Would you believe that a man who never took a single snap in a NFL uniform would have the game's most coveted trophy named after him? It isn't just the trophy, and the Super Bowl victory that allows teams to possess it that make the name so powerful. Vince Lombardi did that on his own after finding his love for the game through coaching, instead of playing. History was made the minute the legend was born. He and his family just didn't know it yet.

Vincent Thomas Lombardi was born the son of a butcher in Brooklyn, New York in 1913. As a child he worked in his father's butcher shop, but despised the idea of ​​leading a similar life, and began playing in a football league in the neighborhood around age 12. After graduating the 8th grade, Vince Lombardi began his quest to become a Catholic Priest by entering a secondary, six-year schooling program. Although against the seminary's rules, he continued to play football in his spare time. He spent four years at the school before leaving for a preparatory school where he became All-City in football.

In 1933 he began his official football career by accepting a scholarship to Fordham University in the Bronx borough of New York. He was a starting tackle until he graduated in 1937, just in time for the Great Depression to ruin the lives of many, including – at the time, Vince Lombardi. There was very little work, and his ambition was even less, so at his father's urging he returned for Fordham where he enrolled in their law school. He was enrolled for one semester before dropping out completely. The following year, 1939, he took the job as assistant coach at St. John's Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey to support himself and his new wife. He became the head coach of the school in 1942. In 1947 he returned to Fordham again to take the reins of the freshman football and basketball teams, and was named as the assistant varsity football coach the following year. He was beginning to move up the coaching ranks, slowly but surely.

The opportunity to join the US Military Academy at West Point's coaching staff presented itself in 1948, and Lombardi kindly accepted the assistant coaching job. He was the Offensive Line Coach, where he remained for five seasons. Like so many other legendary coaches, he finally got his shot at the big time when the New York Giants offered him an assisting coaching position. He accepted the Offensive Coordinator position – although it was yet to be named as in – 1954, at the age of 41. With his Defensive Coordinator, a guy by the name of Tom Landry, they took the Giants to winning the League Title in 1956, defeating the Chicago Bears. Both guys, who are now absolute legends in the game, were itching to become head coaches in their own right. Lombardi applied for the position at several schools, including Notre Dame and Wake Forest, but was never given the courtesy of a response.

In 1959 Vince Lombardi took the head coaching job, and the title of General Manager, with the Green Bay Packers, and the Pack Nation – and the NFL – would be changed forever. That season the team's record was 7-5, and Vince was named Coach of the Year. His second year found even more success, with the team winning the NFL Western Conference. In 1960 he took the team to the NFL Championship game, where he suffered his first AND ONLY championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Lombardi was a stern coach, and would strongly criticize his players after a loss. In doing so, he won nine straight post season games. That record stood until it was beaten by Bill Belichick with ten wins from 2002 – 2006 with the New England Patriots.

The Packers went on to win two back to back NFL titles in 1961 and 1962, beating the New York Giants both times. Vince Lombardi never coached a losing season in the NFL and finished with an overall record of 105-35-6. His Packers went to, and won, three NFL Championships in 1964, 1965 and 1966 giving him six total NFL Championship victories. Once the game was renamed the Super Bowl, he won the first two such named events, I and II. Vince stepped down as the Packers' Head Coach after the 1967 season, but remained their General Manager through 1968. He finished his coaching career with the Washington Redskins, where he spent a single season on the sideline. Vince Lombardi was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, one year after the Super Bowl trophy was named in his honor. It carries his name to this day, and is a brilliant reminder of the man who earned such adoration.

Source by Steven Ircha