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Sherman, Alexander

SHERMAN, ALEXANDER

SHERMAN, ALEXANDER ("Allie "; 1923– ), U.S. football player and coach, twice named nfl Coach of the Year. Sherman began his career at his hometown school of Brooklyn College playing quarterback, where he was named team captain in 1941. After graduating in 1943, Sherman was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, though in his first season they were the "Steagles" (Steelers + Eagles). Sherman retired from the nfl in 1947, having appeared in 51 games as a reserve quarterback. In 1949, he was named backfield coach for the Giants and was on their staff throughout the 1950s except for 1953–56, when he served as head coach in the Canadian Football League. Sherman was named head coach of the Giants in 1961 and responded by leading the 1961 Giants, who were bolstered by the addition of future Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle, to a 10–3-1 record and a first place finish in the Eastern League. In recognition of the turn-around, Sherman was voted nfl Coach of the Year. For the 1962 season, Sherman was given an added gun with the return of receiver Frank Gifford to the lineup. Sherman, now working with three future Hall of Famers – Tittle, Gifford, and veteran linebacker Sam Huff – guided the Giants to a 12–2 record and another first place finish in the Eastern League. Again, Sherman was named nfl Coach of the Year, the first time a coach had won in two consecutive years. The Giants had another banner season in 1963, finishing atop the Eastern League for a third straight time with an 11–3 record. Giant's management rewarded Sherman with a 10-year contract. However, trades, retirements, and injuries took their toll, as the Giants would go 24–43–3 over the next five seasons, and Sherman was released. He would make one more appearance as a head coach, leading the North to a 27–16 victory over the South in the 1969 collegiate Senior Bowl. In later years, Sherman worked as an executive for Time-Warner, and, by appointment of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, served for two years as the president of the New York City otb Corporation.

[Robert B. Klein (2nd ed.)]

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