I’ve done a couple of editions of Forgotten Football Teams, but today, we’re moving on to a new segment called Forgotten Coaches. This will be about, you guessed it, head coaches. There have been a lot of successful head coaches in the NFL. However, for every Chuck Noll, there’s at least 10 or 20 that are…not Chuck Noll. This is something new I’d like to try and hopefully everyone will enjoy.
For today’s edition, our feature will be on Charley Winter. Now naturally, a search in Google will pop up with a different Charlie. I’m of course talking about Charlie Sheen and his catchphrase of “winning.” Sadly, we’re not talking about Charlie Sheen today. But who knows, maybe he’ll become a NFL head coach some day.
Winner was a head coach in the NFL for seven seasons, five with the St. Louis Cardinals and two with the New York Jets. Winner started his NFL head coaching career in 1966 with the Cardinals. Prior to that, he had spent the previous 12 seasons as an assistant in Baltimore, working under both Weeb Ewbank and Don Shula. In fact, Winner is the son-in-law of Ewbank.
Winner had taken over for Wally Lemm, who had left to coach in the AFL for the Houston Oilers. The Cardinals during ’66 were led by QB Charley Johnson, who was a couple years removed from one of his best seasons.
Winner was able to take a team that went 5-9 the previous season and get them to an 8-5-1 record and fourth place in the NFL Eastern Division. With their fourth place finish, the Cardinals missed out on the playoffs. Winner’s efforts did not go unnoticed. He was runner-up to Dallas’ Tom Landry in the Coach of the Year Voting. Landry had 19 votes, while Winner had nine. Another fun fact: The 1966 season was the Cardinals first playing at Busch Stadium (the old one). » Continue reading “Forgotten Coaches: Charley Winner”