Tony Nathan
No. 22
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1956-12-14) December 14, 1956 (age 67)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:206 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:Woodlawn (Birmingham)
College:Alabama
NFL draft:1979 / Round: 3 / Pick: 61
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:3,543
Rushing Average:4.8
Rushing touchdowns:16
Player stats at PFR

Tony Curtis Nathan (born December 14, 1956) is an American former professional football player who was a running back for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Alabama Crimson Tide and was selected by the Dolphins in the third round of the 1979 NFL Draft with the 61st overall pick. Nathan played with Miami from 1979 to 1987.

High school

During high school, Tony Nathan became one of the first black football players at Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama.[1] The story of his high school career was made into a Pure Flix Entertainment film known as Woodlawn. It was released on October 16, 2015.

College

In his four seasons with the Alabama Crimson Tide from 1975 to 1978, Nathan rushed for 1,997 yards, with 29 touchdowns and a 6.4 yards per carry average. Also excelling as a kick returner, he finished his college career with 30 touchdowns and 3,362 all-purpose yards, including a 10.9 average in yards per punt return.

NFL career

Nathan was the Dolphins' starting running back in Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XIX. He had a superb performance in Super Bowl XIX, with 18 yards rushing and 10 receptions for 83 yards. His ten receptions were the second most in Super Bowl history at the time. He was also instrumental in the Dolphins' 45-28 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1985 AFC Championship game, in which he rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown, and caught eight receptions for 114 yards. He also had a key performance in the 1981 AFC Divisional playoff game against the San Diego Chargers that became known as "The Epic In Miami". Nathan gained 169 total yards and scored two touchdowns in the Dolphins' narrow loss, including a score on the famous "hook and lateral" play in which he caught a toss from receiver Duriel Harris.

He finished his nine NFL seasons with 3,543 yards rushing, 383 receptions for 3,592 yards, and 32 touchdowns (16 each rushing and receiving). He also completed four of eight passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. He retired from playing in 1988, and became an assistant to Don Shula. He became the Dolphins' running backs coach in 1993. He served under Tony Dungy as the running backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001. The Bucs ranked 22nd in the NFL in rushing offense in his first year, but rose steadily to 11th and then 4th in the next two seasons. The Bucs fell to 30th in the league in rushing in 2001, and he was replaced by incoming head coach Jon Gruden.

From 2003 to 2005, Nathan was the running backs coach at Florida International University, under head coach and former Dolphins teammate Don Strock.

Nathan was inducted into the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame in 2006, along with Curtis Martin and Michael Strahan.[2] Additionally, he returned to the NFL coaching ranks as the Baltimore Ravens' running backs coach.[3][4] On February 4, 2008 Nathan was hired as the San Francisco 49ers' running backs coach, making him the 24th former Raven to join the 49ers since Mike Nolan became the head coach. Nathan was fired by the 49ers on December 30, 2008.

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
1979 MIA 16 0 16 68 4.3 18 0 17 213 12.5 35 2
1980 MIA 16 6 60 327 5.5 18 1 57 588 10.3 61 5
1981 MIA 13 11 147 782 5.3 46 5 50 452 9.0 31 3
1982 MIA 8 7 66 233 3.5 15 1 16 114 7.1 16 0
1983 MIA 16 12 151 685 4.5 40 3 52 461 8.9 25 1
1984 MIA 16 12 118 558 4.7 22 1 61 579 9.5 26 2
1985 MIA 16 15 143 667 4.7 22 5 72 651 9.0 73 1
1986 MIA 16 0 27 203 7.5 20 0 48 457 9.5 23 2
1987 MIA 6 0 4 20 5.0 8 0 10 77 7.7 14 0
123 63 732 3,543 4.8 46 16 383 3,592 9.4 73 16

Playoffs

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
1979 MIA 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 3 27 9.0 14 0
1981 MIA 1 0 14 48 3.4 12 1 9 114 12.7 27 1
1982 MIA 4 2 45 204 4.5 16 0 15 127 8.5 26 0
1983 MIA 1 0 8 19 2.4 9 0 1 6 6.0 6 0
1984 MIA 3 3 42 158 3.8 16 2 22 217 9.9 30 0
1985 MIA 2 2 9 25 2.8 12 0 15 158 10.5 39 1
12 7 118 454 3.8 16 3 65 649 10.0 39 2

Post-NFL

He is currently the Bailiff for long-time Miami Dolphins attorney, Judge Marcus Bach Armas, who replaced Nathan’s teammate, Judge Edward Newman, on the Miami-Dade County court.

Fulfilling a promise he made to Bear Bryant in 1979, Nathan returned to finish his degree at Alabama in 2015. Also in 2015, Touchdown Tony: Running with a Purpose which was written by Nathan was published as a tie-in with the release of the movie Woodlawn which depicted his time at Woodlawn High School.[5]

References

  1. ^ 1973 Woodlawn Woodlog
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 20, 2006. Retrieved January 31, 2006.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Baltimore Sun: Baltimore breaking news, sports, business, entertainment, weather and traffic". Archived from the original on July 12, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2006.
  4. ^ "Baltimore Ravens". Archived from the original on February 23, 2006. Retrieved February 10, 2006.
  5. ^ Nathan, Tony; Schlabach, Mark (2015). Touchdown Tony: Running with a Purpose. Howard Books. ISBN 9781501118517.