Lindy Infante

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Lindy Infante
Personal information
Date of birth (1940-03-27) March 27, 1940 (age 74)
Place of birth Miami, Florida
Career information
Position(s) Halfback
College University of Florida
High school Miami Senior High School
Career highlights
Awards UF Athletic Hall of Fame
NFL Coach of the Year (1989)
Head coaching record
Postseason 0–1 .000 (NFL)
Career record 36–60 .375 (NFL)
Stats
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Team(s) as a player
1963 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1965
19661971
1972–1974
1975
1976
19771978
1979
1980
19811982
1984–1985
19861987
19881991
1995
19961997
Miami Senior High (Asst.)
University of Florida (Asst.)
Memphis State (OC)
Charlotte Hornets (Asst.)
Tulane (OC)
New York Giants (WRs)
Tulane University (OC)
Cincinnati Bengals (QBs)
Cincinnati Bengals (OC)
Jacksonville Bulls
Cleveland Browns (OC)
Green Bay Packers
Indianapolis Colts (OC)
Indianapolis Colts

Gelindo Infante (born March 27, 1940), nicknamed Lindy Infante, is an American former college football player and assistant coach, who became an offensive coordinator and head coach in both the National Football League (NFL) and the United States Football League (USFL). Infante played college football for the University of Florida, and later served as the head coach of the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL, and the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL.

Early life[edit]

Infante was born in Miami, Florida in 1940.[1] He attended Miami Senior High School, where he played high school football and was the star fullback for the Miami Stingarees.

College career[edit]

Infante received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and he played tailback for coach Ray Graves' Florida Gators football team from 1960 to 1962.[2] He was also a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity (Epsilon Zeta Chapter) while he was an undergraduate. Memorably, Infante scored the go-ahead touchdown in the Gators' 18–17 upset of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in 1960, scored three touchdowns in their 21–7 victory over the Clemson Tigers in 1961,[3] and was a senior team captain and a third-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1962.[2] During his undergraduate playing days, he also suffered two severe injuries: a ruptured lung against the LSU Tigers in 1960, and a season-ending broken leg against LSU in 1962.[4]

Infante graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1964, and he was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Distinguished Letter Winner" in 1988. [5][6]

Infante returned to his alma mater in 1966, where he worked as an assistant football coach under head coaches Graves and Doug Dickey until 1971,[2] and was responsible for recruiting legendary Gator wide receiver Carlos Alvarez. He went on to serve as the offensive coordinator at Memphis State from 1972 to 1974.

NFL assistant and coordinator[edit]

Infante was the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals in the early 1980s under Forrest Gregg. His offense, quarterbacked by Ken Anderson, led the Bengals to the 1981 AFC title, and a berth in Super Bowl XVI. During the summer of 1983, he was offered and accepted the head coach position for the upstart Jacksonville Bulls for the USFL's inaugural 1984 spring football season; citing potentially divided loyalties, the Bengals management promptly fired him before the start of the 1983 NFL fall season.[7] Infante served as the Bulls' head coach during their two spring football seasons in 1984 and 1985. After the USFL folded following its second and last season, he became the offensive coordinator of the Bernie Kosar-quarterbacked Cleveland Browns during the 1986 and 1987 NFL fall seasons.[8] Under Infante, the 1987 Browns were the second-highest-scoring offense in the AFC.[8]

Green Bay Packers head coach[edit]

After leaving Cleveland, Infante became an NFL head coach for the first time, leaving Cleveland to replace Forrest Gregg as head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1988. That first season, the Packers endured losing streaks of five and seven games and finished with a 4–12 record. Infante's second season, 1989, was his most successful; after a slow start, the Packers won five of their last six games, finishing 10–6, only missing the playoffs on a tie-breaker with the rival Minnesota Vikings. For his efforts, Infante was named the 1989 AP NFL Coach of the Year. In 1990, the Packers started 6–5, only to lose their final five games and finish 6–10 and out of the playoffs. That five-game losing streak continued into 1991, when the Packers lost six of their first seven games, and finished 4–12. A 27–7 season-ending victory over the Vikings notwithstanding, Infante was fired by the Packers' new general manager, Ron Wolf, before the beginning of the 1992 season.

Indianapolis Colts[edit]

A second shot at head coaching came in 1996, when Infante replaced the retired Ted Marchibroda as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, who had reached the AFC title game in 1995. The season opened with great success, as the Colts started 5–1, but a four-game losing streak in the heart of the season ended their chances at an AFC East division title. Although they qualified for the playoffs as a wild card team, the Colts had to go to Pittsburgh to face the defending AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Although the Colts led 14–13 at the half, a second half collapse allowed the Steelers to claim a 42–14 victory. It was Infante's only NFL playoff game; Indianapolis lost their first ten games of the 1997 season, finishing 3–13. Infante was fired shortly after the season's end.

As an NFL head coach, Infante compiled a career record of 36–60–0, with an 0–1 record in the playoffs.

Life after football[edit]

Infante is retired and lives in Crescent Beach, Florida with his wife Stephanie.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pro-Football-Reference, Lindy Infante. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 96, 124, 163, 174, 177, 182 (2011). Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  3. ^ Peter Golenbeck, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, St. Petersburg, Florida, pp. 135–138, 147–148 (2002).
  4. ^ Golenbeck, Go Gators!, pp. 141–143, 161.
  5. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, Distinguished Letterwinners. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "Lindy Infante among seven Florida athletic honorees," The Gaineville Sun, p. 5C (April 6, 1988). Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  7. ^ Paul Zimmerman, "In Cincy, The News Isn't Good," Sports Illustrated (September 12, 1983). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Paul Zimmerman, "AFC Central," Sports Illustrated (August 29, 1988). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  9. ^ Gene Frenette, "Where are they now: Former Jacksonville Bulls coach Lindy Infante," The Florida Times-Union (August 7, 2010). Retrieved July 8, 2011.

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.