Rough Acres Ranch Photos


American Football League

Summer 1963 – The Rough Acres training camp

I have written several times about the San Diego Chargers infamous Rough Acres Ranch training camp of 1963.  Sid Gillman wanted to take his team to a remote location for training camp so that they would have nothing to focus on but football.  Rough Acres was the result.  And the result of Rough Acres was San Diego’s lone championship season.

Though much is said and written about Rough Acres, there are very few photos illustrating just how primitive it truly was.  In my 16 years of researching the 1960s Chargers, the small handful in this post are the only images I have found of the Rough Acres complex.

American Football League

Summer 1963 – View of the main building at Rough Acres training camp

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rough acres ranch

Ernie Wright and Lance Alworth

rough acres ranch

Bud Whitehead, George Blair and Sam Gruneisen take in a meal at Rough Acres.

rough acres ranch

Alvin Roy (kneeling), Ron Mix, Ernie Wright, Earl Faison, Jacque MacKinnon and Emil Karas (squatting) working out at Rough Acres.


Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

2 Responses to Rough Acres Ranch Photos

  1. Howard says:

    I read a book recently about Sid Gilman. The 1963 team was the “beneficiary” of PED’s. The trainer/strength coach Alvin Roy disbursed illegal steroids to Charger players. It only lasted for the 1963 season. I’m not saying they could not have won without the drugs, but, it did give them an advantage as far as weight training vs. other teams who presumably were “clean”.

  2. Eddie Arminio says:

    Ernie Wright and Lance Alworth look like their walking through a desert, and fertilizer isn’t going to help that practice field.

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