66 Facts About Vince Lombardi


Vincent Thomas Lombardi was an American football coach and executive in the National Football League.


Vince Lombardi is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls at the conclusion of the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons.


Vince Lombardi began his coaching career as an assistant and later as a head coach at St Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey.


Vince Lombardi was an assistant coach at Fordham where he coached with Jim Lansing.


Vince Lombardi coached for the United States Military Academy and the New York Giants before becoming head coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967 and the Washington Redskins in 1969.


Vince Lombardi was born on June 11,1913, in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn to Enrico "Harry" Vince Lombardi and Matilda "Mattie" Izzo.


Vince Lombardi was the oldest of five children, including Madeleine, Harold, Claire, and Joe.


Vince Lombardi himself was an altar boy at St Mark's Catholic Church.


Outside their local neighborhood, the Vince Lombardi children were subject to the rampant ethnic discrimination that existed at the time against Italian immigrants and their descendants.


Vince Lombardi graduated from the eighth grade at age 15 in 1928.


Vince Lombardi then enrolled in the Cathedral Preparatory Seminary, a division of Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in Brooklyn, a six-year secondary program to become a Catholic priest.


Vince Lombardi enrolled at St Francis Preparatory high school for the fall of 1932.


In 1933, Vince Lombardi received a football scholarship to Fordham University in the Bronx to play for the Fordham Rams and Coach Jim Crowley, who was one of the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame in the 1920s.


Vince Lombardi missed most of the remainder of the game, until he was called in on defense for a successful goal-line stand that preserved a scoreless tie.


Vince Lombardi tried to play semi-professional football with the Wilmington Clippers of the American Association and worked as a debt collector for a collection agency, but those efforts very quickly proved to be failures.


In 1939, Vince Lombardi wanted to marry his girlfriend, Marie Planitz, but he deferred at his father's insistence because he needed a steady job to support himself and a family; he married Marie the following year.


In 1939, Vince Lombardi accepted an assistant coaching job at St Cecilia, a Catholic high school in Englewood, New Jersey.


Vince Lombardi was offered the position by the school's new head coach, Lombardi's former Fordham teammate, quarterback Andy Palau.


In 1942, Andy Palau left St Cecilia's for another position at Fordham, and Vince Lombardi became the head coach at St Cecilia's.


Vince Lombardi stayed a total of eight years, five as head coach.


Brooklyn Prep that season was led by senior Joe Paterno, who, like Vince Lombardi, was to rise to legendary status in football.


Vince Lombardi won six state private school championships, and became the president of the Bergen County Coaches' Association.


In 1947, Vince Lombardi became the coach of freshman teams in football and basketball at his alma mater, Fordham University.


Vince Lombardi was offensive line coach under head coach Earl "Colonel Red" Blaik.


Vince Lombardi coached at West Point for five seasons, with varying results.


At age 41 in 1954, Vince Lombardi began his NFL career with the New York Giants.


Vince Lombardi accepted a job that later became known as the offensive coordinator position under new head coach Jim Lee Howell.


Vince Lombardi applied for head coaching positions at Wake Forest, Notre Dame, and other universities and, in some cases, never received a reply.


In New York, Vince Lombardi introduced the strategy of rule blocking to the NFL.


On February 2,1959, Vince Lombardi accepted the position of head coach and general manager of the Packers.


The fans appreciated what Vince Lombardi was trying to do and responded by purchasing all the tickets for every home game during the 1960 season.


Vince Lombardi led the Packers to the 1960 Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles.


Vince Lombardi had suffered his first and only championship game loss.


Vince Lombardi coached the Packers to win their next nine post-season games, a record streak not matched or broken until Bill Belichick won ten straight from 2002 to 2006 with New England.


In 1967, Vince Lombardi's Packers hosted the Dallas Cowboys in Green Bay on December 31 in the NFL Championship Game, a rematch of the previous season.


Vince Lombardi had a heating coil underneath the field but on this day it was not functioning.


Shortly after the victory in Super Bowl II, Vince Lombardi resigned as head coach of the Packers on February 1,1968, continuing as general manager.


