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Charlie  Sumner

Charlie Sumner

In his hometown of Dublin, Virginia, our final inductee was a high school football star. He attended the College of William & Mary from 1951 to 1954, where he played three seasons as quarterback and defensive back, making both the Associated Press and United Press International All-State teams in 1953. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears, and in 1955 earned the teamÕs Rookie of the Year award. He stayed with the team until 1960, and then was picked up by the Minnesota Vikings in the expansion draft. After two more seasons, he retired as a player, only to begin a very successful career on the sidelines.

From 1963 to 1968, he served as assistant coach for the Oakland Raiders, taking the team from last place to the top, earning their first two division titles and playing in Super Bowl II.

Over the next eleven years, he led the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots to unprecedented success within their divisions. He returned to the Raiders in 1979 as the defensive coordinator, and saw the team off to two more division titles, three playoff appearances, and wins in Super Bowl XV and XVII.
He finished his career as head coach of the Oakland Invaders of the United States Football League. Hired mid-season in 1984, he coached the team to seven straight wins, turning their 0-9 lead into a respectable 7-9 finish. The next year, the Invaders won their conference, a testament to his ability to encourage and motivate.