Former Saints Head Coach J.D. Roberts Dies
The second head coach in New Orleans Saints history died earlier this week.
J.D. Roberts, who was the head coach of the Saints for parts of three seasons, from 1970-1972, passed away on Monday at the age of 88.
A native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Roberts was an offensive lineman for the Oklahoma Sooners, finishing 8th in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1953.
The Saints, who began the 1970 season with a record of 1-5-1, hired Roberts, who was the head coach of the Atlantic Coast Football League's Richmond Roadrunners, on November 3, 1970.
Roberts' first game as head coach of New Orleans was memorable, guiding the Saints to a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions at Tulane Stadium, thanks to Tom Dempsey, who kicked a then-NFL record 63-yard game-winning field goal.
Unfortunately for Roberts and the Saints, there were few more high notes.
New Orleans lost its final six games un Roberts in 1970, before finishing at 4-8-2 in 1971 with rookie quarterback Archie Manning, and then 2-11-1 in 1972.
Strangely enough, Roberts was fired by the Saints after a preseason loss in August of 1973, when he was replaced by John North.
Roberts, who went 7-25-3 as the head coach of the Saints, went on to run an oil and gas business in Oklahoma City for many years.