Cleveland Abbott

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Cleveland L. Abbott
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1892-12-09)December 9, 1892
Yankton, South Dakota
Died April 14, 1955(1955-04-14) (aged 62)
Tuskegee, Alabama
Playing career
c. 1915 South Dakota State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1923–1954 Tuskegee
Head coaching record
Overall 202–97–27

Cleveland Leigh "Cleve" Abbott (some sources say "Cleveland S. Abbott") (December 9, 1892 – April 14, 1955) was an African-American football player, coach and educator.[1]


Officers of the United States Army's segregated 366th Infantry Regiment on board the RMS Aquitania, en route home from World War I service, Abbott at left

Abbott was born in Yankton, South Dakota in 1892, one of seven children. He graduated from high school in Watertown, South Dakota in 1912, and received his bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota in 1916. He was an outstanding, multi-sport athlete at Watertown High School (16 varsity sports letters) and SDSU (14 varsity letters at SDSU). After serving in Europe in World War I as an officer in the 366th Infantry Regiment, Abbott accepted a position as professor and coach at Tuskegee.[2]

Abbott was the eighth head football coach for the Tuskegee University Golden Tigers located in Tuskegee, Alabama[3] and he held that position for thirty-two seasons, from 1923 until 1954. His coaching record at Tuskegee was 202 wins, 97 losses, and 27 ties. As of the conclusion of the 2007 season, this ranks him first at Tuskegee in total wins and fifth at Tuskegee in winning percentage (.661).[4]

Abbott earned the respect of his peers through his team's performance and by participating in national committees for the selection of "all-American" players at the collegiate level.[5]

Abbott died in 1955 in Tuskegee, Alabama.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Afro American January 27, 1940
  2. ^ The College on the Hill, a Sense of South Dakota State University History, Dunkle and Smith, 2003
  3. ^ The Fayetteville Observer "Negro Gridiron Circuit is Popular" October 25, 1939[dead link]
  4. ^ Tuskegee University Sports coaching records
  5. ^ Baltimore Afro-American "Looking 'em Over" November 2, 1946

External links[edit]