PHILADELPHIA - A former head football coach at the University of Pennsylvania, Harry Gamble passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Gamble, who was 83 years old, served at the helm of Penn football for 10 seasons and still ranks second in school history with 24 career Ivy League wins.
“We are saddened to hear of Harry’s passing,” said Penn's Director of Athletics, Steve Bilsky W’71. “Most people around the city of Philadelphia remember Harry's tenure with the Eagles, but he had a solid decade as head coach of the Penn football program before he made the move to the pros. He impacted a lot of young lives here at Penn, and we know many of our alums who played for him are in mourning today.”
Gamble led the Quakers from 1971-80 and won 34 games while commanding the Franklin Field sidelines. His 24 league wins is tied with Jerry Berndt (1981-85) and eclipsed only by current head coach Al Bagnoli, who recently completed his 21st season as Penn's head coach.
After his inaugural season, the Quakers finished no lower than third in Ivy play over the next three years. During that time, the Quakers were 24-8-1 and finished as the Ivy runner-up in 1973.
By the end of his tenure, Gamble had coached Penn's all-time leading passer, Marty Vaughn; all-time leading receiver, Don Clune; and all-time leading rusher, Adolph Bellizeare.
Gamble came to Penn after four years as the head coach at Lafayette. He was a graduate of Pitman High School in New Jersey and Rider College. In 1981, he went to work with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles where would eventually serve as general manager and team president. Gamble's son, Tom, currently works in the Eagles front office as Vice President of Player Personnel.