EDDIE HERBERT | March 3, 1918 -- Dec. 9, 2013

Region loses another sports legend in HOF coach Eddie Herbert

2013-12-10T17:30:00Z 2013-12-13T15:48:08Z Region loses another sports legend in HOF coach Eddie HerbertAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
December 10, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

Those who knew Eddie Herbert loved him, and the Hall of Fame football coach knew everybody.

"This is a man who touched many lives," said Tom Herbert, Eddie's son. "He was a great father, a great coach, a great football official and a great person."

Eddie Herbert passed away Monday. He was 95.

Herbert was a Big Ten football official for 20 years, working a Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl, and a basketball official for 15 years.

"He would take me to games and introduce me," Tom Herbert said. "That's how I got started (officiating) — working Catholic League games in Chicago."

Eddie Herbert graduated from Horace Mann in 1937 and was a football teammate of the legendary Tom Harmon, considered the greatest athlete to come out of Northwest Indiana.

Herbert starred at Indiana, then returned as an assistant coach at Mann before taking over as coach of the Lew Wallace program, where he never had more than two losses in any season.

"First of all, he was very, very knowledgeable about football, having learned a lot about the game from Big Ten coaches," Tom Herbert said. "And you knew you were in a program that demanded discipline and produced winners.

"Good athletes thrive in that environment."

Tom Herbert, a 1965 Wallace grad, played for his dad.

"He later helped out at Merrillville, Kankakee Valley and then Valparaiso after retiring. He was a fantastic coach," said Tom Herbert.

Former Purdue and New York Giants' star Jerry Shay, a '62 Wallace grad, said he loved playing for Eddie Herbert.

"Eddie was a great football mind, had a great way of handling people and was well respected in the Big Ten," Shay recalled.

"He was big on conditioning and endurance. As a team, we simply outplayed people. We outfootballed them, outsmarted them."

Tom Herbert followed in his father's footsteps as a back judge in the Big Ten for 30 years — the longest tenure of any conference official in that sport.

He currently is a replay official.

Visitation for Eddie Herbert is 1 to 4 p.m. Friday at Burns Funeral Home, 10101 Broadway in Crown Point, with a memorial service to follow.

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