Larry Gagner

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Larry Gagner
Larry Gagner (1965 Seminole).png
Gagner from 1965 Seminole yearbook
No. 79
Position: Guard
Personal information
Date of birth: (1943-12-30) December 30, 1943 (age 71)
Place of birth: Cleveland, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school: Daytona Beach (FL) Seabreeze
College: Florida
NFL draft: 1966 / Round: 2 / Pick: 19
AFL draft: 1966 / Round: 3 / Pick: 18
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 59
Games started: 14
Fumbles recovered: 2
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Lawrence Joseph Gagner (born December 30, 1943) is an American former college and professional football player who was a guard in the National Football League (NFL) for five seasons during the 1960s and 1970s. Gagner played college football for the University of Florida, and was recognized as an All-American. He was a second-round pick in the 1966 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL.

Early life[edit]

Gagner was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1943.[1] He attended Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Florida,[2] where he was a standout two-way prep player for the Seabreeze Sandcrabs high school football team.[3] The Sandcrabs posted a 19–2–1 overall win-loss record during Gagner's junior and senior years, and laid claim to the state football championship his junior year.[3] In 2007, forty-six years after he graduated from high school, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) named Gagner to its "All-Century Team," recognizing him as one of the thirty-three greatest Florida high school football players of the last 100 years.[3]

College career[edit]

Gagner accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and played for coach Ray Graves' Florida Gators football teams from 1963 to 1965.[4] During his college career, Gagner primarily played offensive guard, but also appeared at center, defensive tackle, and linebacker due to his combination of strength and speed.[5] He was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1964 and 1965, and a first-team All-American in 1965.[4] As a senior lineman, Gagner participated in the 1966 Sugar Bowl, the Gators' first-ever major bowl appearance. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in fine arts in 1967, and was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great."[6]

Professional career[edit]

Gagner was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round (nineteenth pick overall) of the 1966 NFL Draft, and also by the Miami Dolphins in the third round (eighteenth pick overall) of the 1966 American Football League (AFL) Draft.[7] Gagner signed with the Steelers for the then-staggering sum of $150,000,[5] and played regularly at guard from 1966 until 1969, starting 14 games.[1]

In March 1970, Gagner was involved in a serious traffic accident near his home in Ormond Beach, Florida in which he broke his hip.[8] The injury and the resulting rehabilitation kept him from playing during the 1970 and 1971 seasons. Gagner was traded to the New York Giants and then the Denver Broncos while injured and didn't take the field for either team. In 1972, he returned to action as a reserve lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs[9] but never was able to perform as he had before his injury and decided to retire during preseason training camp in 1973.[8] In his NFL career, Gagner appeared in fifty-nine games.

In 1974 and 1975, Gagner played sparingly for the Jacksonville franchise of the World Football League before finally retiring from football for good when the league folded.[8][10]

Life after football[edit]

After football, Gagner worked several different jobs, including as a taxi driver, security guard, and substitute teacher, before deciding to make use of his college degree in commercial art. He and his wife Doris live in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa, Florida, where he is a working artist.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Larry Gagner. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  2. ^ databaseFootball.com, Players, Larry Gagner. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "FHSAA announces 33-member All-Century football team," Florida High School Athletic Association (December 12, 2007). Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  4. ^ a b 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 97, 90, 96, 181 (2011). Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Bernard Kahn, "Gagner Signs For $150,000," Daytona Beach Morning Journal, p. 6 (January 4, 1966). Retrieved December 17, 2011.
  6. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  7. ^ Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1966 Draft. Retrieved June 2, 2010
  8. ^ a b c Bob Smizik, "Ex-Steelers guard Gagner sculpts a promising career," The Pittsburgh Press, p. D2 (June 29, 1987). Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  9. ^ National Football League, Historical Players, Larry Gagner. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  10. ^ United Press International, "Sports Briefs: Two Sign Contracts," The Altus Times-Democrat, p. 8 (May 28, 1975). Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  11. ^ Erika Vidal, "Larry, quite contrary," St. Petersburg Times (April 27, 2007). Retrieved June 2, 2010.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.

External links[edit]