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May 30 in Pats History: Bucko Kilroy

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Today in Patriots History
Bucko Kilroy

Happy birthday to Bucko Kilroy, who would have been 100 today
Born May 30, 1921 in Philadelphia
Patriot executive from 1971 to 2007
Died July 10, 2007 at the age of 86

Francis Joseph 'Bucko' Kilroy played guard on offense, and middle guard and tackle on defense with the Eagles for 13 seasons. During that team Philly won two NFL championships, and he went to three Pro Bowls; he was also named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1940's.

Bucko Kilroy had a reputation for being a tough player, and won a $25,000 lawsuit (more than three times his annual salary) when Look magazine wrote an article implying he was a dirty player. He worked as a scout for the Eagles, Washington and Dallas from 1960-70 before joining the Patriots as their Director of Player Personnel in 1971.

He sued Life and a jury awarded him $25,000. He was pleased, because his highest salary as a player would be $8,000 and he had yet to reach it.

“That was all a bunch of garbage,” he later said of the incident. “I was just a heavy hitter. We were hard people back then, and some guys are just naturally heavy hitters. It was a different time. None of this baby-boomer stuff. We were brash people.”

Al DeRogatis, a former Giants’ lineman, found out the hard way. When he once accused Kilroy of biting his nose, Kilroy denied it.

“I didn’t bite his nose,” Kilroy said. “I bit his ear.”

Bucko Kilroy (r) helped deliver Chuck Fairbanks (l) to helped deliver coach Chuck Fairbanks one of the most successful drafts in Patriots NFL history in 1973.

In 1979 Bucko Kilroy became New England's general manager, and then vice president from 1983-93. Kilroy then worked as a scouting consultant for another thirteen years until his death. John Hannah, Mike Haynes, Russ Francis, Steve Grogan and Sam Cunningham were among the players drafted when he was New England's player personnel director.

Kilroy is also the founder of the NFL Scouting Combine, and credited with the driving force behind both the modern day NFL draft and the Super Bowl. Bill Belichick said Kilroy was "one of the pillars of our league... a pure football man who did practically everything one person could do in the game, blazing trails every step of the way".

Bucko began his playing career in 1943 with the wartime combined team of the Eagles and Steelers. He was a six time All-Pro guard for the Philadelphia Eagles during a 13 season playing career during the 1940s and 50s.

After his playing career he worked in player personnel and scouting for the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. He was also one of the founders of the National Football Scouting Combine. He was the Patriots general manager from 1979 to 1982 and vice-president from 1983 to 1993. He has been a scouting consultant for New England for the past 13 years.

Kilroy was a member of the New England Patriots organization for the past 36 years, serving as personnel director (1971-78), general manager (1979-82), vice president (1983-93) and scouting consultant (1994-2007). He was a contributor to 14 of the club’s 15 playoff seasons, including all five of the franchise’s trips to the Super Bowl.

In 1948 and 1949, his Eagles team became the only squad in history to post back-to-back shutouts in championship games. He once played in 146 consecutive games, then a league record, and was named to the NFL’s all-decade team for the 1940s. During his final three seasons with the Eagles, Kilroy was as a player/coach before serving as a full-time line coach for six seasons. He also served as the Eagles’ player personnel director during that time, becoming one of the five original talent scouts in the league. In 1962, he was named director of player personnel for the Washington Redskins and later served as a “super scout” for the Dallas Cowboys from 1966-1970 before joining the Patriots.

Kilroy was revered in NFL scouting circles, having started many of the scouting services that became fixtures in the NFL. He was also one of the founders of the National Football Scouting Combine, one of the most important personnel events on the NFL’s current offseason calendar. While he was with the Cowboys’ personnel department, the team won five straight division championships.

As personnel director of the Patriots, Kilroy was responsible for selecting the team’s two Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees, John Hannah (1973) and Mike Haynes (1976). He is credited with building some of the best teams in Patriots’ history, drafting Julius Adam, Hannah, Sam Cunningham, Steve Nelson, Russ Francis and Steve Grogan during his first five years as personnel director (1971-75). Over the next three years (1976-78), the Patriots compiled a 31-13 record (.705), including two playoff appearances. Over his 64-year career, Kilroy tutored numerous personnel analysts who went on to head NFL scouting departments.

He helped the Eagles win N.F.L. championships in 1948 and 1949. The Eagles rewarded each player on those teams with a $500 bonus and a cigarette lighter.

“We got rings, too,” Kilroy recalled. “We bought them for $65.”

He was a founder of the National Football Scouting Combine. In 1982, The Boston Globe called him “the man who helped create the science of pro scouting.” It added, “In a football sense, he is a genius.”

