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Eagles’ New Owner Fires Coach Skorich

Jan. 21, 1964 - Jerry Wolman stepped into office as the new owner of the Philadelphia Eagles today and immediately faced up to his responsibilities by revealing that (1) Nick Skorich (right in 1961) will not be retained as head coach and (2) three possible successors already have been contacted, among them Paul Brown and Joe Kuharich. Approval of the NFL of the club’s sale to the 36-year-old Wolman for $5,505,500 was announced by the Eagles at a press conference at the Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia. This had been expected for weeks. So had Wolman’s decision regarding Skorich. “We’ll talk to a lot more — 30, 40, or 50, if necessary,” he said today regarding Skorich’s replacement. He said he wanted someone from the pro ranks, preferably a former head coach because “he would know the trials and tribulations of the job.” Wolman said Skorich was informed Sunday at Pittsburgh, where they were attending a party for Art Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, that his contract would not be renewed. This was just 24 hours before league commissioner Pete Rozelle called Wolman to tell him: “You have 14 for 14 [unanimous approval of the league’s club owners]. I can’t get you more than that.”

“I wasn’t sure when the approval would come,” Jerry explained today, “and I didn’t want to stand in the way of Skorich and his assistants getting other jobs.” Skorich has said repeatedly he had not sought other positions. It is reliably reported, however, that Nick has been contacted by the Packers, Rams, and Browns regarding a job as assistant coach. Skorich expressed no bitterness today, stating: “I was glad to see Wolman get the club. He’s a good man, and I think he’ll be good for the game in Philadelphia.” The Eagles were champions when Skorich took command under a three-year contract in 1961. That year they finished second to the Giants in the Eastern Division. In 1962 and again in 1963 they finished last.


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