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Bill Arnsparger: Wikis

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Bill Arnsparger
Replace this image male.svg
Date of birth December 16, 1926
Place of birth Paris, Kentucky
Position(s) Head Coach
Athletic Director
College Miami University
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1951-1954
1954-1962
1962-1964
1964-1969
1969-1974;1976-1983
1974-1976
1984-1986
1986-1992
1992-1994
Ohio State University
University of Kentucky
Tulane University
Baltimore Colts
Miami Dolphins
New York Giants
Louisiana State University
University of Florida
San Diego Chargers

Bill Arnsparger (born December 16, 1926) is a former football coach who was primarily an assistant, but served as head coach at both the professional and collegiate levels.

A native of Paris, Kentucky, Arnsparger attended Paris High School and became connected with the school's longtime football and basketball coach, Blanton Collier. The relationship would have a major impact on his future career.

After serving in the United States Marines during World War II, Arnsparger graduated from Miami University in January 1950. He is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He then served as an assistant at the school Fall 1950.

Contents

Ohio State (1951-1954)

On February 21, 1951, Arnsparger was hired by Ohio State University's new head coach Woody Hayes as the squad's line coach. He served in that capacity until 1954.

Kentucky (1954-1962)

In 1954, Arnsparger re-connected with Collier, who had been hired as head coach at the University of Kentucky.

Arnsparger remained at Kentucky for the next eight years until Collier was fired on January 2, 1962. During the 1959 season, he was joined on the coaching staff by a young coach who had served at the University of Virginia the previous year. That coach was Don Shula, with the two mentors forging a strong bond that would serve them for much of the next quarter century.

Tulane (1962-1964)

Arnsparger moved on to an assistant position with Tulane University, but, after two years, resigned the post on March 6, 1964 to become defensive line coach for the Baltimore Colts under Shula.

NFL (1964-1983)

In 1964, Arnsparger became the defensive line coach for the Baltimore Colts. That season, the team reached the NFL Championship game and remained one of the strongest teams of the 1960s, competing in Super Bowl III on January 12, 1969.

When Shula left to become head coach with the Miami Dolphins after the end of the 1969 NFL season, he brought along Arnsparger. In just two seasons, the formerly moribund team had reached the Super Bowl, with Arnsparger fashioning what became known as the "No-Name Defense". World championships in each of the next two seasons, including an undefeated season during 1972, made Arnsparger a prime candidate for a head coaching position.

Following the team's 24-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII, Arnsparger was named head coach of the New York Giants. However, the success he had enjoyed as an assistant evaporated in his new role, with the Giants managing just seven wins in his 35 games. It should be noted that Arnsparger had the daunting task of leading the Giants in three different stadiums in his tenure: the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut in 1974; Shea Stadium, home of the cross-town rival New York Jets in 1975; and finally, Giants Stadium in 1976. Arnsparger was fired on October 25, 1976, with the team having lost all seven of its games on the year.

Just two days after his dismissal, Arnsparger was rehired by Shula as Miami's assistant head coach in charge of the defense. In the team's first game under his leadership, the Dolphins won a 10-3 defensive battle over the New England Patriots, who had averaged 30 points entering the contest.

Miami finished the 1976 NFL season with a 6-8 mark, then narrowly missed a playoff berth the following season. During the next two seasons, the Dolphins reached the postseason, but dropped their first playoff game. During the strike-shortened 1982 NFL season, Miami finally put things together and reached Super Bowl XVII, but dropped a 27-17 decision to the Washington Redskins. Bill Arnsparger again had created an elite defensive unit, known as the Killer B's (so named because of the number of surnames beginning with B on that unit).

LSU (1983-1986)

On December 2, 1983, Arnsparger was hired as head coach at Louisiana State University, but finished his season with the Dolphins. Spending three years as Tigers' head coach, Arnsparger led his 1986 squad to the school's first Southeastern Conference title since 1970, as well as a berth in the Sugar Bowl. Shortly after the final regular season game in 1986, Arnsparger announced he was resigning to become athletic director at the University of Florida.

University of Florida Athletic Director (1986-1992)

In 1989, Arnsparger's new school became embroiled in a series of controversies when it was revealed that head football coach Galen Hall had committed NCAA violations and that two players on his team had admitted gambling on college football games. In addition, questions about the school's men's basketball program also surfaced, allegations that led to the forced resignation of coach Norm Sloan.

Despite seeing both teams put on probation, Arnsparger was able to extricate himself from the football problem by hiring Duke University head coach and former Florida Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier. The appointment set the stage for one of the most successful runs for a program during the 1990s. Ironically, Spurrier was a finalist for the LSU job when Arnsparger left LSU. The LSU position instead went to Arnsparger's defensive coordinator, Mike Archer, and Spurrier instead landed in Durham, North Carolina.

NFL (1992-1995)

On January 13, 1992, Arnsparger resigned to become defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers. During his four years, the team's defense showed marked improvement, culminating with an appearance in Super Bowl XXIX. Just days after the team's appearance, Arnsparger announced his retirement, citing the prostate cancer surgery he had undergone the year before.

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Alex Webster
New York Giants Head Football Coach
1974–1975
Succeeded by
John McVay
Preceded by
Jerry Stovall
Louisiana State University Head Football Coach
1984–1986
Succeeded by
Mike Archer
Preceded by
Bill Carr
University of Florida Athletic Director
1986–1992
Succeeded by
Jeremy Foley

References

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