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James Phelan (American football): Wikis


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James M. "Jimmy" Phelan

Title Head coach
Sport Football
Born December 5, 1892
Place of birth Sacramento, California
Died November 14, 1974 (aged 81)
Place of death Honolulu, Hawaii
Career highlights
Overall 137-87-14
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
Playing career
1915-1917 Notre Dame
Position Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Saint Mary's
Los Angeles Dons (AAFC)
Dallas Texans (NFL)
College Football Hall of Fame, 1973 (Bio)

James Michael Phelan (December 5, 1892 in Sacramento, California – November 14, 1974 in Honolulu, Hawaii) was a college football head coach at Missouri, Purdue, and Washington.



After growing up in Portland, Oregon, Jim Phelan came to Notre Dame in 1915. In his first game as a reserve quarterback and placekicker for the football team, he threw for a touchdown and ran for another in a 32-0 victory over Alma College. This earned him the starting job, and he would go on to complete a 7-1 season, the lone defeat a 19-20 loss at Nebraska.

The 1916 team was a defensive juggernaut, shutting out every team they played except for their meeting at Army, which they lost 30-10, thus finishing the season 8-1. The 1917 campaign began with a 55-0 victory over Kalamazoo, followed by a 0-0 tie at Wisconsin in which Phelan attempted to win the game by kicking a 61-yard field goal that bounced off the crossbar. An 0-7 loss at Nebraska the following week would be the last game of his career, as he was drafted into military service for World War I and sent to Camp Taylor, Louisville.


Following the war, Phelan entered the college coaching ranks. From 1920 to 1921, he coached at Missouri, and compiled a 13-3 record. From 1922 to 1929, he coached at Purdue, and compiled a 35-22-4 record there. From 1930 to 1941, he coached at Washington, and compiled a 65-37-9 record there.

Following a six-year stint as head coach of Saint Mary's (CA) that included two bowl appearances, Phelan joined the coaching staff of several upstart professional football franchises, including a year as head coach of the NFL's Dallas Texans in 1952.

Phelan was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1973.


Head Coaching Record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Missouri (Missouri Valley Conference) (1920–1921)
1920 Missouri 7-1-0 5-1 2nd
1921 Missouri 6-2-0 4-2 T-2nd
Missouri: 13-3-0
Purdue (Big Ten Conference) (1922–1929)
1922 Purdue 1-5-1 0-3-1 10th
1923 Purdue 2-5-1 1-4 T-8th
1924 Purdue 5-2-0 2-2 5th
1925 Purdue 3-4-1 0-3-1 T-9th
1926 Purdue 5-2-1 2-1-1 4th
1927 Purdue 6-2-0 2-2 T-4th
1928 Purdue 5-2-1 2-2-1 6th
1929 Purdue 8-0-0 5-0 1st
Purdue: 35-22-5
Washington (Pacific-10 Conference) (1930–1941)
1930 Washington 5-4-0 3-4 5th
1931 Washington 5-3-1 3-3-1 5th
1932 Washington 6-2-2 3-2-2 4th
1933 Washington 5-4-0 3-4 7th
1934 Washington 6-1-1 5-1-1 3rd
1935 Washington 5-3-0 4-3 6th
1936 Washington 7-2-1 7-0-1 1st L Rose 5
1937 Washington 7-2-2 4-2-2 3rd
1938 Washington 3-5-1 3-4-1 6th
1939 Washington 4-5-0 4-4 4th
1940 Washington 7-2-0 7-1 2nd 10
1941 Washington 5-4-0 5-3 T-2nd
Washington: 65-37-8
Saint Mary's (Independent) (1942–1947)
1942 Saint Mary's 6-3-1
1943 Saint Mary's 2-5-0
1944 Saint Mary's 0-5-0
1945 Saint Mary's 7-2-0 L Sugar Bowl
1946 Saint Mary's 6-3-0 L Oil Bowl
1947 Saint Mary's 3-7-0
Saint Mary's: 24-25-1
Total: 137-87-14
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Alfred (Dutch) Bergman
Notre Dame starting quarterbacks
1915 - 1917
Succeeded by
Bill Mohn
Preceded by
Henry Schulte
Missouri Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Thomas Kelly (football)
Preceded by
William Henry Dietz
Purdue Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Noble Kizer
Preceded by
Enoch Bagshaw
Washington Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Ralph Welch


External links


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