George Cumby

George Cumby
No. 22
Date of birth (1956-07-05) July 5, 1956
Place of birth Gorman, Texas
Career information
Position(s) Linebacker
College Oklahoma
NFL draft 1980 / Round: 1 / Pick 26
Career history
As player
1980–1985 Green Bay Packers
1986 Buffalo Bills
1987 Philadelphia Eagles

2x Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year (1977, 1978)
3x All-American (1977, 1978, 1979)

1x Second-team All-Pro (1982)
Career stats

George Edward Cumby (born July 5, 1956) is a former American football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons during the 1980s. He played college football for the University of Oklahoma, and was a three-time All-American. A first-round pick in the 1980 NFL Draft, Cumby played professionally for the Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, and Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. He was an assistant football coach for Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School in Tyler, Texas. He is currently a staff member at Jacksonville College (TX).

Early years

Cumby was born in Gorman, Texas. He graduated from Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School in Tyler, Texas in 1975.

College career

He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he played for the Oklahoma Sooners football team from 1976 to 1979. He was a three-time first-team All-American (1977, 1978, 1979), being a consensus first-team selection in 1979. With a combination of speed and strength he is considered one of the top defensive players of all time at Oklahoma. He was also named Defensive Newcomer of the Year and Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year twice—in 1978 and 1979. Cumby was described by then-head coach Barry Switzer as "the only person I know who could go one-on-one with Earl Campbell and knock him backwards." He finished his career at Oklahoma with 405 career tackles, fifth on the all-time list.[1]

Professional career

He was taken in the first round by the Green Bay Packers in the 1980 NFL Draft as the 26th overall pick. He started two games as a rookie and moved into the full-time starting position in 1981 when he intercepted a career-high three passes and in 1982 Cumby was a Second-team All-Pro selection. He remained a starter though 1984 and was then relegated to backup duty in 1985.[2]

In the 1985 season Cumby gained national attention in a negative way. When rookie defensive tackle William Perry was put in the offensive lineup for the Chicago Bears it was Cumby who was twice "flattened" by Perry on lead blocks for Walter Payton.[3] Later in that season, Cumby was beaten on a short pass route by Perry that the "Fridge" carried into the end zone, again an embarrassment for Cumby.[4]

Cumby was cut by the Packers the following preseason on August 18, 1986,[5] and subsequently signed by the Buffalo Bills.[6] Cumby was a starter in 8 of the 11 games he played in 1986. He played one game for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1987 when he was signed to bolster an injury-weakened linebacking corps.[7]

Post-playing career

After his NFL career, Cumby was the coach at his high school alma mater, Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School, for the 2006 school year, while at Gorman he inspired the pick up the cones dance as well as sparking many young souls not to walk on his grass. He was recently the linebackers coach at Tyler Junior College. He was the head football coach at Texas College for three seasons until August 2014.[8] He then returned to Bishop T. K. Gorman as their athletic director.[9]


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