Football legend, East Texas native Forrest Gregg dies at 85

East Texas native led storied career as offensive player, coach

Football legend, East Texas native Forrest Gregg dies at 85

SULPHUR SPRINGS, TX (KLTV) - Football legend Forrest Gregg, whom Vince Lombardi once described as “the best player I ever coached," died Friday. He was 85.

Gregg, a Sulphur Springs native, won three Super Bowls during his career while playing with the Green Bay Packers and later, the Dallas Cowboys.

ESPN wrote about Gregg’s legacy, noting that he earned the nickname “Iron Man” for playing in 188 consecutive NFL games during his career.

Gregg was a former offensive lineman who played 15 seasons with the Green Bay Packers and who played with the Dallas Cowboys from 1956 to 1971.

He was also a six-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler, the network notes.

The East Texan also had a storied coaching career, serving as the coach for the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns and the Packers.

In 1977, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“The Game lost a giant today," Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker told Pro Football Hall of Fame.com. “... He was the type of player who led by example and, in doing so, raised the level of play of all those around him.”

Football legend Forrest Gregg, who Vince Lombardi once described as “the best player I ever coached," died Friday. He was 85. Gregg, a Sulphur Springs native, won three Super Bowls during his career while playing with the Green Bay Packers and later, the Dallas Cowboys. (Source: KLTV File Photo)
Football legend Forrest Gregg, who Vince Lombardi once described as “the best player I ever coached," died Friday. He was 85. Gregg, a Sulphur Springs native, won three Super Bowls during his career while playing with the Green Bay Packers and later, the Dallas Cowboys. (Source: KLTV File Photo) (KLTV)

Gregg struggled with Parkinson’s disease later in life.

He spoke about his 2011 diagnosis during the induction ceremony saying, “The doctors say he thinks that football had something to do with it, but I always said there are a lot of people who have it that never played a down. I played football, I''m not sorry I played football, and I loved every minute of it.”

He became a vocal advocate for those battling the disease, turning to social media to help educate people about the condition.

NFL.com Analyst Elliot Harrison described Gregg as one of the best offensive lineman ever in a column memorializing the player.

“Forrest Gregg wasn’t just another really good football player, or just a former Pro Bowler or All-Pro. Forrest Gregg was a Hall of Famer among Hall of Famers. He was a champion, over and over again,” he wrote.

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