In February 1969, Vince Lombardi became head coach and general manager of the Washington Redskins.


Vince Lombardi died during the 1970 preseason, but he was credited with having "truly changed the culture in that one unforgettable season in 1969," laying the foundation for Washington's early 1970s success under another future Hall of Fame coach, George Allen, the Redskins' next fulltime coach.


When Vince Lombardi had not lost his temper, he would often be reticent and aloof.


In 2009, he was named quarterbacks coach of the New Orleans Saints, and in his first season Vince Lombardi helped lead the Saints to win Super Bowl XLIV along with the trophy bearing his grandfather's name, as well as helping quarterback Drew Brees win a Super Bowl MVP award.


Vince Lombardi served five seasons in that post before being named offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions in January 2014, but was relieved of this position midway through the 2015 season.


Vince Lombardi then returned to the Saints in 2016 and spent five more seasons as the team's quarterbacks coach working for head coach Sean Payton.


Vince Lombardi obtained a series of deferments: his first was a 2-A due to his teaching occupation; in 1943, he obtained a second deferment due to parenthood ; and his final deferment was labelled a 4-A and given in 1944.


Vince Lombardi's father was a daily Communicant throughout his life and his mother's favorite picture of Vince as a child was on his Confirmation.


Vince Lombardi attended Mass on a daily basis throughout his life.


When Vince Lombardi became head coach of football in 1942, he led his team to Sunday Mass before each home game.


At St Cecilia, Vince Lombardi shared an office with Father Tim Moore wherein it was not unusual for Vince Lombardi to interrupt a conversation and request to go to Confession and for which Father Tim obliged him right in the office.


Vince Lombardi regularly attended Sunday Mass at Resurrection Church in the Allouez neighborhood of Green Bay's southeast side, always sitting with his wife in the middle of the ninth pew.


Vince Lombardi was a Fourth Degree in the Knights of Columbus.


In 1960, a color barrier still existed on at least one team in the NFL, but Jack Vainisi, the Scouting Director for the Packers, and Vince Lombardi were determined "to ignore the prejudices then prevalent in most NFL front offices in their search for the most talented players".


When Vince Lombardi joined the Packers, they only had one black player, Nate Borden.


Vince Lombardi let it be known to all Green Bay establishments that if they did not accommodate his black and white players equally well, then that business would be off-limits to the entire team.


Vince Lombardi refused to assign hotel rooms to players based on their race: by 1967 the Packers were the only NFL team with such a policy.


Vince Lombardi was a member of the all-white Oneida Golf and Riding Country club in Green Bay, and he demanded that he should be allowed to choose a Native American caddie, even if white caddies were available.


Vince Lombardi's view on racial matters was a result of his religious faith and the ethnic prejudice that he had experienced as an Italian-American.


Vince Lombardi was known to be volatile and terse with players during practices and games, and he insisted on unconditional respect for everyone in his organization.


Vince Lombardi invited other gay players to training camp and would privately hope they would prove they could earn a spot on the team.


Vince Lombardi had suffered from digestive tract problems as early as 1967, and he had refused his doctor's request to undergo a proctoscopic exam.


On June 24,1970, Vince Lombardi was admitted to Georgetown University Hospital, and tests "revealed anaplastic carcinoma in the rectal area of his colon, a fast-growing malignant cancer in which the cells barely resemble their normal appearance".


Vince Lombardi received a phone call from President Nixon telling Lombardi that all of the US was behind him, to which Lombardi replied that he would never give up his fight against his illness.


On his deathbed, Vince Lombardi told Father Tim that he was not afraid to die, but that he regretted he could not have accomplished more in his life.


Vince Lombardi was interred in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Middletown Township, New Jersey.


In 1968, Vince Lombardi starred in a half-hour motivational film titled Second Effort, that has been called "The best-selling training film of all time".


In 1986, CHCH aired the TV movie Vince Lombardi: I Am Not a Legend starring Robert Knuckle in the title role that depicted Vince Lombardi's life up until the NFL.


NFL Films and HBO produced a film about Vince Lombardi that debuted Saturday, December 11,2010.