IOWA CITY, Iowa – – Former University of Iowa All-American receiver Jim Gibbons passed away Saturday, due to double pneumonia. He was 79. No public services are being held. Donations may be made in his name to the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex clinic of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
At Iowa, Gibbons earned first team All-America and first team All-Big Ten honors as a senior in 1957, helping the Hawkeyes finish sixth in the Associated Press final poll with a record of 7-1-1. In addition, the 1957 team captain was inducted into the Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1996. He broke five Iowa records and tied another as a three-year letterman (1955-57). He was a native of Chicago.
Gibbons’ best game came against Minnesota in 1957. He hauled in nine passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-20 win over the Golden Gophers to claim Floyd of Rosedale for the eighth time in Iowa history. Gibbons ranks 34th in Iowa history with 69 receptions for 1,099 yards.
Gibbons was selected in the fifth round of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, and played for the Detroit Lions from 1958-68. The three-time Pro Bowl selection finished his NFL career with 287 receptions for 3,561 yards. His 65-yard touchdown reception as time expired led the Lions to a comeback victory over the Baltimore Colts in 1960. That play remains the longest pass play in NFL history to end a regular season game.