Ed Doherty (American football)

Edward A. Doherty (July 25, 1918 – January 2, 2000)[2] was an American football player and coach. He served as head football coach at Arizona State University (1947–1950), the University of Rhode Island (1951), the University of Arizona (1957–1958), Xavier University (1959–1961), and the College of the Holy Cross (1971–1975), compiling a career college football record of 67–83–3. He is the only person to serve as head coach for in-state rivals Arizona and Arizona State.[3]

Ed Doherty
Ed Doherty (American football).png
Biographical details
Born(1918-07-25)July 25, 1918
Andover, Massachusetts
DiedJanuary 2, 2000(2000-01-02) (aged 81)
Tucson, Arizona
Playing career
1941–1943Boston College
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1946Notre Dame (assistant)
1947–1950Arizona State
1951Rhode Island
1952Punchard HS (MA)
1953–1954Lawrence HS (MA)
1956Philadelphia Eagles (assistant)
1964St. Augustine HS (CA)
1965–1970St. Mary's HS (AZ)
1971–1975Holy Cross
1978–1982Salpointe Catholic HS (AZ)
Head coaching record
Overall67–83–3 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
2 Arizona Class AA High School (1967–1968)
Arizona High School Football Coach of the Year (1967)[1]

Playing careerEdit

Doherty played quarterback at Boston College from 1941 to 1943. He was nicknamed "The Brain" for his innovative style.[4] When most of the Boston College coaching staff left for military duty in 1943, Doherty, then a senior, was a finalist for the job of head coach. The job would eventually go to line coach Moody Sarno. Doherty was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the fifth round (39th overall) of the 1944 NFL Draft, but instead joined the United States Navy.

Coaching careerEdit

After one season as an assistant at Notre Dame in 1946,[5] Doherty became head coach at Arizona State, where he compiled a 25–17 record from 1947 to 1950. He left after ASU five days after defeating rival Arizona, 47–13, because he felt that he didn't have enough job security.[6]

In 1951, he coached at Rhode Island on a temporary basis after head coach Hal Kopp was called to Army active duty.[7] He compiled a 3–5 record in his only season as coach. From 1952 to 1954, Doherty coached high school football at Punchard High School (1952) and Lawrence High School in Massachusetts (1953–1954). He returned to college football in 1957 after one season as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles. From 1957 to 1958, Doherty coached at Arizona, where he compiled a 4–15–1 record. Unlikely to be brought back for a third season, Doherty resigned and became head coach of Xavier University.

After two years out of the game, Doherty returned to coaching in 1964 as the head coach of St. Augustine High School in San Diego, California.[3] From 1965-1970 he was head coach at St. Mary's High School in Phoenix, Arizona. From 1967 to 1969, Doherty coached St. Mary's to three straight state championship games, winning in 1967 and 1968.[8] From 1971 to 1975, he coached at Holy Cross, where he compiled a 20–31–2 record. After leaving Holy Cross, Doherty returned to Arizona, where he coached Salpointe Catholic High School from 1978 to 1982 and was the school's athletic director until 1990. He coached the Lancers to the 1981 state championship game.[8]


In 1991, Salpointe Catholic named their new stadium in honor of Doherty.[3] The Active 20-30 Clubs of Arizona also honored Doherty by naming their high school football player of the year trophy the Ed Doherty Award.

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Arizona State Sun Devils (Border Conference) (1947–1950)
1947 Arizona State 4–7 3–4 6th
1948 Arizona State 5–5 3–2 T–3rd
1949 Arizona State 7–3 4–1 2nd L Salad
1950 Arizona State 9–2 4–1 2nd L Salad
Arizona State: 25–17 14–8
Rhode Island Rams (Yankee Conference) (1951)
1951 Rhode Island 3–5 1–3 5th
Rhode Island: 3–5 1–3
Arizona Wildcats (Border Conference) (1957–1958)
1957 Arizona 1–8–1 0–4 T–5th
1958 Arizona 3–7 2–1 3rd
Arizona: 4–15–1 2–5
Xavier Musketeers (NCAA University Division independent) (1959–1961)
1959 Xavier 4–6
1960 Xavier 5–5
1961 Xavier 6–4
Xavier: 15–15
Holy Cross Crusaders (NCAA University Division / Division I independent) (1971–1975)
1971 Holy Cross 4–6
1972 Holy Cross 5–4–1
1973 Holy Cross 5–6
1974 Holy Cross 5–5–1
1975 Holy Cross 1–10
Holy Cross: 20–31–2
Total: 67–83–3


  1. ^ "Doherty Voted 'Coach of the Year'". Associated Press. January 24, 1968. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  2. ^ "Ex-UA coach Ed Doherty dies at 81". The Arizona Star. January 4, 2000.
  3. ^ a b c "cover.qxd" (PDF). Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  4. ^ "Holy Cross Names Ed Doherty To Be Its Head Football Coach". The New York Times. March 6, 1971. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  5. ^ "Ed Doherty Added to Staff at Notre Dame". Chicago Tribune. March 30, 1946.
  6. ^ "Tempe Coach Quits on Top -- No Security". The Washington Post. November 17, 1950. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  7. ^ "Report Eddie Doherty Offered R.I. Grid Job". The Boston Daily Globe. June 30, 1951.
  8. ^ a b "AIA Football Championship Teams". Retrieved December 14, 2010.

External linksEdit