The late Dick Steinberg, a Kilroy protégé who became general manager of the Jets, said in 1992: “He knows as much about pro football as anyone in history. He’s never been wrong in his life. He’s not what a lot of people think. He’s shrewd and organized.”

He was a bear of a man, described this way by The Globe in 1992: “He looks, quite frankly, like an unmade bed. He is a big man in the way some bears seem big, barrel-chested, heavy-legged, white shirt popping out of his suit pants. He is solid in the sense of a piano, a man who does not tread lightly through a room.”


Staff member
Today in Patriots History
Je'Rod Cherry, Kamar Aiken and more

Happy 48th birthday to Je'Rod Cherry
Born May 30, 1973 in Charlotte, NC
Patriot safety, 2001-2004; uniform #30
1999 NFL supplemental draft fourth round pick

The special teams standout signed with the Pats as a veteran free agent after having been with New Orleans for four seasons, Philly for one year, and Oakland briefly in the offseason. He had 50 regular season special teams tackles for the Pats in four seasons, and earned three rings in his nine playoff games with the Pats. Since retiring Cherry has worked as a pregame host and NFL analyst for a radio station in Cleveland.

Happy 32nd birthday to Kamar Aiken
Born May 30, 1989 in Hollywood, Florida
Patriot WR, 2012-2013; uniform #16
Signed to the practice squad on Nov 12, 2012

The Pats signed Aiken to their practice squad in mid-November of 2012, after he had spent time on the practice squads with Chicago and Buffalo. He was promoted to the 53-man roster on December 22 and was at that time most well known for being waived two days later, on Christmas Eve. He was brought back to the active roster on December 29 and finished the year with one game to his credit, with no stats. Aiken was part of roster cuts at the end of the 2013 training camp.

He then caught on with Baltimore, appearing in 48 games with 20 starts over the next three seasons. His best season was with in 2015 when he had 75 receptions for 944 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 12.6 yards per catch. Aiken did quite well for an undrafted player, appearing in 71 NFL games from 2011 to 2018, with 149 receptions and nine touchdowns.

Happy 34th birthday to Jason Vega
Born May 30, 1987 in Brockton
Patriot DE, 2013; uniform #68
Signed as a CFL free agent on January 27, 2013

The 6'4, 255 pound defensive lineman was one of the last players from Northeastern to make it to the NFL. The Patriots signed Vega after two seasons in the CFL, but he was cut in mid-August of 2013. He got into two games for the Cowboys later that season, then returned to Canada for four more seasons in the CFL before retiring from pro football.

Happy 57th birthday to Wayne Coffey
Born May 30, 1964 in Rantoul, Illinois
Patriot WR, 1987; uniform #83

Wayne Coffey was a strike-replacement player, catching three passes for 66 yards in those three games. He later spent several seasons playing arena football.

Happy 64th birthday to Eddie Hare
Born May 30, 1957 in Ulysses, Kansas
Patriot punter, 1979; uniform #8
Pats 4th round (106th overall) selection of the 1979 draft, from Tulsa

Bucko Kilroy and Chuck Fairbanks must have watched Tulsa upset Arkansas and really liked this punter. Unfortunately he averaged only 36.6 yards per punt in his one and only NFL season, and was waived-injured early in 1980.

Other pro football players with New England area connections:
- Dick Farley, 75 (May 30, 1946); DB for Chargers, 1968-69.
Born in Danvers, Farley went to St John's Prep and Boston University. After his two NFL seasons Farley went on to have a long career at Williams as both football and track coach, and was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
- Bob Laraba (1933-1962); LB/P/QB for Chargers, 1960-61.
Born in Sheldon Vermont, Laraba was an 8th round (95th overall) pick by Green Bay in 1959. He was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 28 shortly after the end of the '61 season.
- Ralph Pasquariello (1926-1999); FB for Rams and Cardinals,1950-52.
Born in Boston and raised in Everett, Ralph was the 9th overall pick in the 1950 draft.
- Jim Tyree (1922-2010); end for 1948 Boston Yanks.
- Swede Hummel (1902-1965); FB for 1926 Providence Steamroller.

Notable NFL players born May 30:
- Gale Sayers, (1943-2020); Bears Hall of Fame RB.
- Lydell Mitchell, 72 (May 30, 1949); Pro Bowl RB for the Baltimore Colts in the '70s.
- John Alt, 59 (May 30, 1962); LT played 189 games for KC from 1984-96.

DarrylS Supporter Supporter
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
J'Rod Cherry, age 48, and Kilroy who would have been 100 remind me of how old I have become...