Bibbles Bawel

Edward Raymond “Bibbles” Bawel (born November 21, 1930) was an American football defensive back in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at Evansville College. He also helped the Hamilton Tiger-Cats win the Grey Cup in 1957.

College career

Initially enrolling at the University of Evansville on a basketball scholarship; Bawel became a three-sport star; winning a total of five varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball.He was a starter on the 1951-52 basketball team for the legendary coach Arad McCutchan. He led the purple aces to a record of 22-1-2 from 1948-1951; the 1949 Ohio Valley Conference championship and appearances in the 1948 and 1949 Refrigerator Bowls. He was named the MVP of the 1949 Refrigerator Bowl.

Professional career

He wasn’t selected in the 1951 NFL Draft after playing offensive end at Evansville College, but his coach Don Ping, being a friend of the Philadelphia Eagles head coach Jim Trimble, convinced him to give Bawel a try out.

In 1952 he made the team as a defensive back, leading the league with 34 punt returns. He also intercepted eight passes. He was called for military duty at the end of his rookie season, rejoining the team two seasons later in 1955. That year he intercepted 9 passes (a franchise record until 1971), finishing second in the league to Willard Sherman. He also led the league in return yards (168) and touchdown returns.

In 1956 he followed Trimble to the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union, helping the Hamilton Tiger-Cats win the Grey Cup as a two-way player (offensive end and defensive back).

In 1979 he was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

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