Boots Donnelly

James F. "Boots" Donnelly (born October 15, 1942) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Austin Peay State University from 1977 to 1978 and at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) from 1979 to 1998, compiling a career college football coaching record of 154–94–1. Donnelly was inducted into the Blue Raider Hall of Fame in 1993![1] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2013.[2]

Boots Donnelly
Biographical details
Born (1942-10-15) October 15, 1942 (age 78)
Nashville, Tennessee
Playing career
1962–1964Middle Tennessee
Position(s)Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1967–1973Father Ryan HS (TN) (assistant)
1974–1975Father Ryan HS (TN)
1976Vanderbilt (offensive backfield)
1977–1978Austin Peay
1979–1998Middle Tennessee
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
2000–2005Middle Tennessee
Head coaching record
Overall154–94–1 (college)
21–2 (high school)
Tournaments7–7 (NCAA D-I-AA playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
5 OVC (1977, 1985, 1989–1990, 1992)
Awards
OVC Coach of the Year (1977, 1983, 1985, 1989)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2013 (profile)

Playing careerEdit

Donnelly was a defensive back at MTSU; his playing career culminated with an MTSU victory in the 1964 Grantland Rice Bowl.

Coaching careerEdit

Donnelly began his coaching career at his alma mater, Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Tennessee. He served as the head football coach there from 1974 to 1975, tallying a mark of 21–2. His 1974 team went 13–0 and won the Tennessee Class AAA title. In 1976 Donnelly joined the football staff at Vanderbilt University, coaching the offensive backfield under head coach, Fred Pancoast.[3] Donnelly went on to be the head coach at Austin Peay for two seasons, and at MTSU for twenty seasons.

Later lifeEdit

After the conclusion of his coaching career, Donnelly served as athletic director at MTSU for several years. In 2006, he became CEO of Backfield in Motion, an organization dedicated to fostering academic and athletic abilities among inner city youth.[2] In October 2015, a statue of Donnelly was unveiled on the MTSU campus.[4]

Head coaching recordEdit

CollegeEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Austin Peay Governors (Ohio Valley Conference) (1977–1978)
1977 Austin Peay 8–3 6–1 1st
1978 Austin Peay 6–4 3–3 4th
Austin Peay: 14–7 9–4
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (Ohio Valley Conference) (1979–1998)
1979 Middle Tennessee 1–9 1–5 6th
1980 Middle Tennessee 2–8 2–5 T–6th
1981 Middle Tennessee 6–5 4–4 T–4th
1982 Middle Tennessee 8–3 4–3 T–3rd
1983 Middle Tennessee 8–2 5–2 T–2nd
1984 Middle Tennessee 11–3 5–2 T–2nd L NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal
1985 Middle Tennessee 11–1 7–0 1st L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal
1986 Middle Tennessee 6–5 4–3 T–3rd
1987 Middle Tennessee 6–5 4–2 3rd
1988 Middle Tennessee 7–4 4–2 T–2nd
1989 Middle Tennessee 9–4 6–0 1st L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal
1990 Middle Tennessee 11–2 5–1 T–1st L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal
1991 Middle Tennessee 9–4 6–1 2nd L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal
1992 Middle Tennessee 10–3 8–0 1st L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal
1993 Middle Tennessee 5–6 4–4 T–4th
1994 Middle Tennessee 8–3–1 7–1 2nd L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
1995 Middle Tennessee 7–4 6–2 3rd
1996 Middle Tennessee 6–5 4–4 T–4th
1997 Middle Tennessee 4–6 2–5 6th
1998 Middle Tennessee 5–5 5–2 T–2nd
Middle Tennessee: 133–80–1 93–48
Total: 147–87–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Blue Raider Hall of Fame". Middle Tennessee State University. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "NFF to induct Boots Donnelly into Hall of Fame". The Daily Herald. May 30, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  3. ^ "'Boots' To Head Governors". Kentucky New Era. December 14, 1976. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  4. ^ Organ, Mike (October 3, 2015). "Boots Donnelly statue unveiled at MTSU". The Tennessean. Retrieved February 12, 2017.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit