Popularly known for his exploits during his active playing career, Roman Gabriel has achieved a lot in many works of life including sports broadcasting and acting. He is also famous as a football player who spent sixteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL). During his career, he made notable achievements which earned him many accolades and titles including being a Pro Bowler (four times) and National Football League touchdown leader (twice). Gabriel is also known for the coaching roles he carried out after he ended his playing career. He has additionally worked in the capacity of a sports broadcaster and equally made a few on-screen appearances. To learn more about the life, career, and affairs of the former coach, read on.
Who is Roman Gabriel?
The College Football Hall of Famer was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, the United States on 5th August 1940. He is the son of Roman Ildonzo Gabriel Sr. and Edna Mae Wyatt. Roman Gabriel is a graduate of New Hanover High School and while he was there, he was an elite player who achieved several feats. He also continued with his exploits while at North Carolina State University. During his playing days in college, he was the team captain and was known for his record-breaking achievements. He established 22 new records in the annals of the school and equally nine new records in the conference football. During that time, Gabriel scored 19 touchdowns with 2,961-yard throws which earned him a place in the All-American Team (twice) and ACC Player of the Year (twice).
He then began playing for the Los Angeles Ram after being picked as the number two during the NFL draft in 1962. He played as a substitute for some time at the beginning of his career in the League as he found it difficult to secure a place as a starting quarterback. Due to an injury that hit the team’s first choice quarterback, Roman Gabriel secured a place in the starting lineup and went on to play as a starter for 23 games within his first three seasons at the club.
In 1966, Gabriel’s place in the starting lineup was solidified with the arrival of a new coach. He then played as a starter in all 14 games that season, and aided his team to achieve a winning streak for the first time since 1958. Under the guidance of the new coach, the team was able to register a record of 11 game winning streak in 1969 which still stands as a team record in the annals of the club.
Later in 1971, Roman Gabriel couldn’t play at his best as he missed part of the season as a result of injuries which continued to affect his performance on the field even in the next season. As such, he lost playing time in 12 games and equally missed two games. Throughout the eleven seasons he played for the team, Roman registered a total of 154 touchdowns and 22,223-yard throws which made him the all-time passing leader of the team.
Having joined Philadelphia Eagles in the year 1973, the ex-player went on to record one of his career-best performances by scoring 23 touchdowns and 3,219 yard throws as he led the NFL that season, and was recognized with the league’s award for Comeback Player of the Year. He spent five more years with the Eagles and registered 45 touchdowns and 7,221 yard throws during his spell at the club.
Ending his career professionally in 1977, Roman Gabriel took up sports broadcasting duties that spanned for two years. Then in 1980, he was recruited as the coach of California State Polytechnic University situated in Pomona, California. He later quit from the job in order to start coordinating the offense of the United States Football League team, The Portland Breakers in 1982. As an actor, Gabriel has featured in the TV series, Wonder Woman and movie, The Undefeated.
A Look at All The Women He Married Or Dated
Roman Gabriel has been joined in matrimony with three different women whom he later got separated from. His first marriage was with Suzanne Horton whom he married in 1960. The union produced three sons namely, Roman III, Ram Allen, and Rory Jay before it was annulled in the year, 1971.
In the next year, precisely on the 29th of January, Gabriel tied the knot with Tedra Lynn Bidwell who has worked as a secretary for an air freight company, when she was 21 years of age. The pair welcomed a son together, Brandon and later signed the divorce papers in August 1980.
In the same 1980, Roman Gabriel exchanged vows for the third time with Lisa Ann Katolin, the daughter of Robert and Norma Katolin of El Monte. Lisa who was known as a former sports information director at Pomona gave birth to Gabriel’s only daughter, Amber Noel. Unfortunately, the couple annulled the marriage in 2005.