Staff

Print
Jerry Richardson
Owner/Founder

Bio

Jerry Richardson is a native Carolinian whose dream was to bring NFL football and the world championship he knew as a player in the league to his home. As the Panthers conclude their second decade, Richardson has firmly established the NFL into the Carolina landscape while dedicating his efforts to making the rest of his vision a reality. He is the only person to be inducted into both the North and South Carolina Business and Athletic Halls of Fame.

On October 26, 1993, Richardson became the first former NFL player since George Halas to become an owner when the Carolinas were unanimously awarded the NFL's 29th franchise. Most recently, Richardson played a pivotal role as Co-Chairman of the NFL Executive Committee in reaching an unprecedented 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association in 2011.

"Jerry Richardson has always put himself out there to take those tough jobs and get it done in a way that reflects well on the NFL and this franchise," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell of Richardson's efforts on behalf of the league as well as his Panthers.

A lifelong resident of the Carolinas, Richardson and his wife, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson, have a son, Mark, and a daughter, Ashley Richardson Allen, of Charlotte. The Richardsons have nine grandchildren and live in Charlotte.

Edited excerpt from Johnny Unitas: America's Quarterback

A Lasting Impression

Jerry Richardson, a tall, shy receiver was one of the newcomers to the Colts in 1959. Like Unitas, he came from a small college. He had played college football in South Carolina at Wofford College, and Richardson always seemed to be explaining just where Wofford was.

There were approximately one dozen other receivers running around trying to make a lasting impression, one that would enable them to fill the sole spot on the roster. Richardson's chances were not exactly promising, being taken in the 13th round and the 153rd player overall.

Unitas saw the underdog in Richardson, who had married his college sweetheart, Rosalind Sallenger. When training camp opened for the 1959 season, Richardson had no way to get to practice, so Unitas helped him out. He picked him up in the front of the rented house every morning to drive him to camp. They got along fine. Unitas didn't talk, and neither did the rookie, which suited them both.

The Touchdown Catch

Late in the 1959 championship game, was Baltimore head coach Weeb Ewbank thinking of a field goal to give the Colts an eight point lead in the 4th quarter against the New York Giants? Richardson, the rookie receiver Unitas chauffeured during training camp, was waiting to return the favor by bringing in the play that Ewbank wanted.

"I stood next to Weeb and looked at him for the play," recalls Richardson. "I finally asked him what the play was and he remarked, 'Just tell Unitas to score.’”

Given the opportunity to score a seemingly safe field goal or a touchdown Unitas would always go for the six points.

"Raymond Berry was split on the left and would make his cut into the middle underneath the linebacker. I lined up close to the tackle and would swing wide to the outside. It really was Berry's play all the way. He had done it a thousand times. But Unitas looked off Berry, and I looked around and saw the ball coming to me. I squeezed it tight and went into the end zone standing up. I never expected the ball and neither did the Giants."

The rookie's touchdown was the clincher. The Colts moved closer to the championship with a 21-9 lead.

Jerry Richardson is a native Carolinian whose dream was to bring NFL football and the world championship he knew as a player in the league to his home. As the Panthers conclude their second decade, Richardson has firmly established the NFL into the Carolina landscape while dedicating his efforts to making the rest of his vision a reality. He is the only person to be inducted into both the North and South Carolina Business and Athletic Halls of Fame.

On October 26, 1993, Richardson became the first former NFL player since George Halas to become an owner when the Carolinas were unanimously awarded the NFL's 29th franchise. Most recently, Richardson played a pivotal role as Co-Chairman of the NFL Executive Committee in reaching an unprecedented 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association in 2011.

"Jerry Richardson has always put himself out there to take those tough jobs and get it done in a way that reflects well on the NFL and this franchise," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell of Richardson's efforts on behalf of the league as well as his Panthers.

A lifelong resident of the Carolinas, Richardson and his wife, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson, have a son, Mark, and a daughter, Ashley Richardson Allen, of Charlotte. The Richardsons have nine grandchildren and live in Charlotte.

Edited excerpt from Johnny Unitas: America's Quarterback

A Lasting Impression

Jerry Richardson, a tall, shy receiver was one of the newcomers to the Colts in 1959. Like Unitas, he came from a small college. He had played college football in South Carolina at Wofford College, and Richardson always seemed to be explaining just where Wofford was.

There were approximately one dozen other receivers running around trying to make a lasting impression, one that would enable them to fill the sole spot on the roster. Richardson's chances were not exactly promising, being taken in the 13th round and the 153rd player overall.

Unitas saw the underdog in Richardson, who had married his college sweetheart, Rosalind Sallenger. When training camp opened for the 1959 season, Richardson had no way to get to practice, so Unitas helped him out. He picked him up in the front of the rented house every morning to drive him to camp. They got along fine. Unitas didn't talk, and neither did the rookie, which suited them both.

The Touchdown Catch

Late in the 1959 championship game, was Baltimore head coach Weeb Ewbank thinking of a field goal to give the Colts an eight point lead in the 4th quarter against the New York Giants? Richardson, the rookie receiver Unitas chauffeured during training camp, was waiting to return the favor by bringing in the play that Ewbank wanted.

"I stood next to Weeb and looked at him for the play," recalls Richardson. "I finally asked him what the play was and he remarked, 'Just tell Unitas to score.’”

Given the opportunity to score a seemingly safe field goal or a touchdown Unitas would always go for the six points.

"Raymond Berry was split on the left and would make his cut into the middle underneath the linebacker. I lined up close to the tackle and would swing wide to the outside. It really was Berry's play all the way. He had done it a thousand times. But Unitas looked off Berry, and I looked around and saw the ball coming to me. I squeezed it tight and went into the end zone standing up. I never expected the ball and neither did the Giants."

The rookie's touchdown was the clincher. The Colts moved closer to the championship with a 21-9 lead.

 

Recent Articles

Recent Videos