Lonnie Warwick

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Lonnie Warwick
Date of birth (1942-02-26) February 26, 1942 (age 73)
Place of birth Raleigh, West Virginia
Career information
Position(s) Linebacker
College Tennessee Tech
NFL draft 1964 / Round:
Career history
As player
1965–1972 Minnesota Vikings
1973–1974 Atlanta Falcons
Career stats

Lonnie Warwick (born February 26, 1942) is a former professional American football player. He played 10 seasons in the National Football League, with the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons. He started in Super Bowl IV.

College career[edit]

Lonnie attended Mount Hope High School in Mount Hope, West Virginia where he participated in the 1959 state championship game, was named all-state in both football and basketball, and graduated in 1960.[1] In 2013, Warwick was inducted to the West Virginia North-South Football Hall of Fame.[2] He attended at the University of Tennessee for a year. Transferring within a year, Warwick and played college football for Tennessee Tech, where he is a member of the Tennessee Tech Hall of Fame.[1]

NFL career[edit]

Warwick ended up working for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Arizona for a year, before signing a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings in 1964.[1][3] He became the starting middle linebacker of the legendary Purple People Eaters Vikings defense of the late 1960s and early 1970s.[4] He was named the "meanest man" in football by former teammate Joe Kapp.[5]

Warwick led the Vikings in tackles for four years, and returned a blocked punt (gridiron football) for a touchdown in 1965.[6] He had four interceptions and recovered two fumbles during the 1969 season, and caught three interceptions in 1970.[4][7] He was the starting linebacker in Super Bowl IV, where the Kansas City Chiefs upset the heavily favored Vikings.[4] Warwick played despite spraining his left ankle during the National Football League Championship Game against the Cleveland Browns the previous week.[8] He was injured with knee problems for most of 1971, where he played four games, and 1972, playing just six games.[7][9] He became a member of the Atlanta Falcons in 1973, after being unable to reach a contract agreement with the Vikings. He played for the Falcons in all fourteen games in both 1973 and 1974 before retiring.[7][9]

After football[edit]

He became a coach for the Washington Redskins for several years, where he also occasionally suited up as a player.[1][4] He coached semi-professional teams in West Virginia, and with the Denver Gold of the United States Football League.[1] He currently resides in Mount Hope in Fayette County, West Virginia where he helps out local high school football teams.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Warwick to join N–S Hall of Fame". Fayette Tribune. June 10, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ Rollins, J. Daniel (July 21, 2013). "Mount Hope's Warwick recalls legendary career". The Register-Herald. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ Olson, Jack (July 20, 1970). "A Man of Machismo". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Woodson, Brian (June 2, 2007). "Warwick's NFL memories are still vivid". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  5. ^ Kaine, Elinor (January 3, 1970). "Meanest Man in Pro Football: Rams' Warwick, says Kapp". The Miami News. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "50 Seasons of Minnesota Vikings Football: Lonnie Warwick". Vikings.com. National Football League. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Lonnie Warwick NFL Football Statistics". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Warwick Will Play Despite Leg Injury". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Associated Press. January 7, 1970. p. 14. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Major Trade Between Atlanta and Minnesota". Wilmington Star News (United Press International). May 15, 1973. Retrieved 1 March 2014.