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Former Eagles president Gamble dies

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jan 28 2014 01:02:05 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 28 2014 01:02:07 PM CST

The Philadelphia Eagles announced that former team president Harry Gamble died Tuesday morning. He was 83.

"On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Harry Gamble today," team chairman Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "Our sincerest condolences go out to his wife, Joan, his sons, Harry and Tom, and the rest of the Gamble family. Harry is a legendary football figure in the city of Philadelphia and South Jersey.

"He was an excellent football coach, executive and philanthropist, but he will be remembered most for his warm personality, his strong character and his love for his family. He will be sorely missed."

Gamble served as the team's president 1986-94 and also as a member of the NFL's Competition Committee. He originally joined the Eagles in 1981 as a volunteer assistant coach under Dick Vermeil.

In 1982, he became a full-time staff member, coaching special teams and tight ends. Gamble then became an assistant for the coaching and personnel staffs in 1983 before being named director of football operations in 1984. He was named general manager in 1985 by owner Leonard Tose.

Prior to joining the Eagles, Gamble was the head coach at Lafayette (1967-70) and the University of Pennsylvania (1971-80). In 1972, he was chosen as the NCAA District One coach of the year and by the New York Sportswriters Association as the University Division Eastern coach of the year. In 1979, he served as Penn's acting director of recreation and collegiate athletics.

Born and raised in Pitman, N.J., Gamble earned master's and doctorate degrees in business education from Temple University. He received his undergraduate degree from Rider College, where he was an offensive lineman. Gamble then became a player/coach with the Second Army Headquarters team at Fort Meade, M.D., in 1953.

After coaching and teaching at Clayton and Audubon high schools in New Jersey from 1954-61, Gamble became an assistant coach at Penn from 1962-66.

In 1985, he was inducted into the Gloucester County Sports Hall of Fame and the South Jersey Coaches Hall of Fame. He also received the Bert Bell Award from the Baker's Club in Philadelphia. In 1994, Gamble was named Man of the Year by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Catholic Youth Organization.

Gamble is survived by his wife, Joan, their two sons, Harry and Tom -- the latter of whom serves as the Eagles' vice president of player personnel -- and three grandchildren.