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Jim Donnan
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Sport Football
Born January 29, 1945 (1945-01-29) (age 64)
Place of birth South Carolina Laurens, SC
Career highlights
Overall 104–40–1
Bowls 4–0–0
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
1 Division I-AA National title (1992)
1 Southern Conference title (1994)
Playing career
1965-1967 NC State
Position Quarterback-Kicker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Oklahoma (OC)
College Football Hall of Fame, 2009 (Bio)

Jim Donnan (born January 29, 1945 in Laurens, South Carolina) was a college football coach and is now an on-air television analyst for college football games as well as a motivational speaker.



Jim Donnan was the Offensive coordinator at the University of Oklahoma from 1985-1989. From 1985-1988, he coached under Barry Switzer, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and Super Bowl winning coach. Donnan coached the legendary Oklahoma Sooner Wishbone Offense that helped the Sooners to impressive 11-1 seasons from 1985-1987, including a national championship in 1985. In 1986, the Sooners scored 508 points, which at the time was the second highest point total in the schools storied history, trailing only the Sooners 1971 NCAA record setting rushing offense that scored 534 points. [1]

Donnan was head football coach at Marshall University, where he led the Thundering Herd to a 64-21 record from 1990 to 1995, including five consecutive 11-plus win seasons and the 1992 NCAA Division I-AA national football championship. He was named the Division I-AA Coach of the Year twice.

Donnan was then the head football coach at the University of Georgia from 1996 to 2000. He compiled a 40-19 record during his tenure. He was the first football coach in school history to lead Bulldog teams to four consecutive Bowl victories. Under Donnan, the Bulldogs won the Outback Bowl in 1997, the Peach Bowl in 1998, the Outback Bowl in 1999, and the Oahu Bowl in 2000. Before the 1997 game against Mississippi State, Donnan drove a steamroller into practice and told his players they "were either going to be the steamroller or the pavement"; Georgia won the game 47-0.[1]

However, Donnan was fired by University President Michael F. Adams (against the wishes of athletic director Vince Dooley) in 2000 after the Bulldogs struggled to two consecutive 8-win seasons, and 3 consecutive losses against Georgia Tech. His inability to return the program to the national prominence of the era of Dooley and to compete with longtime SEC Eastern division rivals such as Tennessee and Florida -- combined with certain off-the-field problems for players—is believed to be the reason for his dismissal.

Prior to working as a head coach, he served as an assistant coach at several schools, including Kansas State University, University of Missouri, Florida State University, and the University of Oklahoma.

During his playing days as a Quarterback at North Carolina State University, he defeated his future employer University of Georgia 14-7 in the 1967 Liberty Bowl. Jim Donnan was the ACC Player of the Year in 1967.

In May 2009, Donnan was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame for his success at Marshall.[2]


Broadcasting career

Donnan currently works as an analyst for ESPN, working on ESPNEWS HotList and Overdrive and ESPN Radio College Gameday Tailgate. Donnan maintains a residence in Athens, Georgia while traveling the country to speak to various groups and organizations about motivation and leadership.


  1. ^ Mark Schlabach, Richt's motivational gamble pays off for Georgia,, October 29, 2007.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
George Chaump
Marshall University Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Bob Pruett
Preceded by
Ray Goff
Georgia Bulldogs Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Mark Richt


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