Alex Webster
No. 29
Position:Halfback, fullback
Personal information
Born:(1931-04-19)April 19, 1931
Kearny, New Jersey, U.S.
Died:March 3, 2012(2012-03-03) (aged 80)
Port St. Lucie, Florida, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
College:NC State
NFL draft:1953 / Round: 11 / Pick: 123
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:4,638
Player stats at PFR

Alexander "Red" Webster (April 19, 1931 – March 3, 2012) was an American professional football player who was a fullback and halfback in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants. He was also the head coach of the Giants from 1969 to 1973.

Early life

The son of recent Scottish immigrants James and Alexandrina Webster, Alex Webster grew up in Kearny, New Jersey,[1] where he attended and played football at Kearny High School.[2] Webster played a key role on Kearny High School's football team which won the 1948 New Jersey High School State Championship.[3] After losing his father to cancer at an early age in 1941, Webster and his younger brother James were raised with the help of uncles and aunts and excelled in football, earning college scholarships.

As a senior at Kearny High School in 1948, Alex Webster was offered a full-ride scholarship from NFL legend Beattie Feathers[4] to play college football at North Carolina State University. While playing for the Wolfpack, Alex "Big Red" Webster led the Southern Conference in scoring in 1951 with 78 points and remained a standout in 1952 before being drafted into the NFL.[5]

National Football League career

Webster was drafted in the 11th round of the 1953 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, but chose to play professional Canadian football for the Montreal Alouettes from 1953 to 1954. While in Canada, he was named a Big Four all-star in 1954 and played in that year's Grey Cup.

In 1955, Webster returned to the United States and played for the New York Giants from 1955 to 1964. In his first year with the Giants, Webster led the team in rushing with 634 yards. While with the Giants, he rushed for 4,638 yards, caught 240 passes for 2,679 yards, and scored 56 touchdowns (39 rushing and 17 receiving). He was named to the Pro Bowl twice, in 1958 and 1961. With 336 points, Webster is 10th on the Giants' career scoring list.[6]

In 1956, Webster played in the NFL championship game against the Chicago Bears featuring Hall of Fame players and coaches. Webster scored two touchdowns in the second half and contributed with 103 all-purpose yards. The game came to be known as the second "Sneakers Game" because the Giants chose to play in high-top Chuck Taylors due to icy field conditions. The Giants won the game 47-7.

As a player with the New York Giants, Webster played in six NFL Championship games: 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963.[7]

Sportscaster Marty Glickman coined the phrase "a couple or three yards" when describing Webster's running style.[8]

Webster was considered one of the "all-time great Giants"[9] and in 2011, was inducted into the New York Giants' "Ring of Honor". Alex Webster, LB Brad Van Pelt and Carl Banks, TE Mark Bavaro and P Dave Jennings headlined as the second class of the Giants' Ring of Honor inductees.[10] Webster stated that this honor was among the proudest moments of his life. Webster made his last public speech addressing 80,000 fans in attendance accompanied by his grandsons.[11]

Webster is further honored in the New York Giants' Legacy Club where his vintage #29 game jersey, as well as many historic photographs are displayed.

NFL coaching career

Webster eventually became an assistant Giant coach under Allie Sherman, and was promoted to head coach in September 1969.[12][13][14][15] He was named UPI NFL Coach of the Year in 1970, as the Giants finished second in the NFC East at 9–5–0, but a 2–11–1 record in 1973 forced him to resign after five seasons.[16] His overall Giant coaching record was 29 wins, 40 losses, and one tie. His successors, Bill Arnsbarger and John McVay, had similar outcomes as the team struggled through the 1970s.

Head Coaching Record


Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NYG 1969 6 8 0 .429 2nd in NFL Century
NYG 1970 9 5 0 .643 2nd in NFC East
NYG 1971 4 10 0 .286 5th in NFC East
NYG 1972 8 6 0 .571 3rd in NFC East
NYG 1973 2 11 1 .179 5th in NFC East
Total 29 40 1 .421

Personal life

Webster married Louise Eggers in 1952, and had two children (Debra and James), four grandchildren (Kyle, Craig, Tammy, and Alexis), three nephews (Mark, David, and Todd), and a niece (Kristen). Webster also had four grandnieces: Elena, Alexandra, Alexandrina, and Maryn, and great-grandchildren Rachel and Colt.

