Tippett, Andre : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Tippett, Andre

Andre Bernard Tippett

Tippett was a five-time Pro Bowler, and one of the most feared NFL pass rushers of the 1980s while playing for the New England Patriots. An All-America at the University of Iowa, he led the Hawkeyes to the 1981 Big Ten championship and the 1982 Rose Bowl. On July 20, 2003, Tippett was named New England's football development and promotions director.

Born an African-American Baptist, he converted to Judaism in 1997 and married the former Rhonda Kenney, who came from a conservative Jewish family. Tippett said about the conversion, "I wanted to keep the family as one from a religious standpoint. I thought it would be great to convert to Judaism and have a Jewish home...The thing about Judaism that has got me excited is the tradition...I look forward to having my kids going to Hebrew school and being involved from that standpoint. Friday night services will also be a part of our lives."

Birth and Death Dates:
b. December 27, 1959

Career Highlights:
Tippett had an outstanding career at the University of Iowa before playing in the NFL. A two-time All-Big Ten selection, he led the Big Ten in sacks (20) as a junior in 1980 and also set the Iowa season record for tackles for loss that year with 153. In 1981, Andre was the team co-captain and a consensus All-America while leading Iowa to its first winning season in 19 years. The Hawkeyes finished the regular season 8-3-0 (6-2-0 in conference), were Big Ten co-champions, and ranked No. 15 in the UP poll (No. 18 in the AP). In the Rose Bowl that year, the Hawkeyes lost to Washington, 28-0.

After graduating in 1982, Tippett was selected by New England in the second round (41st overall) of the NFL Draft. In his third season (1984) in the NFL, Andre had an amazing 18.5 sacks, setting the franchise record. The following season, he had another fantastic year with 16.5 sacks and was the leader on defense. The Patriots had a record of 11-5-0 and qualified for the playoffs as a wild card team. They won three playoff games to reach the Super Bowl, where they met one of the greatest teams in history, the Chicago Bears, who defeated the Patriots, 46-10.

Tippett played until 1993, when he retired following the season. He recorded his 100th career sack in his final game; at the time, he was just the seventh player in NFL history to reach 100 career sacks. Tippett was selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls, from 1985-1989, and played in 151 career NFL games for New England. Also a member of Iowa's All-Time Team, in 1999 Tippett was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame; his No. 56 has also been retired by the franchise.

Birmingham, Alabama

Career Dates:
Tippett played at the University of Iowa from 1978-1981. He then played as a linebacker in the NFL for the New England Patriots from 1982-1993.

Physical description:
6'3", 240 pounds

Career Statistics:
In the NFL:
Games: 151

Tackles: 798
Sacks: 100
Interceptions: 1
Forced fumbles: 15
Fumble recoveries: 17
Touchdowns: 2 (both on fumble recoveries)

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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)

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