Former Bears Personnel Boss Bill Tobin Dies at 83

Personnel director and VP had an influence in building of the 1985 Super Bowl team before going on to serve as Colts GM.
Former Colts GM and Bears personnel director Bill Tobin has died at the age of 83.
Former Colts GM and Bears personnel director Bill Tobin has died at the age of 83. / Indy Star-USA TODAY Sports

Former Bears personnel executive and scout Bill Tobin has passed away at the age of 83.

Tobin was never the Bears general manager, although he had the responsibilities associated with the job during their Super Bowl season in 1985 as director of player personnel, a title he was given in 1984.

His influence with the team increased greatly after GM Jim Finks' departure left. Tobin was named pro scouting director in 1975 for the Bears under Finks, after beginning his scouting career for Green Bay beginning in 1971.

After the 1986 season, team president Michael McCaskey fired general manager Jerry Vainisi and Tobin was named vice-president of player personnel. He held that title until going to the Colts. The Bears did not have another GM after Vainisi's firing until they hired Jerry Angelo in 2001.

Tobin went on to be the GM of the Colts after the Mike Ditka era ended at the end of the 1992 season.

A native of Burlington Junction, Mo. and a star running back for Missouri from 1959-62, Tobin was rookie of the year in the AFL in 1963 with the Houston Oilers.

He began scouting for the Green Bay Packers in 1971 before coming to the Bears in 1975, the year they selected Walter Payton with the fourth pick in the draft.

Tobin was instrumental as the key personnel figure in the selection of players like Wilber Marshall, William "the Refrigerator" Perry, Neal Anderson and Jim Harbaugh. He was involved in the selection decisions of Bears greats like Hall of Famers Dan Hampton, Mike Singletary and Jimbo Covert.

Tobin's brother Vince was Bears defensive coordinator after Buddy Ryan left following the Super Bowl XX title. Vince Tobin died last July.

Tobin's son Duke is the director of player personnel for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

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Gene Chamberlain

GENE CHAMBERLAIN publisher Gene Chamberlain has covered the Chicago Bears full time as a beat writer since 1994 and prior to this on a part-time basis for 10 years. He covered the Bears as a beat writer for Suburban Chicago Newspapers, the Daily Southtown, Copley News Service and has been a contributor for the Daily Herald, the Associated Press, Bear Report, CBS and The Sporting News. He also has worked a prep sports writer for Tribune Newspapers and Sun-Times newspapers.