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John Perry Pardee (born in Exiramarker, Iowamarker) is a former American football linebacker and the only head coach to join a team in the National Football League, NCAA Southwest Conference, United States Football League, World Football League and Canadian Football League. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Famemarker in 1986.

Playing career

As a teenager, Pardee moved to Christoval, Texasmarker where he excelled as a member of the six-man football team (Pardee is the only six-man player to later have played or coached in the NFL). He was an All-American linebacker at Texas A&M Universitymarker and a two-time All-Pro with the Los Angeles Rams (1963) and the Washington Redskins (1971).

Pardee was one of the famed Junction Boys, the 1954 Texas A&M preseason camp held in Junction, Texasmarker, by football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. He was part of the 35 left from the approximately 100 players who went to Junction, Texasmarker. After completing college at Texas A&M, Pardee was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Rams as a linebacker, who played for the Rams from 1957–1970, while meanwhile battling Melanoma cancer in 1965, sitting out the season. From 1971–1973, Pardee played for the Washington Redskins, for the remainder of his playing career.

Coaching career


When the World Football League started up in 1974, Pardee got his first head coaching job with the Washington Ambassadors. The team would later relocate to Norfolk, Virginia and become the Virginia Ambassadors before finally moving to their third and final home as the Florida Blazers. The Blazers, based in Orlando, made it all the way to the 1974 World Bowl and lost by one point to the Birmingham Americans. Pardee's regular season coaching record in 1974 with the Blazers was 14-6, and 2-1 in the 1974 WFL Playoffs and World Bowl. Some of the Blazers players relocated to San Antonio for the 1975 season, and Pardee would move on too, signing on as Head Coach of the Chicago Bears for the 1975.

First stint in the NFL

In 1975, Pardee was hired by the Chicago Bears as head coach. He spent the next three years there before moving on to the Washington Redskins.


In 1984, Pardee returned to his native Texas by becoming the head coach of the Houston Gamblers. The Gamblers played spring football in the United States Football League. The Gamblers had one of the most potent offenses in pro football, the Run and Shoot offense, with Jim Kelly as quarterback. The Gamblers merged with the New Jersey Generals in 1986, and Pardee was named head coach. With Kelly at quarterback, and Herschel Walker in the backfield, the Generals were poised to dominate the USFL. But the league's move to a fall schedule ruined any chance of that. There would be no 1986 season, and the Generals disbanded with the rest of the league.


Pardee returned to Houston in 1987, by becoming the head coach at the University of Houstonmarker. During his three year stint, the Cougars, utilizing the same offense he coached in the USFL, produced the first ever African-American quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy, Andre Ware. His team would also become the first major college team in NCAA history to have over 1,000 total offensive yards in a single game, raking up 1,021 yards while beating SMU (coming off a 2 year "Death Penalty" for NCAA violations) 95-21.

Second stint in the NFL

In 1990 Pardee packed up the Run and Shoot offense and moved across town, and back to the NFL, by joining the Houston Oilers. He spent five years coaching a team which made the playoffs each of his first four years there, led by Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon. In 1994, after going 1–9, Pardee resigned.


He continued his coaching career in the Canadian Football League. In 1995, he was named head coach of the Birmingham Barracudas. The "Cudas" were part of a failed experiment to expand the CFL into the United States. With Matt Dunigan at quarterback, Birmingham made the playoffs, but lost in the first round. After just one year, the Barracudas disbanded and all American teams, except Baltimore, were finished.

Return to coaching

In December 2007, Pardee, then 71, was contacted by athletic director Dave Maggard about the vacant head coaching job at the University of Houston. Signaling interest, he made it as far as a finalist for the position, however the school moved forward with Kevin Sumlin, 43, a co-offensive coordinator out of Bob Stoops Oklahomamarker program.

Personal life

Pardee has been married for 50 years to Phyllis Lane Perryman and has five children and 12 grandchildren.

Pardee's son, Ted Pardee, is vice president of sales and marketing with FuelQuest.

Head Coaching Record



Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CHI 1975 4 10 0 .286 3rd in NFC Central - - - -
CHI 1976 7 7 0 .500 2nd in NFC Central - - - -
CHI 1977 9 5 0 .643 2nd in NFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to Dallas Cowboys in NFC Divisional Game.
Chicago Total 20 22 0 .476 0 1 .000
WAS 1978 8 8 0 .500 3rd in NFC East - - - -
WAS 1979 10 6 0 .625 3rd in NFC East - - - -
WAS 1980 6 10 0 .375 3rd in NFC East - - - -
Washington Total 24 24 0 .500 - - -
HOU 1990 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to Cincinnati Bengals in AFC Wild-Card Game.
HOU 1991 11 5 0 .688 1st in AFC Central 1 1 .500 Lost to Denver Broncos in AFC Divisional Game.
HOU 1992 10 6 0 .625 2nd in AFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to Buffalo Bills in AFC Wild-Card Game.
HOU 1993 12 4 0 .750 1st in AFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Divisional Game.
HOU 1994 1 9 0 .100 4th in AFC Central - - - -
Houston Total 43 31 0 .581 1 4 .200
Career Total 87 77 0 .530 1 5 .167


  1. [1] Football: The six-man world. San Antonio Express-News at, October 14, 2006.
  3. Mark Schlabach, Yellow Jackets, Wolverines, Midshipmen earn high marks,, December 17, 2007.

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