After retiring from the NFL, Webster worked in sales and public relations for Nabisco until the early 1990s. Webster also worked in public relations for the Dinah Shore Golf Classic, appearing with former athletes and celebrities such as Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Charley Conerley, Frank Gifford, Bob Hope, and President Gerald R. Ford.[17] Webster served as a color commentator for the New York Giants radio broadcasts in the 1960s.

On January 27, 1977, at Toots Shor's funeral, Webster served as an honorary pallbearer along with Pete Rozelle, Art Rooney, Bowie Kuhn, Frank Gifford, Walter Cronkite and Howard Cosell.[18]

Webster owned two restaurants after retiring from the NFL. His first restaurant was called The Stadium,[19] located in Sea Girt, New Jersey, where he lived while he was a coach with the Giants.[20] The interior was decorated with sports memorabilia from the New York Giants, New York Yankees and other professional teams. The other restaurant was called Alex Webster's and located in Tequesta, Florida.[21]

On Nov. 18, 1962, Webster made a guest appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show (Episode #16.8).

Webster appeared on the gameshow Password which aired on March 16, 1964, with teammate Frank Gifford & actress Betsy Palmer (Season 4, Episode 48).[22]


Webster died March 3, 2012, in Port St. Lucie, Florida, aged 80.[23][24][25]


  1. ^ "Giant Star Compares Grid Loops" Archived 2013-07-25 at the Wayback Machine, Hartford Courant, December 18, 1955. Accessed March 29, 2011. "Alex Webster returned to his Kearny, N.J. home today, but before he left the former star Montreal Alouette halfback made it clear he "wants to jump back to Canada" rather than play again for the New York Giants in 1956."
  2. ^ Alex Webster profile Archived 2007-02-07 at the Wayback Machine, Accessed July 12, 2007.
  3. ^ "Kearny High School Football Team: 1948". Archived from the original on November 20, 2008.
  4. ^ "Archived item". Archived from the original on February 21, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  5. ^ "NCS". Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  6. ^ Kercheval, Nancy (March 4, 2012). "Alex Webster, Former N.Y. Giants Running Back, Coach, Dies at 80". Bloomberg.
  7. ^ List of NFL champions (1920–69)
  8. ^ Marty Glickman
  9. ^ Kercheval, Nancy (March 4, 2012). "Alex Webster, Former N.Y. Giants Running Back, Coach, Dies at 80". Bloomberg.
  10. ^ "Giants Announce Class of 2011, Ring of Honor". Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  11. ^ "Kearny native Webster honored as member o". The Observer.
  12. ^ Moore, Robert (September 13, 1969). "Sherman fired; Alex Webster named Giant coach". The Day. (New London, Connecticut). Associated Press. p. 17.
  13. ^ Richman, Milton (September 17, 1969). "Firing Sherman tough task for Giants' boss". The Dispatch. (Lexington, North Carolina). UPI. p. 14.
  14. ^ "Giants say goodbye to Allie as coach". Schenectady Gazette. (New York). Associated Press. September 13, 1969. p. 18.
  15. ^ "Trial of fire for Alex Webster". Montreal Gazette. UPI. September 23, 1969. p. 44.
  16. ^ Lowitt, Bruce. "December 13, 1973". The Day. (New London, Connecticut). Associated Press. p. 34.
  17. ^ Glick, Shav (March 31, 1985). "Golf : DiMaggio and Mays Among Sports Stars in Dinah's Pro-Am". Los Angeles Times.
  18. ^ "Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal - Google News Archive Search".
  19. ^ "Alexander Webster Obituary (2012) - Port St. Lucie, FL - TC Palm".
  20. ^ Sullivan, Joseph F. "Sherwin's Bribery Trial Hears Opening Statements; Proceeding Against Cahill's Secretary of State and 2 Others May Become Test of Trenton Administration", The New York Times, October 17, 1972. Accessed November 23, 2015. "Even Alex Webster, the coach of the New York Giants, is listed among the potential witnesses. He is a resident of Sea Girt and is expected to be called as one of a number of character witnesses."
  21. ^ "Heaven Called".
  22. ^ "Password: Alex Webster, Betsy Palmer, Frank". Archived from the original on July 25, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  23. ^ Giants great Webster dead at 80 NY Post, March 3, 2012
  24. ^ New York Times, 3 March 2012
  25. ^ New York Times Obituary, 5 March, 2012