Kermit Alexander
No. 39
Position:Defensive back
Personal information
Born: (1941-01-04) January 4, 1941 (age 83)
New Iberia, Louisiana, U.S.
Career information
High school:Mount Carmel (Los Angeles, California)
NFL draft:1963 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Career history
Career highlights and awards

Kermit Joseph Alexander (born January 4, 1941) is an American former professional football player who was a defensive back in the National Football League (NFL). He was on the board of directors for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is named after Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott, and is awarded annually to college football's defensive IMPACT Player of the Year.[1]

College career

Alexander played football for the UCLA Bruins. As a member of their track and field team, he won the 1962 NCAA Track and Field Championships national title in the triple jump.[2]

Professional career

Alexander was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the eighth pick in the first round of the 1963 NFL Draft. He was also drafted by the Denver Broncos of the American Football League with the fifth overall pick, but chose to sign with San Francisco. Alexander played alongside Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Jimmy Johnson. Alexander was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1968, after a season in which he had a career-high nine interceptions, including an interception he returned 66 yards for a touchdown. Alexander played for the 49ers from 1963 to 1969.

In his second year with the Los Angeles Rams in 1971, he returned one of his three interceptions 82 yards for a touchdown. He played two more seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1972 and 1973. Kermit was responsible for injuring Gale Sayers's right knee in a rolling tackle which shortened the career of the Bears star running back, and cost Sayers some of his extraordinary quickness.

In addition to playing defense, Alexander returned punts and kickoffs for all three teams. Both of his career punt returns for touchdowns came with San Francisco.[3]

He was one of the fifteen plaintiffs in Mackey v. National Football League in which Judge Earl R. Larson declared that the Rozelle rule was a violation of antitrust laws on December 30, 1975.[4][5]

Personal life

On August 31, 1984, Alexander's mother, sister and two nephews, ages 8 and 13, were murdered in South Central Los Angeles during a home invasion by members of the Rollin 60's Neighborhood Crips, whose intended victims lived two doors away.[6]

Alexander was initially planning on adopting one child from Haiti, but after meeting the child's four siblings, he ended up adopting all five. The five were in Haiti at the time of the earthquake in 2010, but survived and now live with Alexander and his wife, Tami.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "Lott IMPACT Trophy -". Archived from the original on 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
  2. ^ Argonaut, The (2015-10-07). "Opinion Power to Speak: Kermit Alexander's Remarkable Return". Argonaut News. Retrieved 2024-05-12.
  3. ^ "Kermit Alexander Stats".
  4. ^ Wallace, William N. "Rozelle Rule Found In Antitrust Violation," The New York Times, Wednesday, December 31, 1975. Retrieved December 12, 2023.
  5. ^ Mackey v. National Football League, 407 F. Supp. 1000 (D. Minn. 1975) – Retrieved December 12, 2023.
  6. ^ “Cox Gets Death in Alexander Murders”, "The Los Angeles Times", May 1, 1986.