Nolan Cromwell

Nolan Cromwell
Nolan Cromwell
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Wide Receivers Coach
Biographical details
Born January 30, 1955 (1955-01-30) (age 56)
Place of birth Smith Center, Kansas
Playing career
Kansas (QB)
Los Angeles Rams (S)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Los Angeles Rams (Asst.)
Green Bay Packers (ST)
Green Bay Packers (WR)
Seattle Seahawks (WR)
Texas A&M (OC)
St. Louis Rams (WR)
Accomplishments and honors
As a player:
NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
Pro Bowl selection (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983)
3× First-team All-Pro selection (1980, 1981, 1982)
1× Second-team All-Pro (1983)
3× First-team Al-NFC (1980, 1981, 1982)
2× Secdon-team All-NFC (1979, 1983)
NFL 101 NFC Defensive Player of the Year (1980)
UPI NFC Defensive Player of the Year (1980)
Football Digest NFL Defensive Back of the Year (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983)
Daniel F. Reeves Memorial Award (1981)
Big-8 Offensive Player of the Year (1975)
Big-8 All-Conference selection (1975)
Kansas High School Athlete of the Decade (1970s)

Nolan Neil Cromwell (born January 30, 1955) is the wide receiver coach for the St. Louis Rams. He was an All-Pro safety for the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL and was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M University. Cromwell played for the Rams from 1977 through 1987 and was named to the Pro Bowl in four consecutive years, 1980 through 1983. He played on the Rams' 1979 Super Bowl XIV team.


Early years

Cromwell played at Logan High School as a freshman, helping the basketball team win a state championship. When his family moved to Ransom, Cromwell earned the nickname the "Ransom Rambler" while attending Ransom High School as a standout in football, basketball and track. He was a national AAU junior champion in the decathlon, a three-time state champion in track and earned consensus All-State honors in football and basketball. He was named the Wichita Eagle’s high school football player of the decade for the 1970s.[1]

Playing career


Cromwell, nicknamed "The Ransom Rambler", was an honorable mention All-America quarterback for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. He started at quarterback for two seasons, throwing 92 passes and completing 33 for 606 yards. He is one of KU's ten 1,000-yard rushers in school history.

As a freshman in 1973 he was the starting safety in the Liberty Bowl. After being a two-year starter at safety he made the move to quarterback where he broke several KU, Big Eight and NCAA records for rushing by a quarterback. In 1975, Cromwell rushed 294 and 187 yards in the Oregon State and Wisconsin games, respectively, and finished the season with 1,124 rushing yards. He also scored a touchdown in a stunning 23-3 win over the University of Oklahoma was ranked #1 at the time and the defending National Champions. Despite playing in just 18 games on offense at Kansas, he is 13th on the all-time rushing charts and is the top rushing quarterback. The 1975 Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year, All-Conference and Academic All-Conference's rushing total was the third highest in NCAA history at the time. His 294 yards rushing by a quarterback is still an NCAA record for a Division I school. He holds the Kansas record for most rushes (24) by a Kansas player in a Bowl game (set vs. Pittsburgh in the 1975 Sun Bowl).

Cromwell also earned All-America in the 600-yard run and the 440-hurdles while setting KU records in the 600-meter and 400-meter yard runs, the intermediate hurdles (a record he still holds 49:47) and the decathlon and qualified for the US Olympic trials in the low hurdles.[2]

he was part of the Big-8 champion mile relay team in 1975 and 1976, was the Big-8 440-yd/400-meter hurdle champ in both 1975 and 1976 With Cromwell's contributions the 1975 Jayhawk track team finished ranked second in the NCAA in outdoor track and fifth in indoor track while capturing both titles for the Big-8 Conference. In 1976 they repeated as Big-8 indoor champs and were second in outdoor while finishing tied for 9th in the NCAA in indoor competition and ited for 20th in outdoor competition.

Cromwell was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.


He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams as a defensive back in the second round, pick 32, in 1977 and played his entire 11-year career in Los Angeles. He was the Rams nickleback in 1977 and 1978 and a stadount (sicsic) on special teams, running a fake field goal as a holder was Cromwell's specialty. In 1979 he secured the starting free safety position and was named Second-team All-NFC.

He was named the 1980 NFC Defensive Player of the Year by UPI and by the Kansas Committee of 101, and was named by Football Digest as the NFL Defensive Back of the Year in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983. He was selected to play in four consecutive Pro Bowls, from 1980–1983. Cromwell was part of the Rams defenses that performed well in the late-1970s as well as the Top 10 defenses of 1985 and 1986 when Rams qualified for the playoffs five of his last six seasons.

At the time of his retirement, he was the Rams' all-time leader in interception return yardage with 671 yards in 37 interceptions. After retirement, he was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame.

Coaching career


After retirement as an active player, Cromwell began his coaching career with the Rams. He served as a defensive and special teams assistant in 1991 before being hired by Mike Holmgren to coach special teams for the Green Bay Packers in 1992. From 1992-97, Cromwell headed up the special teams for the Packers. The Packers' punt return unit led the NFL in 1996 with a 15.1-yard return average. Five different times during the 1996 season, one of Cromwell's players was honored as Special Teams Player of the Week. Also in 1996, the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI against the New England Patriots in New Orleans with special teams player Desmond Howard winning the Super Bowl MVP honors. The following year, the Packers reached Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego against the Denver Broncos. In 1998, he moved from special teams to coach the Packers' wide receivers and Cromwell worked with the wide receivers at Green Bay in 1998 helping Pro Bowler Antonio Freeman lead the NFL with 1,424 yards on 84 catches

After two Super Bowl appearances with Green Bay, in 1996 and 1997, Cromwell followed Holmgren to the Seattle Seahawks to coach the wide receivers. Cromwell's 2002 wide receiver corps set a franchise record for 300-yard (five) and 400-yard (two) passing games and in 2003 helped quarterback Matt Hasselbeck set a club record with 3,841 passing yardsIn Seattle, Cromwell again made a Super Bowl appearance as a coach during the Seahawks' 2005 season.

He is now the Wide Receiver coach for the St. Louis Rams and has been so since February 10, 2010


On January 5, 2008, Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman named Cromwell to be his offensive coordinator.[3] When asked by media as to why he chose Cromwell, Sherman responded "I’ve always been impressed with him and the job he did in (the NFL). He’s excited about being part of college football."[4]

On February 10, 2010, Cromwell returned to the NFL as a wide receiver coach for the Rams and works with the likes of Donnie Avery, Mark Clayton, Brandon Gibson, and other to get into synch with new Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.[5]


Nolan and his wife, Mary, have two children, Lance and Jennifer.


Preceded by
Vince Ferragamo
Rams Most Valuable Player Award
Succeeded by
Vince Ferragamo

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