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Bob Woodruff

Title Head Coach
Athletic Director
College B.A., Tennessee, 1939
Sport Football
Born March 14, 1916(1916-03-14)
Place of birth Athens, Georgia
Died November 1, 2001 (aged 85)
Place of death Knoxville, Tennessee
Career highlights
Overall 72–52–8 (.576)
Bowls 2–1 (.667)
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
Playing career
1936–1938 University of Tennessee
Position Tackle
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
University of Tennessee (Asst)
U.S. Military Academy (Asst)
Georgia Tech (Asst)
Baylor University (HC)
University of Florida (HC)
University of Tennessee (AD)

George Robert "Bob" Woodruff (March 14, 1916 – November 1, 2001) was an American college football player and coach. Woodruff was best known as the head coach of Baylor University and the University of Florida, and later, as the athletic director at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee.

Bob Woodruff was born in Athens, Georgia in 1916, and attended high school in Savannah, Georgia.[1] After high school, he enrolled at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he played tackle for the Volunteers football team under legendary head coach "General" Robert Neyland.[2] Woodruff graduated from Tennessee in 1939.

Woodruff stayed in Knoxville after graduation, working as an assistant coach under Neyland during the 1939, 1940 and 1941 football seasons.[1] In quick succession, he then served as an assistant football coach at West Point in 1944 and 1945, and at Georgia Tech in 1946.[1] The 1939 and 1940 Volunteers teams had ranked among the top five in the final Associated Press (AP) football poll; the AP declared the Cadets national champions in 1944 and 1945. Woodruff had been a part of great teams and coaching staffs.[1]

Woodruff became the head football coach at Baylor University in Waco, Texas in 1947.[1] He coached the Baylor Bears football team for three seasons from 1947 through 1949, compiling a 19–10–2 record.[3] His 1948 Bears posted a 6–3–2 record and finished with a 20–7 win over Wake Forest in the Dixie Bowl.[4] Woodruff coached his 1949 Bears to a final AP Poll top-20 ranking[5] and an 8–2 record, but the Bears did not receive a bowl bid.[6]

After the 1949 season, Woodruff replaced Raymond Wolf as the head football coach at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.[7] In order to induce Woodruff to leave Baylor, the Florida Board of Control offered him a seven-year guaranteed contract at $17,000 per year.[8] Woodruff was only 34 years old.[1] He coached the Florida Gators football team for ten seasons from 1950 through 1959, finishing with a 53–42–6 record.[3] Woodruff led his 1952 Gators team to the program's first official bowl game, the Gator Bowl, and a 14–13 win over the University of Tulsa to end his most successful season as a head football coach.[9] In the competitive Southeastern Conference of the 1950s, Woodruff's Gators would not win more than six games again in a season,[3] but they were ranked in the top 20 of the final AP Poll in each of 1957,[10] 1958[11] and 1959.[12] During his time as the Gators football coach, he also worked as Florida's athletic director.[13]

From 1963 to 1985, Woodruff served as the athletic director at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee.[13] As Tennessee athletic director, Woodruff oversaw the rise of the Volunteers' athletic program as a nationally recognized power and was responsible for the renovation, expansion and construction of the university's state-of-the-art athletic facilities.[13] Between 1963 and 1985, the Volunteers won national championships in cross country, swimming and diving, and track and field, and participated in fifteen football bowl games, eight NCAA men's basketball tournaments and four NIT basketball tournaments.[13] Woodruff also served on the U.S. Olympic Committee for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.[13] When he retired in 1985, he was succeeded as Tennessee athletic director by another former Gators football coach, Doug Dickey.[13]

Woodruff died in Knoxville on November 1, 2001; he was 85 years old.[13]


Record as head football coach

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Baylor Bears (Southwestern Conference) (1947–1949)
1947 Baylor 5–5–0 2–5
1948 Baylor 6–3–2 4–2–1 W Dixie
1949 Baylor 8–2–0 5–2 20th
Baylor: 19–10–2 11–9–1
Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1950–1959)
1950 Florida 5–5–0 2–4 10th
1951 Florida 5–5–0 2–4 9th-Tie
1952 Florida 8–3–0 3–3 6th W Gator 15th
1953 Florida 3–5–2 1–3–2 9th
1954 Florida 5–5–0 5–2 3rd-Tie
1955 Florida 4–6–0 3–5 10th
1956 Florida 6–3–1 5–2 3rd
1957 Florida 6–2–1 4–2–1 3rd-Tie 17th
1958 Florida 6–4–1 2–3–1 6th L Gator 15th 14th
1959 Florida 5–4–1 2–4 9th 19th
Florida: 53–42–6 29–32–4[14]
Total: 72–52–8[3]
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Associated Press, "Signed for Seven Years At $17,000," Daytona Beach Morning Journal, p. 1 (January 7, 1950). Retrieved March 2, 2010. Above the article, the banner headline of the Morning Journal proclaimed "Woodruff Of Baylor To Coach Gators."
  2. ^ United Press International, "Neyland Athletes To Give Huge Testimonial Dinner," St. Petersburg Times, p. 5C (August 16, 1953). Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d College Football Data Warehouse, George R. "Bob" Woodruff Records by Year. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  4. ^ College Football Data Warehouse, All-Time Coaching Records, George R. "Bob" Woodruff: 1948. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  5. ^ AP Poll Archive, 1949 AP Final Football Poll. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  6. ^ College Football Data Warehouse, All-Time Coaching Records, George R. "Bob" Woodruff: 1949. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  7. ^ Associated Press, "Woodruff Named Coach by Florida; Football Head Leaves Baylor to Become Gators' Mentor and Athletic Director," The New York Times, Sports sec., p. 22 (January 7, 1950). Retrieved March 7, 2010.
  8. ^ F.T. MacFeely, "With Woodruff At The Helm, Florida Records Tumble," St. Petersburg Times, p. 10 (November 24, 1952). Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  9. ^ College Football Data Warehouse, All-Time Coaching Records, George R. "Bob" Woodruff: 1952. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  10. ^ AP Poll Archive, 1957 AP Final Football Poll. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  11. ^ AP Poll Archive, 1958 AP Final Football Poll. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  12. ^ AP Poll Archive, 1959 AP Final Football Poll. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "Former Florida Coach, AD, Dies," The Ledger, p. C3 (November 2, 2001). Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  14. ^ Southeastern Conference, All-Time Football Standings 1950–1959. Retrieved March 16, 2010.


  • Pleasants, Julian M., Gator Tales: An Oral History of the University of Florida, University of Florida, Gainesvile, Florida (2006). ISBN 0-8130-3054-4.
  • Proctor, Samuel, & Wright Langley, Gator History: A Pictorial History of the University of Florida, South Star Publishing Company, Gainesville, Florida (1986). ISBN 0-938637-00-2.
  • Van Ness, Carl, & Kevin McCarthy, Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future: The University of Florida, 1853–2003, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (2003).
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Frank Kimbrough
Baylor University Head Football Coach
1947 – 1949
Succeeded by
George Sauer
Preceded by
Raymond Wolf
University of Florida Head Football Coach
1950 – 1959
Succeeded by
Ray Graves
Preceded by
Raymond Wolf
University of Florida Athletic Director
1950 – 1959
Succeeded by
Ray Graves
Preceded by
University of Tennessee Athletic Director
1963 – 1985
Succeeded by
Doug Dickey


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