LOCALS IN THE NFL

Former Utah Athlete, Broncos Coach Mac Speedie Elected To Pro Football Hall Of Fame

Jan 15, 2020, 10:59 AM | Updated: 2:53 pm
Mac Speedie - Cleveland Browns...
Courtesy of Cleveland Browns

CANTON, Ohio – Former Utah athlete, Cleveland Browns end, and Denver Broncos head coach Mac Speedie was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

Speedie’s election to the Hall of Fame was announced on Wednesday, January 15.

After playing for the University of Utah, Speedie played the end position during seven seasons in the National Football League. He received First-Team All-Pro honors six times and was named to the Pro Bowl twice.

Speedie led the league in receptions in four seasons and in receiving yards in two seasons.

During his career, Speedie accounted for 7,006 receiving yards and 45 touchdowns.

Playing In Utah

Speedie came to the University of Utah after an impressive high school career at South High in Salt Lake City.

He participated in football, basketball, and track during college.

Speedie won all-conference honors as a member of Utah’s football team in 1939, 1940, and 1941.

After graduating in 1942, Speedie entered the U.S. Army in the middle of World War II.

Pro Career

Speedie was originally drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 15th round of the 1942 draft.

After World War II, Speedie signed with the Cleveland Browns. He played for the Browns from 1946-1952. Speedie and the Browns lost in the NFL championship game in 1951 and 1952.

Speedie played 86 games with the Browns. He recorded 349 receptions for 5,602 yards and 33 touchdowns with Cleveland.

In 1953, Speedie joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Western Interprovincial Football Union. Two years later, Speedie was traded to the BC Lions but only played one game for the team due to injury.

Coaching Career

Speedie was hired as the end coach by Houston Oilers in 1960. The Oiler won the AFL championship in Speedie’s first season with the team. He resigned the following season after head coach Lou Rymkus was fired.

The following season, Speedie joined the Denver Broncos staff as the team’s end position coach. In 1963, the Broncos named him as head coach. Denver went 2-7-1 in Speedie’s first season as head coach and the Broncos signed him to a two-year contract extension.

In his second season leading the Broncos, the team posted a 4-10 record.

Speedie resigned two weeks into the 1966 season after back-to-back losses. He finished with a 6-19-1 record as Denver’s head coach.

The Broncos retained Speedie as a scout for the organization. He held the position until his retirement in 1982.

Speedie passed away in California in 1993 at the age of 73.

Other Honors

The First-Team All-Pro was named to the NFL 1940s All-Decade Team.

Speedie joined the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 1972. A few years later in 1986, he was inducted into the University of Utah’s Crimson Club Hall of Fame.

Class of 2020

Speedie joined 14 others as centennial members for the class of 2020.

Bill Cowher, Jimmy Johnson, Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue, George Young, Harold Carmichael, Jim Covert, Bobby Dillon, Cliff Harris, Winston Hill, Alex Karras, Donnie Shell, Duke Slate, and Ed Sprinkle were elected alongside Speedie.

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