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Neill Armstrong
Black and white photograph of Armstong in a light-colored number 80 jersey reaching up with his right hand to catch a football
Armstrong on 1948 Bowman football card
No. 80
Defensive back
Personal information
Born:(1926-03-09)March 9, 1926
Tishomingo, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died:August 10, 2016(2016-08-10) (aged 90)
Trophy Club, Texas, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:189 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Tishomingo (OK)
College:Oklahoma A&M
NFL draft:1947 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season:NFL: 30–34 (.469)
CFL: 37–56–3 (.401)
Postseason:NFL: 0–1 (.000)
CFL: 0–3 (.000)
Career:NFL: 30–35 (.462)
CFL: 37–59–3 (.389)
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Neill Ford Armstrong (March 9, 1926 – August 10, 2016) was an American football player and coach whose career spanned more than four decades at both the college and professional levels. Notably, Armstrong served as the head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). Member of the 1945 National Championship Oklahoma A&M Team.

Playing career

Armstrong played college football at Oklahoma A & M from 1943 to 1946, and was chosen in the first round (eighth overall) of the 1947 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Playing both at end and defensive back, he helped the team capture the NFL championship in both 1948 and 1949. Armstrong concluded his playing career in the early 1950s playing for the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Coaching career

In 1962, Armstrong's professional coaching career began when he was hired as an assistant coach with the Houston Oilers of the start-up American Football League (AFL). After serving two years in that capacity, he shifted back to Canada as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos. In his six years, the team reached the postseason three times.

Armstrong was hired as an assistant with the Minnesota Vikings in 1970, and became an integral part of developing the team's dominating defense. After helping the team reach the postseason in all but one of the next eight years, he was hired as head coach of the Chicago Bears on February 16, 1978. In four years at the helm of the Bears, he was only able to compile a record of 30–35, with one playoff appearance in 1979. He was fired on January 3, 1982, but hired less than two months later as an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys. He spent the next eight seasons with the team before announcing his retirement on February 22, 1990.[1] He and Bud Grant hold the distinction of being the only two people to have both played and been a head coach in both the NFL and CFL.[2] He died in Trophy Club, Texas in 2016.[3]

Head coaching record


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CHI 1978 7 9 0 .438 4th in NFC Central
CHI 1979 10 6 0 .625 2nd in NFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to Philadelphia Eagles in NFC Wild-Card Game.
CHI 1980 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC Central
CHI 1981 6 10 0 .375 5th in NFC Central
CHI Total 30 34 0 .469 0 1 .000
Total 30 34 0 .469 0 1 .000

See also


  1. ^ The Oklahoman. "Cowboys Shuffle Coaching Staff". Associated Press, February 23, 1990. Retrieved on May 4, 2013.
  2. ^ Daniels, Rob. "Allan Houston among players on All-Space Team"., August 28, 2010. Retrieved on May 4, 2013.
  3. ^ "Neill Ford Armstrong - View Obituary & Service Information".