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Ken Hatfield
Replace this image male.svg

Sport Football
Born June 6, 1943 (1943-06-06) (age 66)
Place of birth Arkansas Helena, AR
Career highlights
Overall 168–140–4
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
Playing career
1961-1964 Arkansas
Position Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Air Force

Ken Hatfield (born June 6, 1943(1943-06-06) in Helena, Arkansas) is a former American football head coach.

Hatfield is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he starred at defensive back for the 1964 NCAA Division I-A national football championship team alongside such pro football luminaries as Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones. He is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Hatfield began his college head coaching career at the United States Air Force Academy from 1979 to 1983. He gradually rebuilt a program that had struggled through most of the 1970s and laid the foundation for its success in the 1980s and early 1990s (under his offensive coordinator, Fisher DeBerry). He then moved to his alma mater, Arkansas, where he compiled a 55-17-1 from 1984 to 1989, including two straight Southwest Conference titles--something that the Razorbacks hadn't pulled off since his playing days. In 1989, Hatfield became the first former player to coach his alma mater in the Cotton Bowl Classic, as he helped lead Arkansas to the 1964 National Championship over Nebraska in the 1965 Cotton Bowl Classic. This was also the last year to date that the Razorbacks won a conference title of any kind in football.

However, he had a somewhat frosty relationship with longtime athletic director Frank Broyles, even though Broyles had been his college coach. Broyles had a reputation for being very hands-on with the football program he'd built into a national power. When Broyles signed a new five-year contract in early 1990, Hatfield bolted to Clemson University without even visiting the campus.[1] Ironically, the coach Hatfield succeeded at Clemson, Danny Ford, would eventually become the Razorbacks' coach in 1993.

Hatfield coached at Clemson from 1990-93, compiling a 32-13-1 record and the school's last Atlantic Coast Conference title to date, in 1991. He also worked to clean up the program's image; the Tigers had been slapped with probation for NCAA violations under Ford.[2] However, Hatfield was never really accepted by Clemson's fans. A common saying among Tiger fans was "Howard built it. Ford tilled it. Hatfield killed it."

Largely due to this discontent, school officials refused to grant him a one-year extension on his contract after the 1993 season, even though the Tigers had rebounded from 5-6 in 1992 to a solid 8-3 record that year. Angered at what he saw as a lack of support, Hatfield resigned at the end of the regular season.[3]

Soon afterward, Hatfield was hired at Rice University, where he compiled a 55-78-1 record before resigning on November 30, 2005, following a 1-10 season. He only had three winning seasons in 12 years. Although the Owls were bowl-eligible in those three winning seasons, they weren't invited to a bowl in part because of the school's small alumni and fan base (Rice is the second-smallest school in Division I FBS). In his first year, despite a losing overall record, he managed to lead the Owls to a share of the SWC title.

One of the few remaining proponents of the conservative triple-option offense in college football, Hatfield compiled a 168-140-4 record as a head coach.


Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Air Force Falcons (Western Athletic Conference) (1979–1983)
1979 Air Force 2-9
1980 Air Force 2-9-1 1-6 T-8th
1981 Air Force 4-7 2-5 7th
1982 Air Force 8-5 4-3 T-3rd W Hall of Fame Classic
1983 Air Force 10-2 5-2 2nd W Independence 15 13
Air Force: 26-32-1 12-16
Arkansas Razorbacks (Southwest Conference) (1984–1989)
1984 Arkansas 7-4-1 5-3 T-3rd L Liberty
1985 Arkansas 10-2 6-2 T-2nd W Holiday 12 12
1986 Arkansas 9-3 6-2 T-2nd L Orange 16 15
1987 Arkansas 9-4 5-2 T-2nd L Liberty
1988 Arkansas 10-2 7-0 1st L Cotton 13 12
1989 Arkansas 10-2 7-1 1st L Cotton 13 13
Arkansas: 55-17-1 36-10
Clemson Tigers (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1990–1993)
1990 Clemson 10-2 5-2 T-2nd W Hall of Fame 9 9
1991 Clemson 9-2-1 6-0-1 1st L Citrus 17 18
1992 Clemson 5-6 3-5 7th
1993 Clemson 8-3 5-3 T-3rd * 22 23
Clemson: 32-13-1 19-10-1
Rice Owls (Southwest Conference/Western Athletic Conference/Conference USA) (1994–2005)
1994 Rice 5-6 4-3 T-1st*
1995 Rice 2-8-1 1-6 7th
1996 Rice 7-4 6-2 T-2nd
1997 Rice 7-4 5-3 T-2nd
1998 Rice 5-6 5-3 T-3rd
1999 Rice 5-6 4-3 4th
2000 Rice 3-8 2-6 T-6th
2001 Rice 8-4 5-3 T-4th
2002 Rice 4-7 3-5 T-6th
2003 Rice 5-7 5-3 T-4th
2004 Rice 3-8 2-6 9th
2005 Rice 1-10 1-7 T-5th (West)
Rice: 55-78-1 43-50
Total: 168-140-4 (.545)
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

*Hatfield resigned after the regular season; Tommy West coached the Tigers in the Peach Bowl. Clemson credits the 1993 regular season to Hatfield and the Peach Bowl to West.

See also


  1. ^ Murphy, Austin. Not exactly Hog Heaven. Sports Illustrated, 1992-09-21.
  2. ^ Hanley, Brian. Clemson gets "Real McCoy". Chicago Sun-Times, 1990-12-30.
  3. ^ Clemson coach quits. New York Times, 1993-11-25.

External links

Preceded by
Bill Parcells
Air Force Falcons Head Coach
Succeeded by
Fisher DeBerry
Preceded by
Lou Holtz
Arkansas Razorbacks Head Coach
Succeeded by
Jack Crowe; Joe Kines (interim)
Preceded by
Danny Ford
Clemson Tigers Head Coach
Succeeded by
Tommy West
Preceded by
Fred Goldsmith
Rice Owls Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Todd Graham


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