John Gonzaga

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Gonzaga
No. 76, 79
Position: Offensive lineman / Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1933-03-06)March 6, 1933
Place of birth: Martinez, California
Date of death: May 17, 2007(2007-05-17) (aged 74)
Place of death: West Bloomfield Township, Michigan
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 247 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school: Mount Diablo (CA)
College: None
Undrafted: 1956
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 132
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

John Louis Gonzaga (March 6, 1933 – May 17, 2007) was an American football offensive lineman in the National Football League for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and the Detroit Lions. He also played in the American Football League for the Denver Broncos.

Early years[edit]

Gonzaga played football for Mount Diablo High School, but didn't attend college, instead going to work to help support his family. He continued to be involved in the sport by playing sandlot football.

Professional career[edit]

San Francisco 49ers[edit]

On October 21, 1956, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Francisco 49ers, even though he never played a down of college football and he was working at the time in a steel mill.

As a rookie, he was played at middle linebacker. The next year, he was used as a two-way right tackle. In 1958, he was moved to the left side, where he started for two seasons.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft and became the first starter at right defensive end in franchise history, while also leading the team in sacks.

On August 21, 1961, after asking to be traded, he was sent to the Detroit Lions in exchange for offensive guard Bob Grottkau and rookie Houston Entwine.[1]

Detroit Lions[edit]

The Detroit Lions moved him to left tackle in his first two seasons with the team and then changed him to left guard. After being a five-year starter, he was released on August 30, 1966.[2]

Denver Broncos (AFL)[edit]

On September 6, 1966, he was signed as a free agent by the Denver Broncos of the American Football League. He played right guard in eleven games.

Personal life[edit]

Gonzaga came from a family of 14 children and Portuguese descent. He worked as a sales manager for Ford Motor Company glass division, until starting his own glass company.[3] He died on May 20, 2007 at his home in West Bloomfield, Michigan after battling an illness.[4]


  1. ^ "Grottkau Traded To Cowboy Eleven". Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Ex-Navy Ace, Vets Released by Pros". Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Former Bronco John Gonzaga dies". Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Former Denver Broncos player, John Gonzaga, dead at 74". Retrieved April 30, 2017. 

External links[edit]