Bill McPeak
refer to caption
McPeak in 1961
No. 84
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born:(1926-07-26)July 26, 1926
New Castle, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died:May 7, 1991(1991-05-07) (aged 64)
Foxboro, Massachusetts, U.S.
Career information
NFL draft:1948 / Round: 16 / Pick: 142
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

William Patrick McPeak (July 24, 1926 – May 7, 1991) was an American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 16th round of the 1948 NFL Draft, playing nine seasons for them. He also was the head coach of the Washington Redskins and offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins.

Playing career

Born in New Castle, Pennsylvania, McPeak was a star defensive end for the University of Pittsburgh. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers where he played from 1949 to 1957.[1] During the final two years of his playing career he also became an assistant coach for the team.

Head coaching career

In 1959, McPeak joined the Washington Redskins as an assistant under head coach Mike Nixon. After Nixon's dismissal following the 1960 NFL season, McPeak was promoted to head coach and general manager, and remained in that position until 1965.[2] Although the Redskins did not have a winning season under McPeak with an overall 21-46-3 record, the team acquired players, many of whom would become future Hall of Famers, that would eventually play a part in their later winning years. They include Sonny Jurgensen Bobby Mitchell, Charley Taylor, Jerry Smith, Len Hauss, and Chris Hanburger.

Later coaching and scouting

After spending the 1966 season as a color commentator for St. Louis Cardinals games on CBS, McPeak joined the Detroit Lions as an offensive coordinator in 1967, a position he held until 1972 when he moved on to the Miami Dolphins to replace Howard Schnellenberger who became head coach of the Baltimore Colts. His tenure in Miami would last for only two seasons due to complications suffered after a stroke, which he spent several years recovering from. He would later join the New England Patriots after returning to health, where he became director of scouting for twelve years.

McPeak died of a heart attack on May 7, 1991, at the age of 64 at his home in Foxboro, Massachusetts.


  1. ^ "Bill McPeak". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  2. ^ Nix, JW. "Bill Cowher Is Ready To Coach the Washington Redskins". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 7 January 2020.