Aug. 20, 2016
Harry Vincent Gilmer (1926-2016) was a native of Birmingham who played halfback for the University of Alabama before becoming a player and coach in the National Football League. While playing for the Crimson Tide, he was Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 1945, MVP of the 1946 Rose Bowl and a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1945 and 1947. Gilmer was the first player selected in the 1947 NFL draft, when his $15,000 salary was the highest ever paid. He played backup to future NFL Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh during eight years in Washington, and was backup to future Hall of Famer Bobby Layne at Detroit before retiring in 1956. He was the first Tide player to become an NFL head coach. Gilmer was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993 and died in O’Fallon, Missouri, on this day in 2016.
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