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Jim Trimble, former NFL coach, dead at 87

Jim Trimble, the former Philadelphia Eagles head coach who spent more than four decades in professional football, has died. He was 87.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (May 24, 2006) -- Jim Trimble, the former Philadelphia Eagles head coach who spent more than four decades in professional football, has died. He was 87.

Trimble died May 23 at his home in Indianapolis after a battle with emphysema, the New York Giants said.

Trimble was the Eagles' coach from 1952-55 and later coached in the Canadian Football League. He spent 12 years as the Giants' director of player personnel, beginning in 1969, and was a consultant to the organization for more than a decade.

"Jim Trimble was one of the most beloved employees we have ever had here," said John Mara, the Giants' president and chief executive officer.

"He served in many capacities from coaching to scouting to pro personnel. He could be as gruff and as tough an individual you would ever want to meet. But behind all of that was one of the kindest, most decent people you would ever hope to meet."

Trimble grew up in McKeesport, Pa., and played college football at Indiana, playing tackle for the Big Ten school for three years beginning in 1939.

After graduating in 1942, he joined the U.S. Navy, serving as a lieutenant in the South Pacific for three years.

After the war, he was a graduate assistant at Indiana for two years. He was hired as head football coach and athletic director at Wichita State in 1948 and led his team to victory in the 1949 Camellia Bowl.

Trimble began his NFL career as an assistant with the Eagles in 1951. He became head coach in September 1952 and compiled a 25-20-3 record in four seasons.

He was fired after a 4-7-1 season in 1955, but was hired less than three weeks later to coach the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats. His team won the Grey Cup title in 1957, defeating Winnipeg 32-7, and he was selected the coach of the year.

From 1963-65, he coached Montreal. His overall CFL record was 87-71-2.

Trimble joined the Giants in 1967 as offensive line coach under Allie Sherman and remained with the organization for the rest of his professional career until retiring to Indianapolis.

Trimble, whose first wife passed away in 1991, is survived by his second wife, Alfreda, six children and 13 grandchildren.

A funeral service is scheduled for May 27 in Easton, Pa.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2006, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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