Wilbur "Weeb" Ewbank (May 6,
1907 – November 17, 1998) was an American professional
born in Richmond,
Indiana, and lived there through high school.
University in Oxford, Ohio, where he played quarterback under head coach
Chester Pittser and was a member of
Phi Delta Theta
first football coaching job was in 1928 at Van Wert High School in Van Wert, Ohio.
He soon moved back to Oxford, Ohio, and
took a position to coach all sports at McGuffey High School.
was a school run by Miami University, separate from Oxford's public high school.
Ewbank agreed to coach both the McGuffey High School and the
team when Miami’s basketball coach left for another
World War II Ewbank joined the Navy and
was assigned to Naval Station Great Lakes where he was reunited with his Miami teammate
Paul Brown who was the base football
At Great Lakes, he assisted Brown with the football
team and coach the basketball team
through 1948 Ewbank was head coach of Washington
University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he compiled a 14–4 record.
started the 1947 team from scratch since the Bears did not have a
football team from 1943 though 1946 due to World War II.
team started off with 2 losses but rebounded with 5 straight wins
before losing the final game to the University of
The 1948 squad won a school-record nine
games while allowing just 77 points while posting a record of 9-1.
Ewbank came to the Colts at the recommendation of Cleveland Browns
coach Paul Brown
. Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom had
called Brown asking for a coaching tip. He was interested in Browns
assistant Blanton Collier
suggested Ewbank instead and Rosenbloom took the offer.
As coach of the Baltimore Colts
Ewbank won the 1958 and 1959 NFL
The 1958 game is often referred to as "The Greatest Game Ever Played
By the end of the 1962 NFL season
Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom
thought that the Colts had slipped enough and Ewbank was fired.
Rosenbloom hired in his place the then-youngest head coach in NFL
history, Don Shula
New York Jets
When Sonny Werblin
bought the New York Titans
franchise of the American Football League
he changed both the team's name (to the New York Jets
) and its coach. Ewbank took over
a team that had not had a winning record in its first three years,
and made them into a force to be reckoned with.
Werblin signed Matt Snell
away from the
NFL in 1964, and in 1965, the Jets' signing of Joe Namath
added to the arsenal which would
eventually pit Ewbank against his former team in the third AFL-NFL
game (Super Bowl
Ewbank's Jets won the American Football League Championship in 1968
with a victory over the Oakland
. In the third World
, the Colts (proclaimed by some to be "the
greatest pro football team of all time") were heavily favored over
the AFL's "overmatched" Jets. But with Ewbank's confident planning
the Jets ran a game plan that mystified the Colts and came out with
a 16-7 victory.
After the 1972 season, Ewbank announced that at the end of the 1973
season he would retire as head coach in favor of his son-in-law,
, though he would
continue as general manager. The 1973 Jets season is the subject of
the book The Last Season of Weeb Ewbank
by Paul Zimmerman
Hall of Fame
Ewbank is the only man ever to coach two different American pro
pootball teams to victory in a championship game, and the only man
to coach winners of NFL, AFL, and World Championships: (NFL
championships in 1958 and 1959 with the Colts, an
championship in 1968
with the Jets, and a World Championship in Super Bowl III
in 1969 with the Jets]. Weeb's
record in the AFL was 50-42-6 (71-77-6 all-time with the Jets) and
his career regular season record in the NFL and AFL was 130-129-7
and his playoff record was 4-1. Ewbank was selected as the Head
Coach of the AFL
inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978.
He is a member of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame
and the Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame.
- Kurz, Bob (1983) "Miami of Ohio, the Cradle of Coaches" p. 37
Library of Congress Catalog Card number 83-50645
- Washington University Football 2006 media guide p.