Neill Armstrong

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For other people named Neil Armstrong, see Neil Armstrong (disambiguation).
Neill Armstrong
Neill Armstrong - 1948 Bowman.jpg
Armstrong on a 1948 Bowman football card
Personal information
Date of birth (1926-03-09) March 9, 1926 (age 89)
Place of birth Tishomingo, Oklahoma
Career information
Position(s) Wide receiver
College Oklahoma A & M
NFL Draft 1947 / Round 1 / Pick 8
Head coaching record
Career record 30–34
Playing stats Pro Football Reference
Playing stats DatabaseFootball
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
1947–1951 Philadelphia Eagles
1951, 1953–1954 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1962–1963 Houston Oilers
1964–1969 Edmonton Eskimos
1970–1977 Minnesota Vikings
1978–1981 Chicago Bears
1982–1989 Dallas Cowboys

Neill Ford Armstrong (born March 9, 1926) is a former American football player and coach whose career spanned more than 40 years at both the collegiate and professional levels.

Playing career[edit]

Armstrong played college football at Oklahoma A & M from 1943–1946, and was drafted in the first round (eighth overall) of the 1947 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Playing both at wide receiver and defensive back, Armstrong helped the team capture the NFL championship in both 1948 and 1949. Armstrong concluded his playing career in the early 1950s playing for the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Coaching career[edit]

In 1962, Armstrong's professional coaching career began when he was hired as an assistant coach with the American Football League Houston Oilers. After serving two years in that capacity, he shifted back to Canada as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos. In his six years, the team reached the postseason three times.

Armstrong was hired as an assistant with the Minnesota Vikings in 1970, and became an integral part of developing the team's dominating defense. After helping the team reach the postseason in all but one of the next eight years, he was hired as head coach of the Chicago Bears on February 16, 1978.

In four years at the helm of the Bears, he was only able to compile a record of 30-35, with one playoff appearance in 1979. He was fired on January 3, 1982, but hired less than two months later as an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys. He spent the next eight seasons with the team before announcing his retirement on February 22, 1990.[1]

He and Bud Grant hold the distinction of being the only two people to have both played and been a head coach in both the NFL and CFL.[2]

Head coaching record[edit]


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CHI 1978 7 9 0 .438 4th in NFC Central
CHI 1979 10 6 0 .625 2nd in NFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to Philadelphia Eagles in NFC Wild-Card Game.
CHI 1980 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC Central
CHI 1981 6 10 0 .375 5 in NFC Central
CHI Total 30 34 0 .469 0 1 .000
Total 30 34 0 .469 0 1 .000

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Oklahoman. "Cowboys Shuffle Coaching Staff". Associated Press, February 23, 1990. Retrieved on May 4, 2013.
  2. ^ Daniels, Rob. "Allan Houston among players on All-Space Team"., August 28, 2010. Retrieved on May 4, 2013.