Hank Stram Biography
Claim to Fame: Kansas City Chiefs Coach
DOB: January 3, 1923
Date of Death: July 4, 2005
Diabetes Type: Unknown
Hank Stram was born Henry Louis Stram on January 3, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois. His Polish father, Henry Wilczek, was a professional wrestler. He wrestled using the name Stram, thus a new family name was born.
Hank Stram attended high school at Lew Wallace where he earned seven letters playing both baseball and football. He then attended college at Purdue and went on to volunteer for the defense forces during World War II.
In 1948, Stram took the assistant coaching job for the Purdue Boilermakers football team and then became the head baseball coach in 1951. His career at Purdue lasted until 1955 and then continued at other respectable universities such as Notre Dame and Miami University. In 1959 Stram began coaching at the professional level for the Dallas Texans. The team had a successful start after Strams arrival, winning the AFL championship over the Houston Oilers 20-17. In 1963 the teams name changed to the Kansas City Chiefs, and then, in 1966, Stram coached them to another AFL championship playing with one of the best defenses in professional football. He went on to coach the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I only to be dismantled by the Green Bay Packers, who at the time were being coached by the great Vince Lombardi. The loss didnt discourage Stram though. The Chiefs went on to win Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings.
In 1976, Stram took on the head coaching job for the New Orleans Saints. He posted losing records for two seasons and was soon fired at the end of the 1977 season. During the 1980s, he went into radio broadcasting for Monday Night Football.
Stram was hospitalized during the 1988 season due to a blockage found in his heart that required him to undergo open heart surgery. He retired in New Orleans, Louisiana and was inducted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003. On July 4, 2005 at the age of 82, Hank Stram died from health issues dealing with diabetes.
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