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William Alexander "Bill" Cunningham (July 9, 1886 – August 15, 1958) was the head football coach of the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team for ten years from 1910 to 1919. Cunningham was the 14th head coach at Georgia and brought both continuity and success to the team. In the 18 years of the football program at Georgia prior to his arrival, the team had 13 different head coaches with no head coach serving for more than three years. Cunningham was a graduate of Vanderbilt and gained football experience under longtime Vanderbilt head coach Dan McGugin. Was an active member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity's Alpha Psi chapter as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt and the Delta chapter at Georgia during law school. Was a faculty advisor for the Delta chapter during his coaching career at Georgia.

Cunningham came to the attention of Dean Sanford (who was the athletic director at Georgia) when the baseball team he was coaching, Gordon Military Institute, was playing at the University. Dean Sanford had a conversation with Cunnigham and presented him with a $1,350 contract on the spot.

During his ten-year tenure as head football coach, the Georgia Bulldogs only played eight seasons, disbanding the team in 1917 and 1918 as a result of World War I, but his teams produced seven winning seasons (2 more than in the entire first 18 years combined). Cunningham compiled a 43-18-9 coaching record. He also coached Georgia's first All-American, Bob McWhorter, and George "Kid" Woodruff, who ultimately assumed the head coaching duty in 1923.

During the hiatus in Georgia football in 1917 and 1918, Cunnigham joined the Army. He returned to coaching in 1919 for one year, then re-enlisted in the United States Army. Cunningham reached the rank of General in the Army. He also served in World War II with the United States Army, achieving the rank of Colonel. He died on August 15, 1958, and was buried in the Marietta National Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia. His plot location is in Section Q, Site 181 C.

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W. A. Cunningham
Sport(s) Football, basketball
Biographical details
Born July 9, 1886(1886-07-09)
Died August 15, 1958 (aged 72)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Football
1910–1919
1921

Basketball
1910–1911
1916–1917

Georgia
SMU


Georgia
Georgia
Head coaching record
Overall 44–24–10 (football)
10–6 (basketball)
Statistics
College Football DataWarehouse

William Alexander "Bill" Cunningham (July 9, 1886 – August 15, 1958) was an American football and basketball coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of Georgia (1910–1919) and Southern Methodist University (1921, with Victor Kelly and J. Burton Rix), compiling a career record of 44–24–10. Cunningham was also the head basketball coach at Georgia (1910–1911, 1916–1917), tallying a mark of 10–6.

Contents

Coaching career

Cunningham was the 14th head football coach at the University of Georgia and brought both continuity and success to the team. In the 18 years of the Georgia Bulldogs football program at prior to his arrival, the team had 13 different head coaches with no head coach serving for more than three years. Cunningham was a graduate of Vanderbilt University and gained football experience under longtime Vanderbilt Commodores football head coach Dan McGugin. Cunningham wan active member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity's Alpha Psi chapter as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt and the Delta chapter at Georgia during law school. He was a faculty advisor for the Delta chapter during his coaching career at Georgia.

Cunningham came to the attention of Steadman Vincent Sanford, then the athletic director at Georgia, when the baseball team that Cunningham was coaching, Gordon Military Institute, was playing at the Bulldogs. Sanford had a conversation with Cunningham and presented him with a $1,350 contract on the spot.

During Cunningham's ten-year tenure as head football coach at Georgia, the Bulldogs only played eight seasons, disbanding the team in 1917 and 1918 as a result of World War I, but his teams produced seven winning seasons, two more than in the first 18 years of the program's history before Cunningham took the reigns. Cunningham compiled a 43–18–9 coaching record at Georgia. He also coached Georgia's first All-American, Bob McWhorter, and George "Kid" Woodruff, who assumed the head coaching duties at Georgia in 1923.

During the hiatus of Georgia football in 1917 and 1918, Cunningham joined the United States Army. He returned to coaching in 1919 for one year, then re-enlisted in the Army. Cunningham reached the rank of general in the Army. He also served in World War II with the, achieving the rank of colonel. Cunningham died on August 15, 1958, and was buried in the Marietta National Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia. His plot location is in Section Q, Site 181 C.

Head coaching record

Football

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl
Georgia Bulldogs (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1910–1919)
1910 Georgia 6–2–1 3–2–1
1911 Georgia 7–1–1 4–1–1
1912 Georgia 6–1–1 5–1–1
1913 Georgia 6–2 4–2
1914 Georgia 3–5–1 2–5–1
1915 Georgia 5–2–2 3–2–2
1916 Georgia 6–3 6–2
1917 Georgia no team
1918 Georgia no team
1919 Georgia 4–2–3 4–2–3
Georgia: 43–18–9 31–17–9
SMU Mustangs (Southwest Conference) (1921)
1921 SMU 1–6–1 0–4 7th
SMU: 1–6–1 0–4
Total: 44–24–10

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Sporting positions
Preceded by
James Coulter & Frank Dobson
University of Georgia Head Football Coach
1910–1919
Succeeded by
Herman Stegeman
Preceded by
C. O. Heildler
Howell Peacock
University of Georgia Head Basketball Coach
1910–1911
1916–1917
Succeeded by
C. O. Heildler
Alfred Scott
Preceded by
J. Burton Rix
Southern Methodist University Head Football Coach
1921 (with Victor Kelly & J. Burton Rix)
Succeeded by
E. Y. Freeland & Ray Morrison


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