Jack Zilly
No. 42, 56, 88
Position:End, defensive end
Personal information
Born:(1921-11-11)November 11, 1921
Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S.
Died:December 18, 2009(2009-12-18) (aged 88)
Narragansett, Rhode Island, U.S.
Career information
College:Notre Dame
NFL draft:1945 / Round: 4 / Pick: 32
(by the Cleveland Rams)[1]
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:279

John Lynus Zilly[2] (November 11, 1921 – December 18, 2009) was a professional American football player who played end for six seasons for the Los Angeles Rams[3] and the Philadelphia Eagles.[4]

Zilly played right end for Notre Dame on their national championship team in 1943. During World War II, he served two years in the Navy, fighting in the Pacific. After the war, he returned to Notre Dame to help guide that team to another national championship in 1946. While Zilly was a sixth round draft pick for the San Francisco 49ers of the All-America Football Conference, he did not play for that team.[5] Instead as a fourth round draft pick for the then-Cleveland Rams in 1945, he played six seasons in the NFL for the L. A. Rams and the 1952 Eagles. While in California, Zilly also appeared in five movies, the best-known being Twelve O'Clock High.

When his playing career ended, Zilly coached at Montana State, Rhode Island, Notre Dame, for the Eagles, and in the Canadian Football League. On January 8, 1978, Zilly coached the American team to a 22–7 victory over Canada in the first-ever Can-Am Bowl, at Tampa Stadium. His 1978 team consisted of future University of South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt and future Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins general manager, Bruce Allen.[6]

After leaving football, Zilly owned and ran a successful real-estate company until his retirement.

Zilly died on December 18, 2009, in Narragansett, Rhode Island.[5]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Rhode Island Rams (Yankee Conference) (1963–1969)
1963 Rhode Island 4–5 2–3 3rd
1964 Rhode Island 3–7 1–4 5th
1965 Rhode Island 2–7 1–4 5th
1966 Rhode Island 1–7–1 1–3–1 5th
1967 Rhode Island 6–2–1 2–2–1 3rd
1968 Rhode Island 3–6 2–3 T–3rd
1969 Rhode Island 2–7 1–4 T–15th
Rhode Island: 21–41–2 10–23–2
Total: 21–41–2


  1. ^ "1945 Cleveland Rams". databaseFootball.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2007. Retrieved July 17, 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ "Jack Zilly". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
  3. ^ "Rams All-Time Roster Varrichione-Zontini" (PDF). stlouisrams.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 10, 2006. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
  4. ^ "Philadelphia Eagles All-Time Roster" (PDF). philadelphiaeagles.com. Retrieved 2009-03-10.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b Former Notre Dame player Zilly dies at 88 Chicago Tribune, Associated Press story. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  6. ^ "Philadelphia Can-Am Bowl I". Tampa Sports History. Retrieved 2009-12-23.