Charley Winner

American football head coach

1924 –


Who is Charley Winner?

Charley Winner was a football coach whose professional and personal life was closely intertwined with that of Weeb Ewbank, another coach.

Winner was born in Somerville, New Jersey, and during World War II flew 17 missions in a B-17 Flying Fortress plane, spending six weeks in a German prisoner of war camp. Upon his release from the service, he played running back at Washington University in St. Louis, where Ewbank was head coach. After Ewbank moved on to coach for the Cleveland Browns, Winner took an assistant position with nearby Case Tech, and also served as a scout for the Browns. In 1950, he also married Ewbank's daughter.

When Ewbank was hired as head coach of the Baltimore Colts in 1954, Winner went along and helped the team capture NFL titles in both 1958 and 1959. At the conclusion of the 1962 NFL season, Ewbank was dismissed, but Winner stayed under new coach Don Shula from 1963 to 1965.

On February 10, 1966, Winner was hired as head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. In five seasons at the helm, Winner managed a 35-30-5 record, but after failing to reach the postseason, was fired on January 6, 1971.

The Cardinals posted winning records in three of Winner's five seasons with the Cardinals, but fell achingly short of the playoffs each time. In 1966, the Cardinals started out 5-0 but lost four of their last five games to finish at 8-5-1 and in fourth place in the NFL East. In 1968, St. Louis finished one-half game behind the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Century Division despite sweeping both regular-season meetings with the Browns. In 1970, St. Louis rolled to an 8-2-1 record at the end of November, including three consecutive shutouts over the Houston Oilers, Boston Patriots and Dallas Cowboys. But with the NFC East championship in sight, the Cardinals stumbled in December, losing to the Detroit Lions, New York Giants and Washington Redskins to finish at 8-5-1 and in third place in the division behind Dallas and the Giants.

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Jul 2, 1924
  • United States of America
  • Washington University in St. Louis
Lived in
  • Somerville

on July 23, 2013


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