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Dan Reeves - Hired Coach George Allen

Famous Sports StarsFootballDan Reeves Biography - Brought First Major Team To West Coast, Hired Coach George Allen, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments

Hired Coach George Allen

The Rams won NFL championship titles in 1951 and 1955, during a high point of the team's history. But by 1956 a personality clash between Reeves and co-owner Pauley was beginning to have a detrimental effect on the Rams. In 1962 a solution was finally reached when Reeves bought out Pauley and other owners for $4.8 million. Meanwhile, the Rams' performance had dipped. After seven consecutive losing seasons, Reeves hired a new coach to pull the Rams out of their slump.

The new coach was the flamboyant, talented George Allen, who would later gain a reputation for transforming losing teams into consistent winners. Once a former assistant coach for the Rams, Allen was hired in 1966 as head coach. His effect on the team was immediate. The Rams became contenders once again, thanks to Allen's creation of the "Fearsome Foursome"—a defensive line that included future Hall of Famers Merlin Olsen and Deacon Jones.

Despite Allen's stellar winning record, the head coach clashed with Reeves. The Rams owner disapproved of some of Allen's tactics, which included spying on other teams and publicly criticizing the Rams' opponents after defeats. Reeves fired Allen in December 1968, but rehired the popular coach when the players threatened to strike. Two years later, Allen's contract expired and Reeves failed to renew it.

During the early 1960s tension had mounted between the NFL and its rival, the American Football League (AFL). When the two leagues finally merged in 1966-67, Reeves took a key role in representing the NFL team owners. It was Reeves' general manager, Tex Schramm, who negotiated on behalf of the NFL during the historic negotiations.

Chronology

1912 Born June 30 in New York, NY
1930 Enters Georgetown University (leaves before completing degree)
1935 Marries Mary V. Corroon
1941 Purchases two-thirds of Cleveland Rams franchise
1942 Serves in Army Air Corps as second lieutenant, then captain
1943 Joins Wall Street firm Adler, Coleman and Co.
1946 Moves Rams to Los Angeles
1946 Hires NFL's first African American players since 1932
1946 Founds Wall Street firm Daniel Reeves & Co.
1966 Hires head coach George Allen
1967 Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame
1971 Dies at age 58

Awards and Accomplishments

1930 General Excellence Medal, Newman School
1946 First sports team owner to bring a major team to the West Coast
1946 First post-World War II NFL owner to hire an African American player
late 1940s First NFL owner to employ a full-time scouting staff
1967 Pro Football Hall of Fame

Reeves died on April 15, 1971, in New York City. The cause of death was Hodgkin's disease. He was fifty-eight years old. Four years before his death, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He will be remembered for his historic contributions to the game, including his essential role in football's cross-country expansion to the West Coast.

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