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Duffy Daugherty
Title Head coach
College Michigan State
Sport Football
Born September 8, 1915
Place of birth Emeigh, Pennsylvania
 United States
Died September 25, 1987 (aged 72)
Place of death Santa Barbara, California
Career highlights
Overall 109-69-5 (.609)
Bowls 1-1
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
1965 National Championship (UPI)
1965 Paul "Bear" Bryant Award
Playing career
1935-39 Syracuse
Position Guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Syracuse - ass't
Michigan State - ass't
Michigan State
College Football Hall of Fame, 1984 (Bio)

Hugh "Duffy" Daugherty (September 8, 1915 – September 25, 1987) was a college football head coach at Michigan State. He led the Spartans from 1954 to 1972, where he compiled a career record of 109-69-5. He was best known for his wit, good humor, and wisdom. His 19 seasons at the helm of Spartan football are still the longest of any head coach in the program's history. He is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football.


Early career

Duffy Daugherty was born in Emeigh, Pennsylvania on September 8, 1915. Raised as a Presbyterian, he converted to Catholicism in 1964.

He began his football career playing at Syracuse, and was named captain of the football team in his senior year. He joined the U.S. Army during World War II, and earned the Bronze Star.

Upon his return from the war, he became an assistant coach at Syracuse under Clarence L. "Biggie" Munn. When Munn was hired to become the new head coach at Michigan State for the 1947 season, Daugherty came with him. Munn's teams had a great deal of success, winning the AP National Championship in 1952, and the 1954 Rose Bowl in Michigan State's fourth season in the Big Ten Conference (although the first season MSU was allowed to play in a Rose Bowl under an agreement when they joined the conference). Daugherty continued to serve as an assistant coach until Munn retired to become Michigan State's athletic director after the 1953 season, at which point Daugherty became the new head coach, the 15th in the history of Michigan State football.

Michigan State head coach

After finishing his first season in 1954 with a disappointing 3-6 record, the Spartans improved and finished second in the Big Ten in 1955 with an 8-1 record behind Ohio State, they received the invitation to the Rose Bowl instead of the Buckeyes, due to the conference's prohibition against repeat trips to the Rose Bowl (in addition to the prohibition against appearing in any other bowl game). At the game, the Spartans defeated UCLA 17-14, the second bowl win in school history.

On November 5, 1964, the NCAA found Daughtery's program at Michigan State University guilty of Major Infractions prior to and during the 1957, 1958, and 1959 seasons. The infractions ranged from free transportation between players homes and the university, cash allowances, spending money, and tuition payments exceeding NCAA rules.[1] Daughtery's football program was put on probation for 3 years following the 1964 decision. Daughtery's program was not found to have continued these violations and they are largely forgotten today.

From 1956 to 1964, Daugherty's teams were usually good, but not quite good enough to win the Big Ten. They did, however, manage to beat Notre Dame eight straight times, a feat matched only by Michigan and USC. The 1965 and 1966 seasons were the high points in Daugherty's coaching tenure, if not in the history of Michigan State football. The 1965 team finished the regular season 10-0, ranked first in the country. However, they were upset by UCLA in the 1966 Rose Bowl, 14-12, although they did win the UPI and National Football Foundation polls for the national championship. Their defensive unit, known as the Wall of Steel, was the best in school history and arguably one of the best of all time. In 1966, the team began 9-0 with convincing wins over its opponents headed into a matchup between #2 Michigan State and #1 Notre Dame at Spartan Stadium on November 19, 1966. In what many people have called "The Game of the Century", the game ended in a 10-10 tie. MSU won a share of the National Football Foundation national championship with Notre Dame. The Spartans did not play in a bowl game following the 1966 season due to Big 10 rules in place at the time. Teams could not represent the conference in consecutive seasons in the Rose Bowl, and no other bowl games were allowed.

Beginning with the 1967 season, there was a significant decline in the Spartans football program. Daugherty's teams were consistently hovering around the .500 mark, with his 1971 squad the only one above that mark (6-5). Under pressure from MSU's administration, he retired after the 1972 season.

During Daugherty's time in East Lansing, he recruited and coached some of the best players in Michigan State's history. Those include Herb Adderley, Brad Van Pelt, Bubba Smith, George Webster, and Joe DeLamielleure. He was one of the first coaches to field an integrated team.

After leaving Michigan State, Daugherty served as a TV color analyst for a number of years.

To honor his accomplishments at Michigan State, the university named the football team's practice facility the Duffy Daugherty Football Building. The Duffy Daugherty Memorial Award is presented annually to a person for lifetime achievement and outstanding contribution to amateur football. He was also elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1975.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten Conference) (1954–1972)
1954 Michigan State 3–6 1–5 T–8th
1955 Michigan State 9–1 5–1 2nd W Rose 2 2
1956 Michigan State 7–2 4–2 T–4th 10 9
1957 Michigan State 8–1 5–1 2nd 3 3
1958 Michigan State 3–5–1 0–5–1 10th
1959 Michigan State 5–4 4–2 2nd 16
1960 Michigan State 6–2–1 4–2 4th 11 15
1961 Michigan State 7–2 5–2 3rd 9 8
1962 Michigan State 5–4 3–3 T–5th
1963 Michigan State 6–2–1 4–1–1 T–2nd 10 10
1964 Michigan State 4–5 3–3 6th 20
1965 Michigan State 10–1 7–0 1st L Rose 1 2
1966 Michigan State 9–0–1 7–0 1st 2 2
1967 Michigan State 3–7 3–4 T–5th
1968 Michigan State 5–5 2–5 7th
1969 Michigan State 4–6 2–5 9th
1970 Michigan State 4–6 3–4 T-5th
1971 Michigan State 6–5 5–3 T–3rd
1972 Michigan State 5–5–1 5–2–1 4th
Michigan State: 109–69–5 72–50–3
Total: 109–69–5
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  • "Football isn't a contact sport, it's a collision sport.
    Dancing is a contact sport."
  • "A tie is like kissing your sister."
  • "When you are playing for the national championship, it's not a matter of life or death.
    It's more important than that."
  • "When a letter simply addressed to "Duffy the Dope" was delivered to me, I knew it was time to retire."


External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Clarence L. "Biggie" Munn
Michigan State University Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Denny Stolz
Preceded by
Ara Parseghian
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award
Succeeded by
Tom Cahill


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