Mon, 06 Jul 2020

Coaching great Johnny Majors dies at 85

Field Level Media
04 Jun 2020, 01:19 GMT+10

Johnny Majors, regarded as one of the best coaches in college football history, died on Wednesday morning at age 85.

Majors' wife, Mary Lynn, confirmed the news in a statement.

"It's with a sad heart that we make this announcement," Mary Lynn Majors said. "John passed away this morning. He spent his last hours doing something he dearly loved: looking out over his cherished Tennessee River."

Majors won 185 games in his career, which ranks in the top 30 all-time. He had successful stints at Iowa State, Pitt and Tennessee, guiding Iowa State to its first ever bowl game, winning a national title at Pitt in 1976 with Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett leading the way and three Southeastern Conference championships at his alma mater, Tennessee.

The Cyclones hired Majors in 1968, and he posted a 24-30-1 record before leaving to coach Pitt.

"Johnny Majors is one of college football's all-time greatest coaches," Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said. "Johnny came back every year and it was a pleasure for our players to get to know him and understand his legacy at Iowa State. He was one of the most important figures in Iowa State football history."

Majors was named coach of the year with a 12-0 record and national championship in 1976.

Majors compiled a 116-62-8 record in 16 seasons as coach of the Volunteers.

"Dynamic on the field. Fierce on the sidelines. Distinguished Tennessean," the Volunteers posted on Twitter. "We mourn the loss of legendary player and coach Johnny Majors -- a man who left an indelible mark on Tennessee Football."

Majors is in the College Football Hall of Fame and also was a star halfback for the Volunteers. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1956 (Notre Dame's Paul Hornung won the trophy) and was named an All-American. He was named the SEC Player of the Year in 1955 and '56.

Majors returned to Pitt for a coaching stint from 1993-96.

--Field Level Media

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