Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman dies


Published: Saturday, January 4, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 4, 2003 at 12:55 a.m.

LOS ANGELES - Sid Gillman, the Hall of Fame football coach who was one of the masterminds behind the West Coast offense used by several of the NFL's best teams, died early Friday. He was 91.

Gillman died at home in his sleep, said his wife, Esther.

Gillman coached the Los Angeles Rams from 1955-59 and the Chargers in Los Angeles and San Diego from 1960-69 - their first 10 years of existence - and again in 1971. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and also was a member of the National Football Hall of Fame.

In 18 years as coach of the Rams, Chargers and Houston Oilers, Gillman had a 123-104-7 record. He also was one of the first coaches to analyze game film to prepare strategy for opponents.

"Personally, I'm devastated," said Al Davis, the Oakland Raiders' managing general partner. Davis coached the Raiders from 1963-65, when he and Gillman were AFL coaching rivals.

"It was my good fortune to know him for 50-60 years, be a part of his life," Davis said. "Obviously, he exerted an influence on my life. The great ones, time never ends for them. Immortality is real when it comes to those people. I am sad. We'll miss him greatly."

Gillman and his wife were married for 67 years.

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