Georgetown University alumni have played important roles in making the NFL what it is today. Some have contributed to professional football as coaches, owners, and leaders. These three Bulldogs have left important marks on their teams and the NFL.
Paul Tagliabue, NFL Commissioner
Paul Tagliabue attended Georgetown in the early 1960s on a basketball scholarship. His athleticism helped him become captain of the 1961-1962 team. It was his commitment to scholastics that ultimately led to his becoming the NFL Commissioner from 1989 to 2006.
Tagliabue’s hard work made him a Rhodes Scholar finalist and president of his graduating class. After completing his undergraduate degree, he went to New York University School of Law.
Given his interest in sports, it’s not surprising that Tagliabue became a lawyer for the NFL, which helped him get the Commissioner’s position.
While serving as the NFL Commissioner, Tagliabue added four new teams to the league, expanding it from 28 to 32 teams. That alone makes him an incredibly influential person within the organization.
Other important moments in his career as Commissioner include moving the Super Bowl from Arizona to California after Arizona refused to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and encouraging the Saints to return to New Orleans to bolster morale after Hurricane Katrina.
Mark Murphy, Green Bay Packers CEO
Mark Murphy didn’t start as a Bulldog. At first, he played football at Colgate University. After graduation, he played for the Washington Redskins from 1977 to 1984, managing to earn an MBA at the same time.
After leaving the Redskins, Murphy attended the Georgetown University Law Center, finally making him a Bulldog, and therefore someone worth talking about.
Murphy’s career with the NFL was far from over. In 2007, he became the CEO and President of the Green Bay Packers. Commissioner Roger Goodell believed that Murphy’s combination of business, legal, and sports experience made him the perfect candidate. Goodell even assigned Murphy to the NFL’s Competition Committee in 2012. This assignment means that Murphy has helped shape the rules that NFL franchises must follow today.
Jim Schwartz, Buffalo Bills Defensive Coordinator
Jim Schwartz distinguished himself as a crucial part of the Hoyas while studying economics at Georgetown. After four years as a star linebacker, he decided to start a career coaching players.
Schwartz got his big break when Bill Belichick hired him as a researcher for the Browns. He later became the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans from 2002 to 2008. During this time, there were a lot of rumors that he would soon become head coach at another club. He interviewed with several franchises before accepting the head coach position for the Detroit Lions. The organization was not happy with the team’s performance, so it fired Schwartz in 2013.
Today, Schwartz is the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, where he works with talented players like Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams. Keep up with his efforts, wins, and losses by following the team’s schedule on Doc Sports. Schwartz has a lot of talent to work with, so there is no telling what he might achieve.
Plenty of Bulldogs have contributed to the NFL, but it’s hard to deny that these three impacted the league in ways that few can match.