Former NFL GM Who Had Infamous On-Air Fight With Mel Kiper Dies Aged 83



Longtime NFL executive Bill Tobin, who served as a general manager for the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts, passed away this week at the age of 83. No cause of death was released.

Bill was born on February 16, 1941, in Missouri. After playing high school football, Tobin attended the University of Missouri, where he played in the backfield alongside quarterback Jim Johnson.

Although he only played one season in the National Football League as a running back for the Houston Oilers, Tobin went on to have a long-lasting and successful career as an executive.

His first job as an executive came in 1987 in Chicago, as the Bears’ GM. Although he was not the General Manager at the time, Tobin was, in fact, part of building the famed 1985 Super Bowl-winning Bears team. Tobin held his position with the Bears until 1992.

Tobin is also well-known for the “Mel Kiper incident” during the 1994 NFL Draft when he selected Nebraska linebacker Trev Alberts with the fifth pick instead of Fresno State quarterback Trent Dilfer. After facing criticism for the pick from Kiper, Tobin later unleashed on Kiper in an interview, stating, “Who in the hell is Mel Kiper anyway?”

During his time at the Indianapolis Colts, Tobin drafted future Hall of Famers such as Marshall Faulk and Marvin Harrison, as well as stars such as Ken Dilger, Tarik Glenn, and Adam Meadows. The quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts team was none other than Jim Harbaugh, who led the league in passing in 1995 and had a very successful playoff run.

In 1997, Bill Tobin was replaced as the Colts’ general manager by Bill Polian. Tobin finished his career in Indianapolis with a 26-22 record as the Colts’ GM.

Current Colts owner Jim Irsay released a statement to Twitter following Tobin’s passing.

Rest in peace!


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  1. Pingback: Former Red Sox World Series Champion David McCarty Dead at 54

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