1959 Green Bay Packers season
Head Coach Vince Lombardi
Home Field City Stadium
Milwaukee County Stadium
Record 7-5
Place 3rd NFL Western
Playoff Finish did not qualify
Previous Season Next Season
1958 1960

The 1959 Green Bay Packers season was their 39th season in the National Football League and 41st overall. The club posted a 7-5 record under first-year coach Vince Lombardi, earning a third-place finish in the National Conference.

Offseason[edit | edit source]

NFL Draft[edit | edit source]

Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team
1 1 Randy Duncan Quarterback Iowa
2 13 Alex Hawkins Back South Carolina
3 25 Boyd Dowler Wide Receiver Colorado
5 55 Andy Cvercko Guard Northwestern
6 61 Willie Taylor Center Florida A&M
7 73 Bobby Jackson Back Alabama
7 83 Gary Raid Tackle Willamette
8 85 Buddy Mayfield End South Carolina
8 95 Bob Laraba Back UTEP
9 97 George Dixon Back Bridgeport
10 109 Sam Tuccio Tackle Southern Miss
11 121 Bob Webb Back St. Ambrose
12 133 Larry Hall Guard Missouri Valley
13 145 Jim Hurd Back Albion
14 157 Ken Kerr Guard Arizona State
15 169 Dick Teteak Guard Wisconsin
16 181 Dan Edgington End Florida
17 193 Tom Secules Back William & Mary
18 205 Dick Nearents Tackle Eastern Washington
19 217 Bill Butler Safety Chattanooga
20 229 Charley Sample Back Arkansas
21 241 Dave Smith Back Ripon
22 253 Charlie Anderson End Drake
23 265 Ben Lawver Tackle Lewis & Clark
24 277 Joe Hergert Center Florida
25 289 Leroy Hardee Back Florida A&M
26 301 Ken Higginbotham End Trinity (TX)
27 313 Timothy Brown Running Back Ball State
28 325 Jerry Epps Guard West Texas State
29 337 Jack Flara Back Pittsburgh
30 349 Dick Emerich Tackle West Chester
  • Yellow indicates a future Pro Bowl selection

The Lombardi Era Begins[edit | edit source]

On February 4, 1959, Vince Lombardi seized his opportunity and began building his football dynasty in Green Bay. He started by trading away the Packers best receiver of the decade Billy Howton, to the Cleveland Browns. To bring some much-needed leadership to the defensive backfield, Lombardi obtained future Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell from the New York Giants. Ha also acquired Fuzzy Thurston from the Baltimore Colts and defensive tackle Henry Jordan form Cleveland by the start of training camp. In all, 16 veterans from the previous season were sent packing as Lombardi installed a new attitude in the Packers' locker room.

Training Camp[edit | edit source]

Lombardi borrowed from the Giants model — the players had to feel like champions. The team traveled first class under the philosophy that "you can't be a winner unless you feel like one." The change in culture was pronounced. Lombardi had to find a quarterback, and he was resistant to making Bart Starr the quarterback. Starr was in his fourth year in the league and hadn't won a game he played four quarters in. "Did Bart tell you how bad he was?" a player was to later quip to biographer John Eisenberg. Former Razorback Lamar McHan beat out Starr.

A Master Plan[edit | edit source]

Through his now legendary coaching style, Lombardi whipped the underachieving Packers into instant winners. he set his plan immediately into action at his very first team meeting. "I have never been on a losing team gentlemen and I do not intend to start now!"

A Dramatic Improvement[edit | edit source]

The results of Lombardi's approach were dramatic. in the season opener against the Chicago Bears, the Packers held on to win 9-6 and celebrated the victory by carrying their new head coach off the field. In his first year on the sidelines, the Packers posted their first winning record since 1947. The team's quick turnaround netted Lombardi unanimous honors as coach of the year.

Regular season[edit | edit source]

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Lombardi’s first game as Packers coach was on September 27.[1] In front of 32,150 fans, the Packers won the game. In the final seven minutes, the Packers put up nine points to win the game by a score of 9-6. Jim Taylor scored a touchdown to put the Packers on the scoreboard. Max McGee would have a sixty-one yard punt which would land on the Bears 2 yard line. The punt set up the final score of the game. Hawg Hanner scored a safety on Bears quarterback Ed Brown.[2] After the game, Jim Ringo grabbed the game ball and gave it to Lombardi.

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
1 September 27 Chicago Bears W 9-6 City Stadium
2 October 4 Detroit Lions W 28-10 City Stadium
3 October 11 San Francisco 49ers W 21-20 City Stadium
4 October 18 Los Angeles Rams L 45-6 Milwaukee County Stadium
5 October 25 at Baltimore Colts L 38-21 Memorial Stadium
6 November 1 at New York Giants L 20-3 Yankee Stadium
7 November 8 at Chicago Bears L 28-17 Wrigley Field
8 November 15 Baltimore Colts L 28-24 Milwaukee County Stadium
9 November 22 Washington Redskins W 21-0 City Stadium
10 November 26 at Detroit Lions W 24-17 Briggs Stadium
11 December 6 at Los Angeles Rams W 38-20 LA Coliseum
12 December 13 at San Francisco 49ers W 36-14 Kezar Stadium

Standings[edit | edit source]

NFL Western
Baltimore Colts 9 3 0 .750 374 251 W-5
Chicago Bears 8 4 0 .667 252 196 W-7
San Francisco 49ers 7 5 0 .583 255 237 L-2
Green Bay Packers 7 5 0 .583 248 246 W-4
Detroit Lions 3 8 1 .273 203 275 L-1
Los Angeles Rams 2 10 0 .167 242 315 L-8

Roster[edit | edit source]

Green Bay Packers roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Rookies and first-year players in italics

Awards, records, and honors[edit | edit source]

  • Vince Lombardi, Coach of the Year [3]

Milestones[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss,p. 225, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
  2. When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss,p. 226, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
  3. When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss,p. 228, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
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