Allie Sherman
Personal Information
Running back
Defensive back
Head Coach
Born: {{{birthdate}}}
Birthplace: {{{birthplace}}}
Career information
Year(s) [[ NFL season|]]–[[ NFL season|]]
NFL Supplemental Draft / Pick:
College Brooklyn
Professional teams
Career stats
Career highlights and awards
  • No notable acheivements

Alexander "Allie" Sherman (born February 10, 1923, in Brooklyn, New York) is a retired American football National Football League running back and head coach.

Sherman was the coach of the NFL's New York Giants from 1961 to 1969. His division titles with the Giants from 1961 to 1963 were the high points of his coaching career. Sherman collected two NFL Coach of the Year Awards in 1961 and 1962, the first time such an honor was awarded to the same person in consecutive years.

Early lifeEdit

Sherman, who is Jewish, was the son of Russian Jews.[1][2] In high school at Boy's High School in Brooklyn, Sherman was captain of his school's handball team, but did not make the school's football team.[3] A very bright student, he graduated high school at the age of 16.[1]

Brooklyn CollegeEdit

Sherman was the starting quarterback beginning in 1940. He was then the quarterback and captain of the 1941–42 Brooklyn College football team with Johnny Most.[3][4][5]

NFL playing careerEdit

After graduating in 1943 at 20-years-old, he joined the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL as a quarterback and defensive back.[1] In his rookie season, he played with a combined Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers squad (due to manpower shortages caused by World War II). The team, called the Steagles, finished third in the NFL East with a record of 5–4–1.

Sherman spent five seasons with the Eagles, who finished second in the NFL East from 1944 to 1946. In 1946, he completed 17 of 33 passes for 264 yards, and led the league in yards per passing attempt (8.00). The following year, he helped lead the Eagles to the NFL East title with a record of 8–4–0. They tied the Pittsburgh Steelers for first, and then defeated Pittsburgh in a playoff to reach the NFL Championship game. In the championship, the Eagles lost to the Chicago Cardinals (led by All-NFL defensive back Marshall Goldberg) 28–21. Sherman retired following the 1947 season, having played in 51 career NFL games.

NFL player record

Physical: 5 ft 8 in, 168 pounds
Games: 51
Passes completed: 66
Passes attempted: 135
Passing percentage: 48.9
Passing yards: 823
Passing touchdowns: 9
Interceptions thrown: 10
Rushes: 93
Rushing yards: 44
Rushing average: 0.5
Rushing touchdowns: 4
Fumbles: 10
Interceptions: 2
Punts: 1
Punt yards: 27

Coaching careerEdit

Upon his retirement, Sherman turned to coaching and became the New York Giants backfield coach in 1949, a position he held until 1953. That year, he took his first head coaching position with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (one of his players was Hall of Famer Bud Grant) of the Canadian Football League.[3] In 1957, Sherman returned to the Giants as a scout, and then joined the coaching staff two years later as offensive coordinator, replacing Vince Lombardi.[3]

Finally in 1961, Sherman was given an opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL, and he made the most of it. That year, he led the Giants to the NFL Eastern Division championship and a spot in the NFL Championship game. Although they lost the championship to the Green Bay Packers, 37–0, Sherman was named NFL Coach of the Year because the Giants had improved from a 6–4–2 record in 1960 to 10–3–1 in 1961.

The following year, with legendary players such as Y.A. Tittle and Frank Gifford, Sherman continued his winning ways and led the Giants back to the NFL Championship games after they repeated as NFL East champs with a 12–2 record. Sherman was named NFL Coach of the Year although his Giants again fell to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Championship Game, this time 16–7; it was the first time in NFL history that a coach had been named Coach of the Year in back-to-back years.[6] In 1963, the Giants won their third straight division title, but again lost in the NFL Championship Game, this time to the Chicago Bears, 14–10 (it was the Giants' last appearance in a championship game until Super Bowl XXI in the 1986–87 season).

Sherman coached the Giants for another five seasons, but with the retirements of Tittle, Gifford, and other stars, the team did not have the same success. By 1966, the fans were getting restless and talk of firing Sherman became more common. The spectators at Yankee Stadium took to waving "Goodbye Allie" banners and even put the slogan to song.[7] By 1968, even though the team had a record of 7–7, the fans' dissatisfaction reached a peak, and after a poor preseason performance in 1969 (including a 34–17 loss to the New York Jets) they got their wish and Sherman was dismissed. Sherman had a career record of 57–51–4 during his tenure as Giants coach.

Speaking of the rigors of football, Sherman said: "In this game, a player aches from July to December."[8]

NFL coaching record (1961–68 NY Giants): 57–51–4; 0–3 in the playoffs.

Honors, and post-footballEdit

He is a member of the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Commack, New York. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Sherman worked as a professional football analyst for ESPN.

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Last Team Standing. De Capo Press. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  2. Day by day in Jewish sports history. 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Giants among men: how Robustelli, Huff, Gifford, and the Giants made New York a football town and changed the NFL. Random House. 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  4. High Above Courtside: The Lost Memoirs of Johnny Most. Sports Publishing. 2003. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  5. Rise of a Dynasty: The '57 Celtics, the First Banner, and the Dawning of a New America. Penguin. 2010. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  6. The Big Book of Jewish Sports Heros: An Illustrated Compendium of Sports History and The 150 Greatest Jewish Sports Stars. SP Books. 2007. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  7. Pro Football: Roar of the Crowd. (December 23, 1966). Retrieved on January 12, 2011.
  8. Real football: conversations on America's game. 2004. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  • The Encyclopedia of Football, by Roger Treat (New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1976 – 14th Edition)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League, edited by Bob Carroll, Michael Gershman, David Neft, and John Thorn (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999)
  • Encyclopedia of Jews in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)

External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.