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Harry Hulmes, former Giants assistant GM, dies at 88

Harry Hulmes, the Baltimore Colts' publicity director, pays

Harry Hulmes, the Baltimore Colts' publicity director, pays a visit to Johnny Unitas at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore on Dec. 6, 1965. Credit: AP / William Smith

Harry Hulmes III, a former assistant general manager for the Giants and a key builder of the franchise’s first two Super Bowl-winning teams, died on Sunday at age 88.

“Harry was an instrumental part of our success under George Young,” said John Mara, co-owner of the Giants. “While he may have operated behind the scenes, he was an invaluable member of our front office and was George’s right- hand man for many years. He was beloved by everyone at the Giants and around the NFL. It is s very sad day for all of us.”

The Giants said Hulmes had been living in Somerset, New Jersey, and had been transferred to a hospice in the state before his death.

Hulmes joined the Giants in 1984 as an assistant to Young. He later became a special assistant to the general manager. He left that post in 1998, but remained with the team as a player personnel scout, which was one of his original duties with the club. Hulmes was a scout emeritus when he retired following the 2008 season.

Hulmes graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in journalism, and some of those sports writer traits carried through his entire professional life.

“I loved hearing him read his very detailed game-day scouting reports on players,” current Giants general manager Jerry Reese said. “Some of them would start like this: ‘It was a brisk, sunny, fall afternoon and the wind was blowing out of the northeast at 10 miles per hour. Nonetheless, the stadium was packed, and both teams seemed ready to go.’”

Hulmes spent a half century working in the NFL, first with the Colts for 12 years beginning in 1958 and then with the Saints for 13 in a variety of roles from public relations director to business manager to general manager for three seasons with the Colts. In those three seasons as GM the Colts had a combined record of 34-8-3, but one of those eight losses was in Super Bowl III to the Jets and Joe Namath, one of the biggest upsets in NFL history.

“He got demoted to assistant GM, because once they lost Super Bowl III, Carroll Rosenbloom [the Colts’ owner] was going to shake everything up,” former Giants and Colts GM Ernie Accorsi said. “But he had a tremendous record.”

Hulmes also served as chief operating officer for the Arizona Wranglers of the USFL.

He is remembered more, though, for his personality than his accomplishments.

“Harry was such a pure human being,” Accorsi said. “The only flaw in that personality was a lack of patience for the Philadelphia Phillies. He was a paragon of character. He was humble, had no ego, never complained about anything — except for the Phillies.”

Hulmes was born in Philadelphia in 1927 and spent three years in the Navy as a radarman in the South Pacific and Persian Gulf theaters during World War II. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Barbara Lockhart Hulmes; two daughters, Linda Sleet and Terry Daroca; a son, Rich Hulmes; six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and two brothers, Jay and Don Hulmes.

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