For the American football coach, see Robert V. Whitlow.
Bob Whitlow
No. 66, 61, 51, 53
Personal information
Born: (1936-02-15) February 15, 1936 (age 84)
Shelbyville, Indiana
Career information
High school:Bloomington (IN)
College:Compton JC
Career history
* Chicago Bears ( 1960)*
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
* Indiana Football Hall of Fame (2000)
  • Monroe County, Indiana Sports Hall of Fame (2012)
Career NFL statistics
Games played:100
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Robert Edward Whitlow (born February 15, 1936) is a former American football center in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, and Cleveland Browns. He played college football at the University of Arizona.

Early lifeEdit

Whitlow was born in Shelbyville, Indiana and attended Bloomington High School in Bloomington, Indiana, where he played high school football and participated in track and field as a shot putter.[1]

College and military careerEdit

After high school, Whitlow attended and played college football at Compton Junior College in Compton, California, before transferring to the University of Arizona.[2] He was also a shot putter in college.[1] He left college in 1957 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.[2]

Professional careerEdit

After serving with the Marines, Whitlow qualified for the Summer Olympics in shot put, but decided to play football instead.[1] He signed with the Chicago Bears in 1960, but was then traded to the Washington Redskins.[2] Midway through the 1961 season, he was traded to the Detroit Lions, where he played through 1965 and played every offensive down in 1962 and 1963.[2] Whitlow was then trade to the Atlanta Falcons during their inaugural 1966 season. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Rams for undisclosed draft picks, but never played for the Rams.[3][4] In 1968, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was waived before the end of the offseason.[5] He was then signed by the Cleveland Browns and played for them for one season, but then had to retire after a hernia operation.[6]

During the Detroit Lions 1963 season, Whitlow was the center for George Plimpton when Plimpton was practicing and playing with the Lions for the Sports Illustrated article that became the book "Paper Lion".[7]

Racing careerEdit

Whitlow is the only NFL player to also compete in USAC and NASCAR stockcar events.[citation needed]

Coaching careerEdit

Whitlow was the head basketball coach at Madonna College from 1988 to 1989, posting a 13-17 record.[2][8] He is now a track and field coach at Northview High School in Johns Creek, Georgia.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Northview Track and Field Coaches". Northview High School. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "WHITLOW, ROBERT". Indiana Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  3. "Rams, Falcons Trade". The Milwaukee Journal (Google News Archives): p. 10. July 18, 1967.,4214765&hl=en. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  4. "Rams Drop Former Star Trojan Back". The Spokesman-Review (Google News Archives): p. 7. August 31, 1967.,4726986&hl=en. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  5. Bryson, Mike (August 27, 1968). "Several Veterans Among Players Cut". The Free Lance–Star (Google News Archives): p. 20.,5827323&hl=en. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  6. "Former Pro Gridder Whitlow Finds New Sport". Spartanburg Herald-Journal (Google News Archives): p. B2. July 29, 1973.,5821218&hl=en. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  8. Risak, C.J. (July 20, 1992). "Brand New Start:Sharpe to Lead Madonna's Men's Basketball". Westland Observer. Retrieved July 24, 2015.

External linksEdit

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