|Born:||October 18, 1933|
|Died:||April 12, 2019(aged 85)|
Colorado Springs, Colorado
|NFL Draft||1956 / Round: 2 / Pick: 20|
|NFL Supplemental Draft||/ Pick:|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Career highlights and awards|
Alvis Forrest Gregg (October 18, 1933 – April 12, 2019) was an American football player and coach in the National Football League. During a Pro Football Hall of Fame playing career, he was a part of six championships, five of them with the Green Bay Packers before closing out his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys with a win in Super Bowl VI. He went on to serve as head coach of three teams: the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Green Bay Packers.
College years[edit | edit source]
Professional career[edit | edit source]
Gregg was a key player on the Packers dynasty that won five NFL championships and two Super Bowls in the 1960s. Gregg earned an "iron-man" tag by playing in a then-league record 188 consecutive games from 1956 until 1971. He also won All-NFL acclaim eight straight years from 1960 through 1967 and was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls.
Gregg closed his career with the Dallas Cowboys, as did his Packer teammate, cornerback Herb Adderley. They both helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl VI, making them the only players (along with former teammate Fred Thurston, who was on the Baltimore Colts world championship team in 1958) in professional football history to play on six teams that won World Championships.
Vince Lombardi, the famed head coach of the Packers in the 1960s, claimed "Forrest Gregg is the finest player I ever coached!" in his book Run to Daylight. In 1999, he was ranked number 28 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, ranking him second behind Ray Nitschke among players coached by Lombardi, second behind Anthony Munoz (whom he coached) among offensive tackles, and third behind Munoz and John Hannah among all offensive linemen.
Coaching career[edit | edit source]
After serving as an assistant with the San Diego Chargers in 1973, he took a similar position the following year with the Browns. After head coach Nick Skorich was dismissed at the conclusion of the 1974 NFL season, Gregg took over as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, a position he held until 1977.
After sitting out the 1978 season, Gregg returned to coaching in 1979 with the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts. In 1980 he became the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals and remained until 1983. Gregg's most successful season as a head coach was in 1981, when he coached the Bengals to a 12–4 regular season record and they went on to defeat the San Diego Chargers 27–7 in the AFC championship game (known as the Freezer Bowl), earning them a trip to the Super Bowl. They lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XVI 26–21.
He finished his NFL coaching career with his old team, the Packers, from 1984–1987. Gregg's overall record as an NFL coach was 75 wins, 85 losses, and one tie. He also won two and lost two playoff games. 
After coaching in the NFL, Gregg went on to coach for two years at Southern Methodist University, his alma mater, during the 1989 and 1990 seasons. He was brought in to revive the Mustang football program after it received the "death penalty" from the NCAA for serious institutional infractions. Although the NCAA had only canceled the 1987 season, school officials later opted to cancel the 1988 season as well due to concerns it wouldn't be able to field a competitive team. As it turned out, when Gregg arrived, he was presented with a severely undersized and underweight roster composed mostly of freshmen. Gregg was taller and heavier than nearly the entire team, and had to make several wide receivers bulk up so they could become offensive linemen. By nearly all accounts, it would have been unthinkable for the Mustangs to attempt to play the 1988 season under such conditions. In 1989, the Mustangs went 2-9, including a 95-21 thrashing by Houston--the second-worst loss in school history. After the season, he was named athletic director. The Mustangs went 1-10 in 1990, and after the season Gregg resigned as coach to focus on his duties as athletic director. Gregg's coaching record at SMU was 3 wins and 19 losses. He served as athletic director until 1994.
Illness ans Death[edit | edit source]
In October 2011, Gregg was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, thought to be caused by years of concussions from playing football.
On April 12, 2019, Gregg died at the age of 85 due to complications of the disease.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Frank, Peter. "'88 football season canceled by SMU." New York Times, 1987-04-11.