Vince Lombardi

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Vince Lombardi
Vince Lombardi.jpg
Vince Lombardi
Position (s):
Head Coach
born June 11, 1913 in Brooklyn , New York
died on September 3, 1970 in Washington, DC
Career information
Active : 1933 - 1936
College : Fordham

as a trainer

Career statistics
Play as head coach     146
G / V ( Regular Season )     96:34 (73.8%)
G / V ( play-offs )     9: 1 (90.0%)
Coaching stats at
Career highlights and awards
Pro Football Hall of Fame

Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi (born June 11, 1913 in Brooklyn , New York , † September 3, 1970 in Washington, DC ) was an American American football coach. He was Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League (NFL) and won five championships with them in seven years, including the first two Super Bowls . He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971 and the Super Bowl winner's trophy was named after him.


Vince Lombardi was of Italian descent and married. He had two children. Lombardi suffered from red-green blindness .

Lombardi grew up in New York City and graduated from high school there . He was raised Catholic and wanted to be a priest first. However, he dropped out of college after four years and moved to Fordham University .

At Fordham University , Lombardi was a member of the famous Seven Blocks of Granite offensive line . He later moved to the sidelines to acquire the coaching license. He got his first important job as a coach at the US Military Academy in West Point , where he assisted Sid Gillman and learned the intricacies of the passing game from him .

Lombardi married Marie Planitz in 1940 and had two children with her, Vincent Harold Lombardi (Vince Jr.) and Susan. His faith was very important to him throughout his life, and it was an important pillar of his life alongside sports and family. He died in 1970 at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC with his family at the age of 57.


As a coach, Lombardi had an authoritarian style, which also encouraged independence. In addition, he was a devout Catholic, but that did not prevent him from signing the homosexual running back Ray McDonald . The background was that Lombardi had a homosexual brother himself. As a coach, Lombardi was not one of the great innovators of American football, but was able to quickly pick up and refine new strategies and tactics. Lombardi also succeeded in adapting tactics and strategies to the abilities of his players and thus putting together well-balanced teams. Lombardi also trained every move with his teams to perfection.

In 1954 Lombardi moved to the New York Giants as offensive coordinator and helped them to the NFL title in 1956 and a division championship in 1958.

In 1959 Lombardi took over the Green Bay Packers , the traditional team that was not very victorious in the NFL after the successful days of Curly Lambeau . Lombardi led the Packers back to the NFL Championship Game in his second year . The 13-17 defeat by the Philadelphia Eagles was the only championship game Lombardi lost with his team during his coaching career. In his second year he received the nickname The Pope ( The Pope ), which on the one hand alluded to his faith, but on the other hand was a recognition of his sporting success. He built a strong defense around linebacker Ray Nitschke and defensive backs Herb Adderley and Willie Wood , with quarterback Bart Starr and running backs Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung backing up. Lombardi attached great importance to running plays (" Smashmouth Offense "), u. a. the "Packer Sweep", in which the offensive line clears an alley for a running back .

In 1961 he succeeded with the Green Bay Packers a 37-0 win over the New York Giants at City Stadium in the final of the NFL championship. He was able to repeat this success the following year in New York's Yankee Stadium , where he again won against the New York Giants with 16: 7 . In 1965 the Packers won the NFL championship against the Cleveland Browns , back home. The next title followed in 1966. Lombardi brought the Packers to victory in Dallas against the Dallas Cowboys and then won the first Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs in Los Angeles . The game in 1967 was named Ice Bowl because it was played at around −25 ° C. Due to the icy winds, the temperature felt as low as -38 ° C. Lombardi's Packers were able to prevail against Dallas again and moved into Super Bowl II , where they defended the title against the Oakland Raiders in the much warmer Miami.

After the second Super Bowl victory in 1967 Lombardi moved to the post of General Manager of the Green Bay Packers. However, he was not happy off the field and so he signed a contract as head coach of the Washington Redskins for the 1969 season , which he led after 14 years to their first season with more wins than losses.

Shortly before the 1970 season, Vince Lombardi died of cancer. Just one year later he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his extraordinary career . The Super Bowl trophy was renamed the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his honor .


Lombardi's grandson, Joe Lombardi, coached the quarterbacks of the New Orleans Saints in 2010 , winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy named after his grandfather after their victory in Super Bowl XLIV .

In 2003, a statue of Vince Lombardi was placed next to the statue of Curly Lambeau in front of Lambeau Field .

The most famous quote attributed to Lombardi, “Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing!” (Eng. Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing that counts ), does not come from Lombardi himself, but probably from Henry Russell “Red” Sanders, who was also a football coach.

Web links

Commons : Vince Lombardi  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Maraniss, David (1999): When Pride Still Mattered, A Life of Vince Lombardi. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-618-90499-0 .
  2. Maraniss, David (1999): When Pride Still Mattered, A Life of Vince Lombardi. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-618-90499-0 .
  3. Maraniss, David (1999): When Pride Still Mattered, A Life of Vince Lombardi. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-618-90499-0 .
  4. ^ Coach, Symbol, Savior. In: .
  5. Steven J. Overman (1999): 'Winning Isn't Everything. It's the Only Thing ': The Origin, Attributions and Influence of a Famous Football Quote