Willie Wood, the first African-American quarterback to play at USC and the Pacific Coast Conference, died Monday. He was 83.
Wood went undrafted in 1960 but signed with the Green Bay Packers and played safety. He was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, five-time first team All-Pro, two-time Super Bowl champion; played on five NFL championship teams and member of the 1960’s NFL All-Decade Team.
He intercepted 48 passes in 166 games (all with Green Bay) and held the NFL record for most consecutive starts by a safety. He led the NFL with a 13.3 yards per punt return average in 1964.
In 1989, he was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame. In 1980, Wood became the first African-American head coach in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts.
Wood battled shoulder injuries in 1958-59 at USC. Besides playing QB, he even kicked a field goal in 1959.