Frank Nunley

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Frank Nunley
Born: (1945-10-01) October 1, 1945 (age 73)
Lexington, Alabama
Career information
NFL draft1967 / Round: 3 / Pick 62
Career history
As player
1967–1976San Francisco 49ers

Frank Hembre Nunley (born October 1, 1945), known by the nickname Fudge Hammer,[1][2] is a former American football linebacker. He played college football at the University of Michigan from 1964 to 1966 and professional football for the San Francisco 49ers from 1967 to 1976.

Early years[edit]

Nunley was born in Lexington, Alabama, in 1945, and attended Belleville High School in Belleville, Michigan.[3]

University of Michigan[edit]

Nunley played college football for the University of Michigan from 1964 to 1966.[4] He was selected by the Associated Press as a first-team linebacker on its 1966 All-Big Ten Conference football team.[5] He was inducted into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor in 1989.

San Francisco 49ers[edit]

Nunley was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round (62nd overall pick) of the 1967 NFL Draft. He remained with the 49ers for 10 seasons from 1967 to 1976.[3] Playing at the linebacker position, Nunley became a starter in 1969 and anchored the 49ers defense in the early 1970s that ran an innovative "flex" defense under Dick Nolan.[1][2] He helped lead the 1970 and 1971 49ers teams to consecutive appearances in the NFL championship games, losing both times to the Dallas Cowboys.

Later years[edit]

After retiring from football, Nunley lived in Los Altos, California, and sold electronics for Sanmina-SCA.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Linebacker Frank Nunley Key to 'Frisco Defense". The Spartanburg Herald. December 29, 1971. p. B5.
  2. ^ a b "Nunley: Looks Are Deceiving". Gadsden Times. December 25, 1972. p. 18.
  3. ^ a b "Frank Nunley". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  4. ^ "All-Time Football Roster Database". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  5. ^ "Spartans Put Eight On All-Big Ten". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (AP story). November 24, 1966. p. 29.
  6. ^ Matt Maiocco (2011). San Francisco 49ers: Where Have You Gone?. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. ISBN 1613210450.