American Football Database
Jim Tyrer
No. 77, 71     
Offensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1939-02-25)February 25, 1939
Place of birth: Newark, Ohio
Date of death: September 15, 1980(1980-09-15) (aged 41)
Place of death: Kansas City, Missouri
Career information
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 1961 / Round: 14 / Pick: 188
AFL Draft: 1961 / Round: 3 / Pick: 22
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs (1961 1973)
Career highlights and awards
* 8× All-AFL (19621969)
Games played     194
Games started     55
Stats at

James Efflo Tyrer (February 25, 1939 – September 15, 1980) was an American football offensive tackle in the American Football League for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs. He also played in the National Football League for the Chiefs and the Washington Redskins.

College career

Born and raised in Newark, Ohio, Tyrer played college football at nearby Ohio State University under head coach Woody Hayes, and earned All-America honors.

Professional career

Tyrer signed with the American Football League's Dallas Texans in 1961. He played 13 years with that franchise (180 consecutive games), which became the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963, helping set the standard for his position at left offensive tackle. His 14th and final season was with the Washington Redskins under head coach George Allen, who preferred veteran players. Tyrer was traded from the Chiefs in late August 1974 for three draft picks.[1]

Tyrer was named AFL Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1969. He and Ed Budde at guard made a powerful left side. In Super Bowl IV, Tyrer and Budde opened holes for Chiefs running backs against the Minnesota Vikings' opposing defensive linemen Jim Marshall and Alan Page, respectively, gaining 151 yards on 42 carries (3.6 yards per attempt) and 122 net passing yards in the team's upset 23–7 victory.

Tyrer was an anchor of Texans/Chiefs' line and was selected as The Sporting News'' AFL All-League tackle eight consecutive years, from 1962 through 1969. He was an AFL Western Division All-Star seven times, in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969 before also capturing a pair of All-AFC accolades in 1970–71. His efforts in the upstart league would result in his selection to the American Football League All-Time Team.

At the retirement press conference for former Chief linemate Dave Hill in Kansas City in June 1975, Tyrer also announced his retirement.[2]

Tyrer's playing credentials compare favorably with NFL linemen in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, however several factors evidently mitigate against his induction:

  • The murder of his wife and Tyrer's subsequent suicide on September 15, 1980.
  • many of his teammates have been inducted, and selectors tend to shy away from enshrining too many from the same team; and
  • modern selectors may have little knowledge of the American Football League, or believe it was an inferior league.


Tyrer's sons, Brad and Jason, went on to college football careers in the Big Eight Conference. Brad played for Nebraska under head coach Tom Osborne from 1983–1988, starting his junior and senior seasons. Tyrer and the Blackshirts defense led Nebraska to a win over LSU in the 1987 Sugar Bowl, a close loss to Florida State in the 1988 Fiesta Bowl, and a Big Eight title in 1988 and an appearance in the 1989 Orange Bowl. Jason was a defensive end for Kansas under head coach Glen Mason from 1988 to 1992.

After football

Remaining in the Kansas City area following his retirement, Tyrer turned down an opportunity to serve as a scout for the Chiefs. He then spent the next three years as a salesman before tiring of the constant travel and investing in a tire business. However, a mild winter proved to be financially disastrous for Tyrer, who moved on to work for Amway.


This series of business misfortunes culminated in the early hours of September 15, 1980, when Tyrer, the father of four, shot and killed his wife and then committed suicide by turning the gun on himself.[3][4][5] On September 14, 1980, he attended a Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium with his ten-year-old son Jason.[6]

See also


  1. "Redskins get Tyrer". Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia): p. 29. August 29, 1974.
  2. "Hill, Tyrer end pro grid careers". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press (Kansas): p. 10. June 14, 1975.
  3. "Former all-pro Tyrer kills wife, then self". Toledo Blade. Associated Press (Ohio): p. 23. September 16, 1980.
  4. "Never Forget!". Sporting News. July 20, 2008. Archived from the original on August 30, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  5. "Tyrer death KC shocker". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press: p. 9. September 16, 1980.
  6. Anderson, Dave (September 19, 1980). "Athletes' pride can be painful after sport". Lawrence Journal-World. (New York Times news service) (Kansas): p. 15.

External links