Meet The Man Who Was the GM of the World’s Champion Detroit Lions
It's not often this happens to me, but up until a few days ago, I had never heard the name Nick Kerbawy. Why should that matter? Because this man was a titan in Michigan sports history.
(Grey Beard via YouTube)
The names Jim Campbell (longtime Detroit Tigers GM), Russ Thomas, longtime Detroit Lions GM through many, many years of mediocrity, Jim Devallano and Ken Holland (NHL Hall of Fame GM's for the Detroit Red Wings are all pretty well known; but why not the general manager of the three-time World Champion Detroit Lions of the 1950's?
And even if you factor the Lions out, William Nicholas Kerbawy's resume is about as impressive as a sports resume can get. Before the Lions, from 1944-48, Kerbawy was the sports information director at Michigan State. He then took the same job with the Lions, and was promoted to general manager in 1952. Working with coach Buddy Parker, the Lions reeled off three world titles in six seasons. Then he went and took the general manager's job with the new Detroit Pistons, who had moved to Motown from Fort Wayne. (That's a story for another day - an NBA team in Fort Wayne.)
While he was generally managing the Lions, he also was a founder of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, which he ran, as commissioner, until 1988. Kerbawy died in 1990.
Sometimes a name slips through the cracks of history, and Nick Kerbawy seems to be an example of that. Sure Buddy Parker was a great coach, but working in tandem to achieve three titles in six years might qualify the both of them as "miracle workers.