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 Hank Stram

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Hank Stram

  • Original Name Henry Louis
  • Birth 23 Jan 1923 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 4 Jul 2005 Covington, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, USA
  • Burial Covington, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, USA
  • Memorial ID 37451902

Coach, Sports announcer. Hank Stram was the first coach of the Dallas Texans in the initial season of the American Football League in 1960. He had been hired away from the University of Miami where he was working as an assistant football coach at the time. He went on to become the winningest coach in AFL history, winning three league championships and one Super Bowl Championship. Born in Chicago, Stram grew up in Gary Indiana. He attended Lew Wallace High School where he starred in football and baseball. He went on to win letters in both sports at Purdue University in a career that was interrupted by three years of volunteer duty in the Army during World War II. After graduation in 1948 Stram immediately began his coaching career as an assistant football coach and head baseball coach with the Boilermakers. He stayed until 1955. He married Phyllis Pesha in 1953 and together they had 6 children. In 1956 he became assistant football coach at Notre Dame, then moved on to Southern Methodist University and Miami University before landing the head coaching job of the Lamar Hunt's Dallas Texans. He led the Texans to the 1962 AFL Championship before they moved to Kansas City and changed their name to the Chiefs. In Kansas City, Stram continued his success, winning the AFL Championship in 1966 and taking on Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers in the first AFL-NFL Championship match, now referred to as the first Super Bowl. In 1968 he was named AFL Coach of the Year and in 1970 the Chiefs returned to the Super Bowl and defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7, The win was the second Super Bowl victory in a row for the AFL which went on to merge with the NFL the following year. Stram was known as "The Mentor" for his ability too develop talent, and earned a reputation as a creative coach with such innovations as the moving pocket, the stacked defense, the I formation, and the two tight end alignment, He was also the first coach to wear a microphone, allowing viewers to listen to his sideline comments (some of which have become classics of football lore) during the 1970 Super Bowl. He was also the first NFL coach to provide Gatorade for his players on the sidelines. In 1975 Stram moved on to coach the New Orleans Saints and in 1977 he retired to become a commentator for CBS Sports. For the next 20 years he provided color commentary to Monday Night Football games on radio with partner Jack Buck. In 2003 Stram was named to the NFL Hall of Fame. He moved his family to Louisiana after taking the Saints job and remained there for the next 28 years until complications from diabetes finally claimed his life.

Bio by: Don M

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Don M
  • Added: 24 May 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 37451902
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Hank Stram (23 Jan 1923–4 Jul 2005), Find A Grave Memorial no. 37451902, citing Pinecrest Memorial Gardens, Covington, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .