Michael Francis Ahearn (November 28, 1878 – February 5, 1948) was a British-American athlete and college athletics administrator. Ahearn played and coached American football, basketball, and baseball, and was a college professor and athletics administrator at Kansas State Agricultural College, now Kansas State University.[1] He also helped guide the evolution of the rules of modern football, serving ten years on the college football rules committee (1922–1931), initially under Secretary Walter Camp and alongside Amos Alonzo Stagg.[1]

Mike Ahearn
Mike Ahearn.jpg
Biographical details
Born(1878-11-28)November 28, 1878
Rotherham, England
DiedFebruary 5, 1948(1948-02-05) (aged 69)
Manhattan, Kansas
Playing career
c. 1900Massachusetts Agricultural
1902–1904Massachusetts Agricultural
1898Massachusetts Agricultural
1901–1904Massachusetts Agricultural
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1905–1910Kansas State
1906–1911Kansas State
1904–1910Kansas State
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1920–1947Kansas State
Head coaching record
Overall39–12 (football)
28–27 (basketball)
90–35–12 (baseball)
Accomplishments and honors
Football: 2x conference (1909, 1910)
Basketball: conference (1910)
Baseball: 2x conference (1907, 1908)

He was selected as a charter member of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.


Over the years, Ahearn served Kansas State in a variety of roles that included coach, professor, head of the Department of Physical Education, and Director of Athletics. He is considered the "Father of Kansas State athletics."

In 1905, he officially became the tenth head football coach at Kansas State, but was the first to hold the position for more than one year. He was coach from 1905 until 1910, compiling a record of 39–12. His 39 wins were the most in the history of Kansas State Wildcats football until Bill Snyder passed him in 1995. His winning percentage of .765 is still the highest of any coach in program history.

Ahearn was also the head basketball coach at Kansas State from 1906 to 1911, tallying a mark of 28–27, and the head baseball coach at the school from 1904 to 1910, amassing a record of 90–35–12.

From 1920 until 1947, Ahearn was the athletic director at Kansas State, during which time the school built Memorial Stadium, the Wildcats home football venue from 1922 until 1967.

Personal lifeEdit

Ahearn was born on November 28, 1878 in Rotherham, England. He attended Massachusetts Agricultural College, now the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he lettered in football, basketball, baseball, and ice hockey.[2] Ahearn died on February 5, 1948 in Manhattan, Kansas.[1]


Kansas State honored Ahearn's coaching success in 1911 by naming its first on-campus athletic field Ahearn Field. The location is the current site of Memorial Stadium. The school further honored his memory in 1950 with the opening of Ahearn Field House, which currently houses the school's volleyball and indoor track and field teams, and was home to the Kansas State basketball teams from 1950 to 1988.

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Kansas State Aggies (Kansas Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1905–1910)
1905 Kansas State 6–2
1906 Kansas State 5–2
1907 Kansas State 5–3
1908 Kansas State 6–2
1909 Kansas State 7–2 1st
1910 Kansas State 10–1 1st
Kansas State: 39–12
Total: 39–12
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Kansas State Aggies (Kansas Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1906–1911)
1906–07 Kansas State 5–6
1907–08 Kansas State 1–12
1908–09 Kansas State 6–3
1909–10 Kansas State 11–3 1st
1910–11 Kansas State 5–3
Kansas State: 28–27
Total: 28–27

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ a b c "Michael Ahearn Dies in Kansas". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. February 6, 1948. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  2. ^ "Gardner May Be New K-State Man; Mike Ahearn Is Nearing End of K-State Athletic Trail". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. September 19, 1944. Retrieved March 29, 2011.