Sherman, Allie : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Sherman, Allie

Alexander Sherman

Sherman was the storied coach of the NFL's New York Giants from 1961-1968. His division titles with the NFL Giants from 1961-63 were the highlights of his coaching career. Allie was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1961 and 1962, the first time such an honor was awarded to the same person in consecutive years.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. February 10, 1923

Career Highlights:
Before becoming a head coach in the NFL, Sherman was the captain of the 1941-1942 Brooklyn College football team. After graduating in 1943, Allie joined the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. In his rookie season, he played with a combined Philadelphia-Pittsburgh 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 1944-1946. In 1946, Allie 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 Biggie Goldberg) 28-21. Sherman retired following the 1947 season, having played in 51 career NFL games.

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. In 1957, Sherman returned to the Giants as a scout and then joined the coaching staff two years later.

Finally in 1961, Allie 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. In 1963, the Giants won their third straight division title, but again lost in the NFL Championship Games, this time to the Chicago Bears, 14-10 (it was the Giants' last appearance in a championship game until the 1986 Super Bowl).

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 1968, New York fans wanted Sherman fired and they got their wish when the season ended, although the team had a 7-7 record. Sherman had a career record fof 57-51-4 during his tenure as Giants coach. Sherman is a member of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Commack, New York.

Brooklyn, New York

Career Dates:
Sherman played quarterback at Brooklyn College from 1939-1942. He played as a quarterback and defensive back in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1943-1947, and became Coach of the New York Giants from 1961-1968.

Physical description:
5'8", 168 pounds

Career Statistics:
In the NFL:
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 record: 57-51-4; 0-3 in the playoffs.

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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: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)