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Harry Gilmer


Harry Vincent Gilmer, Jr.

Inducted 1993

Date of Birth



Birmingham, AL


University of Alabama (1944-1947)


Harry Gilmer was Alabama's left halfback four years 1944-1947. As a freshman, he played against Duke in the Sugar Bowl and was eight for eight in passing attempts. As a sophomore, he competed against Southern California in the Rose Bowl, rushing for 116 yards and passing for 59. Against Kentucky the same season he passed twice for 50 yards and rushed six times for 216 yards, with touchdown runs of 55 and 95. His best year was the sophomore season, 1945. He led the nation in touchdown passes, 13, and he ran for nine touchdowns. He had 79 rushing attempts with an average gain of 7.0 yards. His passing percentage .648 on 88 attempts. His total offense, 1,457 yards, was second in the nation. Gilmer also was Alabama's punter and kick return man. In his junior year, 1946, he returned 37 punts and his average, 14.5 yards, led the nation. In his career Gilmer passed for 26 touchdowns and ran for 24. He passed for 2894 yards and rushed for 1673. His punting average was 36.4 yards. He averaged 28.7 yards on kickoff returns, 13.5 on punt returns. Alabama's record in his time was 30-9-2; this included 10-0 in 1945. He had a spectacular style, jumping in the air when throwing a pass. Gilmer joined the pros as a quarterback with Washington and Detroit 1948-1956. He was head coach of the Detroit Lions 1965-1966.


Height 6'0

Weight 160

Career Highlights

  • 1947 All-Conference
  • 1947 Heisman - Fifth
  • 1947 Second Team All-America
  • 1946 All-Conference
  • 1946 Led nation in punt returns
  • 1946 Second Team All-America
  • 1945 All-Conference
  • 1945 First Team All-America
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