Mike Holovak, 1919 - 2008
Mike Holovak, the second coach in the history of the Boston / New England Patriots, died today at the age of 88.
Holovak succeeded Lou Saban, who manned the helm the first year and change of the AFL franchise.
Holovak, who joined the Boston Patriots as a scout under Saban in 1960, took over when Saban was fired following a 3-2 start to the 1961 season. Seems odd to be fired at 3-2 following a 5-9 season, but it was what it was. Holovak's Patriots finished 9-4-1 and repeated the record the following year.
Holovak led the Patriots to their first playoff and AFL championship game appearance in 1963, where Boston lost 51-10 to the San Diego Chargers.
Holovak finished his Patriots career with a 53-47-9 record, the second most games and second most wins of any Patriots coach behind current coach Bill Belichick (91-37-0).
For more about Holovak, check Patriots.com, Mike Reiss's blog and in The Boston Globe, some comments by Gino Cappelletti also in Reiss's blog, Holovak's Wikipedia entry, and an extended Associated Press write-up on ESPN.com.