Joe Ehrmann

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Joe Ehrmann
No. 76
Born: (1949-03-29) March 29, 1949 (age 68)
Buffalo, New York, United States
Career information
Position(s) Defensive tackle
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 254 lb (115 kg)
College Syracuse
NFL draft 1973 / Round: 1 / Pick 10
Drafted by Baltimore Colts
Career history
As player
1973–1980 Baltimore Colts
1981–1982 Detroit Lions
1983 Chicago Blitz (USFL)
1984 Arizona Wranglers (USFL)
1985 Orlando Renegades (USFL)
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls 1

Joseph Charles "Joe" Ehrmann (born March 29, 1949) is a former National Football League (NFL) defensive lineman, originally drafted as the 10th pick in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft out of Syracuse University to the Baltimore Colts. Ehrmann is currently a minister and motivational speaker. Ehrmann played with Baltimore for eight years, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1978. He finished his NFL career with the Detroit Lions as part of their vaunted defensive line in the early 1980s. He was an NFL defensive tackle from 1973 through 1982. He then played in the USFL for the Chicago Blitz, Arizona Wranglers and Orlando Renegades.

Syracuse University

Ehrmann attended Syracuse University, where he was a three-year football letterman in 1969, 1970 and 1972.[1] Primarily a defensive tackle, he was an All-American selection in 1970. He was named to the university's football All-Century Team on October 28, 1999.[2] He was also the recipient of the George Arents Pioneers Medal, the university's highest alumni honor, in 2004.[3]

Service off the field

In 1978, the same year Ehrmann played in the Pro Bowl, he watched his brother Billy lose his fight with cancer. This experience caused Ehrmann to rethink and reorder his priorities in life. Ehrmann spearheaded the construction of a Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore in memory of Billy. In the off-season, Ehrmann attended classes at Dallas Theological Seminary and, following his football career, he graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, specializing in urban ministry. He was ordained in 1985.

In the years since then, Ehrmann and his wife Paula created Building Men and Women for Others, an organization that addresses many societal challenges including violence, child advocacy, and much more. They also co-founded "The Door", a community center in inner-city Baltimore. He has also served as a pastor of the 4,000-member Grace Fellowship Church in Baltimore. On March 26, 2013, he spoke on an all male panel called "Breaking the Male Code" hosted by Eve Ensler, addressing the issue of violence against women in the wake of the Steubenville High School Rape case.[4][5]

Season of Life

Prompted by an article about the demolition of the Colts' Memorial Stadium, author Jeffrey Marx (who first met and was inspired by Ehrmann as a ball boy for the Baltimore Colts) reconnected with Ehrmann and became fascinated both with his ministry and his work as a volunteer Defensive Coordinator coach for the football team at Gilman School, an all-boys school in Baltimore, where he and Head Coach Biff Poggi continue to teach and coach football with a 'building men for others' strategy.

In 2004, Marx's book Season of Life was published, featuring the Gilman football team and the life lessons Coaches Poggi and Ehrmann teach. The book became a New York Times best-seller and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He also supports the Choose Civility movement, sponsored by the Howard County Maryland Library, by attending seminars as a celebrity guest.

Personal life

Ehrmann is currently a minister and motivational speaker. Ehrmann has been married for more than thirty years to Paula Peach Ehrmann, a psychotherapeutic counselor who operates the Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Paula Peach Ehrmann & Associates.[6] They are parents of two sons and two daughters. One of the sons, Barney, was a lacrosse star at Georgetown University who began playing professionally with the Chesapeake Bayhawks in 2011.[7] His other son, Joey, is a linebacker at Wake Forest University.


  1. ^ "All-time Football Letterwinners – Syracuse University Athletics". Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  2. ^ ""Syracuse University Football All Century Team Named," Syracuse University Athletics, Thursday, October 28, 1999". 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  3. ^ "Joe Ehrmann, Football, 1969–72 (profile) – Syracuse University Athletics". 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  4. ^ "Breaking the Male Code on Livestream". 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  5. ^ "Joe Ehrmann to speak at FUMA". Fork Union Military Academy. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  6. ^ "Who We Are – Paula Peach Ehrmann & Associates". Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  7. ^ Castello, Matt (2011-07-29). "Castello, Matt. "Bayhawks rookies Ehrmann and Hostetler hope familiarity leads to success," ''The Baltimore Sun'', Saturday, July 30, 2011". Retrieved 2013-12-27. 

External links

  • Coach for America (Official Website).
  • Webb, Donnie. "Former SU All-American Joe Ehrmann's helmet returned 40 years after it was lost in a brawl," The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), Monday, May 3, 2010.
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