1934 - 2014
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Ed Vereb, (age 80), an All-American halfback at the University of Maryland and a first-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins, who had a stellar career in the Canadian Football League before becoming a dentist, died December 18, 2014, in Bowie, Maryland of complications from Alzheimer's Disease. Dr. Vereb, a Pittsburgh native, arrived at the University of Maryland as a highly recruited high school All-America running back from perennial Western Pennsylvania powerhouse Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh. He was recruited to Maryland by Jim Tatum, a College Football Hall of Famer and one of the most successful football coaches in NCAA history, who built the Terrapins into a national powerhouse. During Vereb's four years at Maryland the Terrapins compiled a 34-6-1 record, appeared twice in the Orange Bowl and once in the Sugar Bowl, and were named National Champions during the 1953 season, his sophomore year. In his senior year of 1955, Vereb was elected co-captain and in the opening game of the season against #1 ranked UCLA, scored the only touchdown of the game on a 17-yard run for a 7-0 victory. A photograph of that touchdown run appeared in that week's issue of Sports Illustrated. The Terrapins went on to a 10-0 regular season record and played #1 ranked Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl losing 20-6. Vereb scored the only Maryland touchdown on a 15-yard run in the second quarter putting Maryland ahead 6-0 at halftime, but Oklahoma came back in the second half to win the game. Vereb ended the day totaling 108 yards on eight carries, including a 66-yard run from scrimmage on the third play of the game. Maryland finished the 1955 season ranked #3 in the nation. In those days of two-platoon football with Vereb playing both running back and defensive back, he finished his senior season scoring 16 touchdowns, tied for the second leading scorer in the nation, and averaged just under six yards a carry. He also threw for two touchdowns on the halfback option pass, and had four interceptions as a defensive back. His accomplishments garnered All-Atlantic Coast Conference and All-America honors. He was also selected to play in the 1956 Senior Bowl where he played for legendary Cleveland Browns and NFL Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown. The Washington Redskins selected him in the first-round of the 1956 NFL Draft, the 12th overall pick, but Vereb opted instead to play for the British Columbia (B.C.) Lions in the Canadian Football League who also drafted him in the first round of the CFL draft and offered him double the money the Redskins offered. Again, playing both offense and defense, he scored 14 touchdowns during his rookie season earning him Rookie of the Year honors, and was named to the CFL All-Star Team. Military service in the U.S. Army interrupted his professional football career causing him to miss the 1957 CFL season when he was stationed in Fort Knox, KY where he played on and coached the post football team. After his discharge he returned to British Columbia for both the 1958 and 1959 seasons, the latter being the first time in the history of the franchise the Lions reached the playoffs. After the 1959 CFL season, Vereb sought to play in the NFL and joined the Redskins, which still owned the contractual rights to him, for the 1960 season where he was used solely on offense as a running back and punt and kick returner. Upon his release from the team during training camp of the 1961 season, Vereb declined an offer from NFL Hall of Famer Al Davis to play for the San Diego Chargers where Davis was an assistant coach at the time in only the second year of the American Football League, and instead returned to Canada as a player/backfield coach for the B.C. Lions. There he teamed up with Joe Kapp who quarterbacked the Lions for several years before moving to the NFL and leading the Minnesota Vikings to Super Bowl IV in 1970. Vereb retired from professional football after the 1961 season. Edward John Vereb was born in Pittsburgh, PA on May 21, 1934. After his playing career ended, he returned to the Washington area and worked for the U.S. Postal Service while finishing his undergraduate degree. Upon his acceptance at Georgetown University's dental school, he attended classes while working nights as a security guard at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. For four years he endured a grueling daily schedule, completing his all-night shift and then driving to the dental school for classes during the day, before returning home for a few hours of sleep before starting the routine all over the next day. Upon graduation in 1966, Dr. Vereb opened his own office in Bowie where he had settled his family and practiced dentistry for 38 years before retiring in 2004. A member of the American Dental Association and the Southern Maryland Dental Society, he was listed in Washingtonian Magazine in 1991 as one of the top dentists in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. Vereb was one of the founders of the Bowie Boys and Girls Club coaching football for many seasons, including a six-year period when his teams were undefeated, and won numerous county championships. During this time he also organized several youth football clinics that included instructors from the Redskins Alumni Association. In later years he was a volunteer assistant football coach at Bowie High School. He was inducted into the Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School Hall of Fame and his name appears on the University of Maryland's Byrd Stadium. Dr. Vereb's wife of 31 years, Patricia Anne Vereb, who was a cheerleader he met while at the University of Maryland, died in 1988. Survivors include two children, Glen (Amy) Vereb and Gail (Greg) Sinkovic; four grandchildren, Keith, Kelly, Gabriella and Garin; four sisters, Regina (the late Edward Griffin), Margaret Rose, Dorothy, Loretta; and a brother, Stephen (Sandy); son of the late John and Margaret (Morvay). Friends will be received at the JOHN F. SLATER FUNERAL HOME, INC., 412-881-4100, 4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood, 15227, Sunday from 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Prayer on Monday morning at 11. Mass of Christian Burial in St. Paul of The Cross Monastery at 12:00 noon. Please send condolences to:
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Dec. 26, 2014.
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Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
December 28, 2014
Our deepest Sympathy to The Vereb Family, Ed was a very nice man & he will be missed by his wonderful family & many friends. May you find Peace as you remember & celebrate the time you had together!
Diana & John Deighan & Family
December 28, 2014
Dear Vereb Family:
Ed and I were Roommates At Maryland in 1952 thru 6/55. We were close friends and teammates. Condolences: Gene Sullivan
December 27, 2014
I remember you as a fellow graduate of central catholic and I know your brother steve well. My condolences to your family and the peace of the lore be with you. Ron Carnevale Hernando FL
Ron Carnevale
December 27, 2014
Great friend in High school.Rest in PEACE
Charles McSwigan
December 26, 2014
I remember you well from Central's Foorball team. I was two years younger, and voted for Ed to be team captain. May God take good care of you, and God bless your family. Jim Kearns
December 26, 2014
Ed and I both grew up in Hazelwood and hung out around Orinoco St. We lived a couple of blocks apart. Ed started his football career at St Stephens in Hazelwood before he went to Central Catholic. His great athletic attributes were only surpassed by his loyalty and friendship. He was a good friend and he will be missed.
Rich/John/Jim Mamajek
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