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Jerry Stovall
Date of birth: 1941
Career information
Position(s): Defensive back, punter
College: LSU
NFL Draft: 1963 / Round: 1 (2nd Overall)
 As player:
1963-1971 St. Louis Cardinals
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: 3 (1966, 1967, 1969)
Playing stats at

Jerry Stovall (born 1941) is a former All-American running back and head football coach for LSU. He was also a star defensive back in the NFL for the St. Louis Cardinals.

After graduating West Monroe High School, Stovall went to LSU, succeeding Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon as the Tigers' running back. Stovall was named an All-American at that position in 1962, and was the runner-up for the 1962 Heisman Trophy. He finished 89 votes behind Oregon State's Terry Baker.

Stovall was the 2nd overall pick in the 1963 NFL Draft, selected by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals converted him to full-time defensive back. During his 9 seasons with the Cardinals, Stovall had 18 interceptions in 97 games, and was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1966, 1967 and 1969 seasons.

After his NFL career, Stovall became a college football assistant coach. He eventually returned to LSU, as an assistant for head coach Charlie McClendon. Stovall became LSU's head coach as an emergency hire, after new head coach Bo Rein died when his plane depressurized and disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean.

In Stovall's four years with the Tigers (1980-1983), LSU finished 7-4, 3-7-1, 8-3-1, and 4-7. Only one of Stovall's teams appeared in the final AP poll: the 1982 team. That team finished the season ranked #11 after it beat #4 Florida, #8 Alabama (Bear Bryant), and #7 Florida State (Bobby Bowden) and earned a spot in the Orange Bowl (where LSU lost 21-20 to a #3 Nebraska team led by Tom Osborne). As a result of his performance in 1982, Stovall was named the National Coach of the Year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

In 1983, Stovall's success of 1982 came unraveled. The Tigers went 0-6 in the SEC, including an embarrassing 45-26 loss at home to Mississippi State, leaving Stovall 0-4 for his career against the Bulldogs, who more often than not have been a doormat in the SEC.

Unfortunately, Stovall's tenure is most remembered for his 2-2 record against Tulane. To date, the Tigers have only lost to Tulane on two other occasions since 1948, both under McClendon. 1982 is the Tigers' only home loss to Tulane since 1948. LSU played Tulane annually until 1994 and has resumed the rivalry on a yearly basis beginning in 2006. The Tigers also beat the Green Wave in Baton Rouge in 1996 and 2001.

Stovall's dismissal by athletic director Bob Brodhead was approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors on December 2, 1983, despite an impassioned plea from former Louisiana Governor John McKeithen, who had been appointed to the board by then-Governor Dave Treen, for Stovall to keep his job.

After his head coaching stint at LSU, Stovall went on to take a job in banking before becoming athletic director at Louisiana Tech University from 1990 to 1993. Afterwards, Stovall became the president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation, an organization dedicated to securing sporting events for the Baton Rouge area.

Preceded by
Bo Rein
LSU Tigers Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Bill Arnsparger
Preceded by
Jackie Sherrill
Walter Camp Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Mike White


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