FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Lou Saban, the first head coach in Patriots history, passed away this morning at the age of 87. Saban was the head coach of the Boston Patriots in their inaugural season of 1960 and also coached the team for the first five games of the 1961 season.
"On behalf of the New England Patriots organization and my entire family, we are deeply saddened by the news of Lou Saban's passing and extend sincere sympathies to the entire Saban family," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "As the Patriots' first head coach, Lou helped kick off a new era of football in Boston. As a result, a part of his football legacy will forever be linked to many of the firsts in our franchise's history. This season, we will be celebrating the Patriots' 50th anniversary and reflecting back on that inaugural season. It should give us all cause to appreciate Lou's many contributions during the Patriots' formative years."
Saban was hired as the head coach of the Boston Patriots on Feb. 8, 1960. That summer, he presided over the team's inaugural training camp at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., where 350 players tried out for the team. Under his guidance, the Patriots played in the first game in the history of the American Football League at Boston University Field on Sept. 9, 1960. A week later, he coached the Patriots to the franchise's first victory, a 28-24 win over the New York Titans at the Polo Grounds in New York. On Nov. 25, 1960, the Patriots hosted the first sellout in AFL history, when 27,123 fans packed Boston University Field for a game against the Houston Oilers. The Patriots finished the 1960 season with a 5-9 record. After a 2-3 start to the 1961 season, Saban was replaced as Patriots head coach by Mike Holovak on Oct. 10, 1961.
Additional information on Saban's career - in which he coached professional and college football teams and also served as a baseball executive and a college athletic director - can be found through the link below.