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Harold Carmichael

Lee Harold Carmichael (born September 22, 1949) is an American former football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) who played 13 seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles (1971–1983) and one season for the Dallas Cowboys (1984). Carmichael was the Director of Player Development and Alumni for the Eagles from 1998−2014, and a Fan Engagement Liaison from 2014−2015, before retiring again in 2015.

Harold Carmichael
refer to caption
Carmichael playing for the Eagles in 1977
No. 17
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1949-09-22) September 22, 1949 (age 70)
Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Height:6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school:Jacksonville (FL) Raines
NFL Draft:1971 / Round: 7 / Pick: 161
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:8,985
Receiving touchdowns:79
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early yearsEdit

Carmichael attended William M. Raines High School in Jacksonville, Florida, where he played the clarinet in the school's band. He began playing quarterback on the football team.[1]

He walked-on at Southern University and became a tri-sport athlete. He used his 6'8" height to play on the basketball team as a center, and threw the javelin and discus for the track and field team. In football, he shifted to playing wide receiver, where he was a four year starter, although he never led the team in receptions.[2] He received All-conference honors as a senior. He was a teammate of Mel Blount.

In 1989, he was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. In 2004, he was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was inducted into the Southwest Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

Professional careerEdit

Carmichael was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round (161st overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft.[3] As a rookie, he was converted into a tight end, starting in 6 out of the 9 games and leading the team's tight ends with 20 receptions (fourth on the team).

The next year he was moved to wide receiver. In 1973, he had a breakout year with the arrival of head coach Mike McCormack, leading the league with 67 receptions for 1,116 yards (16.7-yard average) and was tied for fourth with 9 receiving touchdowns.

Carmichael scoring a touchdown with the Eagles in 1977.

His production fell in the next three seasons as the team struggled to find a reliable quarterback. In 1977, Ron Jaworski was named the starting quarterback, with Carmichael leading the team with 46 receptions for 665 yards and 7 touchdowns.

He was elected to four Pro Bowls in his NFL career. He finished third in receiving yards in 1978 with 1,072 and was second in receiving touchdowns in 1979 with 11.

In 1980, he set an NFL record at the time by catching passes in 127 consecutive NFL games.

On May 11, 1984, he was waived by the Eagles. On August 8, he was signed as a free agent by the New York Jets, who were looking to improve their depth at wide receiver while Wesley Walker held out in a contract dispute and Lam Jones recovered from a broken collarbone.[4] He was released on August 26.[5]

On September 6, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys, who were looking for wide receiver depth after Tony Hill was injured in the season opener 20-13 win against the Los Angeles Rams.[6] He played in 2 games and caught only one pass before being cut on November 14 and announcing his retirement.[7]

He ended his career with 590 receptions for 8,985 yards with 79 career touchdown catches, along with 64 rushing yards on nine carries. He currently ranks 25th all-time in career touchdown receptions, but he was 7th all-time at the time of his retirement. His career catches ranked fifth all-time when he retired. He retired as the Eagles' all-time leader in pass receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and total touchdowns (79), with all four records still standing as of early 2017. He also holds Eagles post-season records for receiving yards (465), touchdowns (6), yards per reception (16.0), and yards per game (66.4). He and Brent Celek are the only Eagles with 3 touchdowns in a single post-season (1979), and he is one of four players with 2 touchdowns in a single post-season game. He holds the Eagles record for most games with a touchdown for both the regular season (69) and playoffs (5, shared with Duce Staley and Brian Westbrook). At 6 foot 8 inches, he is believed to be the tallest wide receiver in the history of the NFL.[8]

Carmichael was selected to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. From 1973 to 1983, Carmichael led all NFL receivers in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. In 1987, he was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame. The Professional Football Researchers Association named him to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2009 [9]

Personal lifeEdit

After retiring from his playing career, he settled in South Jersey and joined a Philadelphia travel agency as a vice president for sales.[7] He later operated various businesses, including steel fabrication and sports marketing.

In 1998, Carmichael was named the director of player and community relations for the Eagles, a newly created position where he would be a "combination mentor, confidant, troubleshooter, and liaison between the players and the authority figures in the organization".[10] He was moved to a Fan Engagement Liaison position in 2014, and retired from that role on April 2, 2015. He currently works as an ambassador for the team in his retirement.[11]


  1. ^ "Harold Carmichael Hall of Fame bio". Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame Classes". Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  3. ^ "Eagles standing tall with Carmichael". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  4. ^ "The New York Jets, shaken by the absence of..." UPI. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  5. ^ "NFL Training Camp Roundup". UPI. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  6. ^ "NFL Roundup". UPI. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Carmichael Former "All-Pro" End, Retires". Schenectady Gazette. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  8. ^ "Tallest Players in NFL History". The Bleacher Report. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  9. ^ "Hall of Very Good Class of 2009". Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  10. ^ "Carmichael Named To New Eagles Post The Ex-birds Star Will Wear A Number Of Hats. Basically, Though, He'll Be There For The Players". Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  11. ^ Gaul, Jerry (April 2, 2015). "Eagles' Harold Carmichael retiring from role as Fan Engagement Liaison". Retrieved February 11, 2018.