• Hank Stram, Legendary Coach & Friend

Jerry met Hank Stram through good friends and Kansas City Chiefs players, Jan Stenerud and Len Dawson in the 1970's.  The letter (below) sent to Hank upon his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame sums up Jerry's thoughts on his friend.



Hank Stram poses at his home in Covington, La, in this Dec. 17, 2002 photo.  Sadly, Hank passed away on July 4, 2005.


September 13, 2002

Dear Hank,

It was nice to talk with you on the telephone recently. It was great news to hear that you have been selected as a finalist for the Hall of Fame. There is no doubt that when the voting is conducted on January 26, 2003, that you will receive the votes which will allow for your induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This recognition is long overdue.

As I told you, I really enjoyed the few years, 1973-1976, where I got to know you on a personal basis. I have fond memories of the fun times we shared on the golf course and playing basketball in your driveway. When I think back, that was over twenty-five years ago, but seems like it was just yesterday.

I am thankful that Jan and Len introduced us. They are just two of the players that you signed as Kansas City Chiefs and gave an opportunity to excel. These guys were disciplined players and through your leadership developed the knowledge and skills to become among the best ever to play the game.

Your approach to coaching and to motivation reached much farther than the football field. I believe your philosophy towards winning and life in general touched many lives beyond the men that you coached.

Anytime you were interviewed, I will always remember you talking about overcoming adversity. You said that adversity was only a stepping stone to opportunity; the "Big Picture", the "Vision" and the "Attitudes of people" really were the factors in developing winners. When you would talk about one of your players playing through an injury, the heart that they showed, the toughness they displayed, you instilled the belief in your players minds that they were winners. I donít believe players today have the guts and determination that players in your time had.

Your beliefs had and still have an impact on me personally. I see the Big Picture, have Vision for the future and an attitude that anything is possible. I will never give up. In my business when times were bad, I had the mental toughness and attitude that tomorrow will be better. In my business career we have had many successes and some set backs, but because I developed your "can win" attitude. We have always survived any adversity and from it took a step to some new opportunities.

So in ending, I believe your legacy is not only of an excellent football coach, but of a person whose beliefs have touched many peopleís lives. You have made an impact in ways you may not realize. Phyllis, your children and their families are proud of you, Iím sure. Liz and I wish you and your family Godís blessing always.

Best Regards,

P.S. In case you have not already seen them, I am enclosing two Kansas City Star Sports pages, so you can see what was reported and what Dick Vermeil had to say about you.




Hank Stram is carried off the field after his Chiefs won the 1970 Super Bowl over the Vikings.    


Contact Information

Jerry Baker & Associates, Inc.

Telephone:  (913) 897-9199

Fax:  (913) 851-0678

Address: 13108 Linden Lane
       Leawood, Kansas 66209

Email: info@bakerandassoc.com

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