Jesse Harper

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Jesse Harper
Jesse Harper.jpg
Sport(s) Football, basketball, baseball
Biographical details
Born (1883-12-10)December 10, 1883
Paw Paw, Illinois
Died July 1, 1961(1961-07-01) (aged 77)
Sitka, Kansas
Playing career
Football
1905

Baseball
1903–1906

Chicago


Chicago
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Football
1906–1907
1909–1912
1913–1917

Basketball
1910–1913
1913–1918

Baseball
1914–1918

Alma
Wabash
Notre Dame


Wabash
Notre Dame


Notre Dame
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1913–1917
1931–1933
Notre Dame
Notre Dame
Head coaching record
Overall 57–17–7 (football)
67–29 (basketball)
61–28 (baseball)
Statistics
College Football Data Warehouse
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1971 (profile)

Jesse Claire Harper (December 10, 1883 – July 1, 1961) was an American football and baseball player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He was born in East Paw Paw, Illinois. He served as the head football coach at Alma College (1906–1907), Wabash College (1909–1912), and the University of Notre Dame (1913–1917), compiling a career college football record of 57–17–7. Harper was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1971.

Coaching career[edit]

Alma[edit]

Harper was the head college football coach for the Alma Scots located in Alma, Michigan. He held that position for the 1906 and 1907 seasons. His coaching record at Alma was 8 wins, 3 losses and 4 ties.[1] As of the conclusion of the 2010 season, this ranks him #11 at Alma in total wins and #9 at the school in winning percentage (.667).[2]

Wabash[edit]

Harper was the 18th head college football coach for the Wabash College Little Giants located in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and he held that position for four seasons, from 1909 until 1912. His career coaching record at Wabash was 15 wins, 9 losses, and 2 ties. This ranks him tenth at Wabash in total wins and ninth at Wabash in winning percentage (.615). [3]

Notre Dame[edit]

Harper is most known for his coaching at the University of Notre Dame.[4] His 1913 football squad posted a 35–13 win over Army, one that is regarded by most football historians as the game that put Notre Dame on the football map.

Later life[edit]

Harper stepped down as head football coach after the 1917 season and returned to ranching in his home state of Kansas. His ranch was not far from where Knute Rockne was killed in a 1931 plane crash.[5] Harper accompanied Rockne's body on the train from Kansas back to South Bend, Indiana, for the funeral and burial. The University of Notre Dame immediately hired Harper to fill Rockne's role as athletic director,[6] a position in which remained until 1934, when Elmer Layden became head football coach and athletic director.

Harper was married and had two sons and one daughter.

Head coaching record[edit]

Football[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Alma Scots (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1906–1907)
1906 Alma 3–2–3
1907 Alma 5–1–1
Alma: 8–3–4
Wabash Little Giants (Independent) (1909–1912)
1909 Wabash 3–4–1
1910 Wabash 4–0
1911 Wabash 3–3–1
1912 Wabash 5–2
Wabash: 15–9–2
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Independent) (1913–1917)
1913 Notre Dame 7–0
1914 Notre Dame 6–2
1915 Notre Dame 7–1
1916 Notre Dame 8–1
1917 Notre Dame 6–1–1
Notre Dame: 34–5–1
Total: 57–17–7

References[edit]

External links[edit]