What do Louisville legends Joe Jacoby and Sherman Lewis have in common? They’ve both been integral parts of the Washington Redskins. This after Lewis accepted the offensive coordinator position with the organization in 2009.
Of course, a lot went before that position for Lewis and it’s these events which make him a sports legend of the Ville. A Louisville native Lewis came to national prominence at Michigan State as a halfback on that powerhouse football team, while at Michigan State Lewis was invited to the All-American Team, and was called the third best athlete in college football in 1963 by the Heisman committee, barely missing the trophy to Billy Lothridge and Heisman winner, Roger Staubach.
After a disappointing pro career as a player, Lewis quickly found his place as a coach. Going back to the school that he found so much success with this time as an assistant coach in 1969 at Michigan State.
It wasn’t until the 80’s though that Lewis really got national attention, when he accepted a position with the San Francisco 49ers as a running back coach. The Niners seemed unstoppable in the 80’s and with the help of Lewis, San Francisco won three superbowls.
Meanwhile, in the tundra of Green Bay Mike Holmgren was developing his own legacy with the Packers, adding to his leadership staff in 1992, hiring Lewis as an offensive coordinator, while at the Packers Lewis aided in that famed 1997 superbowl against the Patriots, when Reggie White and Brett Favre raised the Lombardi trophy.
After leaving Wisconsin in 1999, Lewis had successful stints as the offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings as well as the Detroit Lions, before taking a couple of years off.
What’s on the horizon for Lewis with the Redskins- it’s hard to tell, but the optimism and fan fare surrounding his hiring is truly the mark of a sports legend of the Ville.
Image courtesy of Michigan State