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Halas Named NFL Coach of the Year

Dec. 11, 1963 - George Halas, the 68-year-old pro football pioneer and Hall of Fame member whose Chicago Bears are close to another title, has been named coach of the year in the National Football League by an Associated Press panel of sportswriters and broadcasters from the 14 league cities. The Bears need only to win or tie their last game Sunday with the Detroit Lions to clinch the Western Conference championship. Two major victories over the defending champion Green Bay Packers are included in the Bears’ 10-1-2 record. It was a big year for Halas in the NFL. As owner of the Bears, he was under heavy attack. Critics said his coaching methods were outmoded and his style was outdated. They called for a fresh coaching approach at Chicago. Revamping his defense for simplicity, Halas built a title contender out of a team that finished third with a 9-5 record last year. The Bears have primarily the same personnel as last year, but the tougher new defense has been the answer, along with a ball-control offense. Halas is rounding out his 44th season of pro football and his 36th — in four different terms — as head coach of the Bears, a team he founded as the Decatur, Ill., Staleys in 1920 and moved to Chicago in 1921. An end at Illinois under Bob Zuppke, Halas was a player-coach with the Bears until he retired in 1929. Halas is generally credited with making pro football when he signed Red Grange in 1925. Down through the years, he has been player, talent scout, publicity man, ticket seller, coach, owner, and chairman of the board of the Bears. He was a founder of the NFL 44 years ago and since has been a commanding figure in the organization.


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