NFL coach "Red" Hickey, inventor of shotgun formation, March 30 Howard "Red" Hickey, the NFL coach who invented the shotgun offensive formation while with the San Francisco 49ers, died on Thursday, March 30, 2006, in Aptos, Calif. He was 89. Hickey coached San Francisco from 1959-63, going 27-27-1 before resigning three games into the 1963 season. He made history in 1960 when he combined elements of a punt formation, a spread passing attack and a double-wing formation invented by Stanford's Pop Warner into the shotgun, so named by Hickey because it sprayed receivers around the field. It was initially used by 49ers QB's John Brodie, Bob Waters and Billie Kilmer to thwart the Colts' massive rush. He also played on the Cleveland Rams' 1945 championship team, was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams' title club in 1951 and later with the Dallas Cowboys. He's pictured here in 1958.
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