-game stint as the interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 1984.


  1. Brown, Paul; Jack T. Clary (1979). PB: The Paul Brown Story. Atheneum Books. ISBN   0689109857.
  2. Goldstein, Richard (November 15, 2013). "Mike McCormack, Hall of Fame Browns Lineman, Dies at 83". The New York Times . Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  3. Zimmerman, Paul. ISBN   0-671-45394-7, Simon & Schuster, 1984, p. 54.
  4. "McCormack, Redskin Aide, Named Eagles' Head Coach," The Associated Press, Wednesday, January 17, 1973. Retrieved May 7, 2018
  5. "McCormack Dismissed By Eagles," United Press International, Monday, December 22, 1975. Retrieved May 7, 2018
  6. Didinger, Ray. "Didinger Reflects On The Late McCormack," Philadelphia Eagles, Friday, November 15, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2018
  7. Leavy, Jane. "Colts Pick McCormack," The Washington Post, Thursday, January 17, 1980. Retrieved May 8, 2018
  8. Hershey, Steve. "Colts Fire McCormack, Hire Kush," The Washington Post, Tuesday, December 22, 1981. Retrieved May 8, 2018
  9. Cour, Jim (October 14, 1982). "Patera fired". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. 29.
  10. "Do Seahawks want James?". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. October 14, 1982. p. 1C.
  11. "Seattle fires McCormack". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). news services. January 31, 1989. p. 11.
  12. "New Seattle owner fires McCormack", Eugene Register-Guard, (Oregon), Associated Press, p. 2D, January 31, 1989
  13. https://sports.yahoo.com/news/hall-fame-lineman-mike-mccormack-210325109--nfl.html