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Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 12:13 am

Springfield’s Superbowl champ

HERBERT LOUIS “HERB” MCMATH, SR. September 6, 1954 – October 5th, 2016



Herbert Louis McMath, Sr., a 1972 Springfield Southeast High School graduate and 1976 Super Bowl champion, was born in Coahoma, Mississippi, and lived most of his life in Springfield. While attending Southeast, Herb played football and basketball as well as shot put for the track and field team. After graduating, he attended Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1972 he married Sharon Beeler, with whom he had three children.

He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders (round 4, pick 10) in the 1976 NFL draft. During his two years in the NFL he played defensive tackle and defensive end for the Superbowl-winning Raiders in 1976 and did the same for the Green Bay Packers in 1977, playing 22 games over the course of the two seasons. Per official stats, he was 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighed 248 pounds during his career.

According to his obituary at Legacy.com, Herb was considered a mentor by many and throughout his life his passions included cars (both as driver and mechanic) and coaching football (the semi-pro Springfield Bucs) as well as fishing and playing cards. He reportedly treated his Shih Tzus “like royalty” and was known for his authority over the pool table in his “infamous Boom Boom Room.” He taught himself to use FaceTime in order to keep in touch with his two brothers, living in California and Australia. Herb was employed by the State of Illinois as a store bookkeeper before taking early retirement for medical reasons. Online condolences for Herb repeatedly characterized the one-time football great as a “gentle giant” who will be missed by all who knew him.

Scott Faingold can be reached at sfaingold@illinoistimes.com

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