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Charley Winner

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Charley Winner

Charley Winner
No. None
Position: Head CoachSt. Louis Cardinals (1966-1971)
Personal information
Date of birth: (1924-07-02) July 2, 1924
Place of birth: Somerville, New Jersey
Career NFL statistics
Win-Loss Record: 44-44-5
Winning %: .500
Games: 93
Coaching stats at pro-football-reference.com

Charley Winner (born July 2, 1924) was a football coach whose professional and personal life was closely intertwined with that of Weeb Ewbank, another coach.

Winner was born in Somerville, New Jersey and, during World War II, flew 17 missions in a B-17 Flying Fortress plane, spending six weeks in a German prisoner of war camp. Upon his release from the service he played running back at Washington University in St. Louis, where Ewbank was head coach. After Ewbank moved on to coach for the Cleveland Browns, Winner took an assistant position with nearby Case Tech and also served as a scout for the Browns. In 1950 he married Ewbank's daughter. When Ewbank was hired as head coach of the Baltimore Colts in 1954, Winner went along and helped the team capture NFL titles in both 1958 and 1959. At the conclusion of the 1962 NFL season, Ewbank was dismissed, but Winner stayed under new coach Don Shula from 1963 to 1965.

On February 10, 1966, Winner was hired as head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. In five seasons at the helm, Winner managed a 35-30-5 record, but after failing to reach the postseason, was fired on January 6, 1971. The Cardinals posted winning records in three of Winner's five seasons with the Cardinals, but fell short of the playoffs each time. In 1966 the Cardinals started out 5-0 but lost four of their last five games to finish at 8-5-1 and in fourth place in the NFL East. In 1968 St. Louis finished one-half game behind the Cleveland Browns (9-4-1 to 10-4) in the NFL Century Division despite sweeping both regular-season meetings with the Browns. In 1970 St. Louis rolled to an 8-2-1 record at the end of November, including three consecutive shutouts over the Houston Oilers (44-0), Boston Patriots (31-0) and Dallas Cowboys (38-0 on Monday Night Football in Dallas). With the NFC East championship in sight, however, the Cardinals stumbled in December, losing to the Detroit Lions, New York Giants and Washington Redskins to finish at 8-5-1 and in third place in the division behind Dallas and the Giants.

Winner was soon hired by Washington Redskins. Winner worked two years for the Redskins, helping them reach the NFL playoffs during each season and their first Super Bowl berth ever in 1972. On February 1, 1973 he rejoined Ewbank as an assistant with the Jets and was also designated his successor following the end of the 1973 NFL season. Winner struggled to achieve success with the Jets, finishing 7-7 in 1974, needing to win the season's final six games to reach the .500 mark. The following year saw the team win only two of the first nine games, a decline that resulted in his dismissal on November 19, three days after a 52-19 loss to the Colts.

Two months later, Winner was hired as an assistant

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