Josh Cody

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Josh Cody
Head-and-shoulders photo of Lt. Josh Cody, white man in his mid-20s, shown in the World War I-era field uniform of the U.S. Army
Cody as U.S. Army Lieutenant, c. 1917–1918
Sport(s) Football, basketball, baseball
Biographical details
Born (1892-06-11)June 11, 1892
Franklin, Tennessee
Died June 17, 1961(1961-06-17) (aged 69)
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Playing career

Position(s) Tackle
Coaching career (HC unless noted)


Vanderbilt (assistant)
Vanderbilt (assistant)
Temple (line)

Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Head coaching record
Overall Football: 55–62–3 (.471)
Basketball: 273–272 (.501)
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
Outing All-American (1914)
Walter Camp third-team All-American (1915, 1919)
SoCon Basketball Tournament Champs (1927)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1970 (profile)

Joshua C. Cody (June 11, 1892 – June 17, 1961) was an American college athlete, head coach and athletics director. Cody was a native of Tennessee and an alumnus of Vanderbilt University, where he was a three-time All-American college football player. After graduation from Vanderbilt, Cody coached college football, basketball and baseball and served as the athletics director at various universities, including Clemson University, Vanderbilt, the University of Florida and Temple University.

Early life and education[edit]

Josh Cody was born and raised in Franklin, Tennessee, where he attended Battle Ground Academy.[1]

In 1914, at the age of 22, he enrolled at Vanderbilt University and played football for legendary coach Dan McGugin. At 6 foot, 4 inches, and 225 pounds, Cody played offensive and defensive tackle, but was versatile enough to play quarterback, running back and place-kicker at times. He was known as a sure tackler and fierce blocker who helped the Commodores score 1,099 points in thirty-five games (31.4 points per game). Vanderbilt was 23–9–1 in his four seasons, including 21–3–3 in his final three years. He was also a member of the basketball, baseball and track and field teams at Vanderbilt, earning thirteen varsity letters in all.

In Cody's freshman year, Vanderbilt finished with a 2–6 record, McGugin's first losing season and only the second losing season in the school's twenty-five years of playing football. In his second game, a 23–3 loss to Michigan in Ann Arbor, Cody converted a 45-yard drop kick field goal. In his fifth game, a 20–7 loss to Virginia, Cody threw a touchdown pass to Irby "Rabbit" Curry, the team's regular quarterback.

Cody received his first All-America honor in 1914 from Outing magazine. In 1915, Vanderbilt finished with a 9–1 record, and Cody earned his second All-America honor from Walter Camp. The Commodores outscored their opponents by an incredible 514–38. Their only loss was a 35–10 setback to Virginia. In 1916, Cody helped Vanderbilt to a 7–1–1 record, but was not recognize as an All-American.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War I as a lieutenant in 1917 and 1918, then returned to Vanderbilt for his senior year in 1919. The Commodores finished 5–1–2, and Cody was named an All-American for the third time, again by Walter Camp,[2] to become the only Vanderbilt athlete to be named a three-time All-American.

Coaching career[edit]

After he graduated in 1920, he became the head football coach and athletic director at Mercer. In 1923, he returned to Vanderbilt, where he became the head coach of the school's baseball and basketball teams. During that time, he also served as an assistant football coach to McGugin. Cody's 1926–27 basketball team finished 20–4—the best record in school history—and won the Southern Conference tournament championship.

From 1927 to 1930, he was the head coach of the Clemson basketball and football teams.[3] During his tenure, he compiled a 29–11–1 record as football coach, including a prefect 3–0 record against archrival South Carolina and a near-perfect 13–0–1 at home.[4] He was 48–55 as basketball coach.[3] Cody was popular among the Clemson student body, who called him "Big Man" because of his large stature.[3] In May 1929, when rumors were swirling that he might leave to coach a bigger-name program, the students, faculty and staff took up a collection to buy him a brand new black Buick automobile.[3]

In 1931, he returned to Vanderbilt as head coach of the basketball team and assistant football coach. In 1934, when McGugin retired, Cody was passed over for the head coaching job in favor of former Vanderbilt quarterback and SMU coach Ray Morrison. Morrison brought his own staff from SMU, but Cody remained basketball coach through the 1935–1936 season. His Commodores basketball teams tallied 51–50 in five seasons.

Disappointed at being passed over for the Commodores' football head coaching job, Cody left Vanderbilt in 1936 and, with McGugin's help, became athletic director and head football coach at Florida, where he compiled a 17–24–2 record in four seasons from 1936 to 1939.[4][5]

In 1940, he left Florida and became the line coach under Ray Morrison at Temple. In 1942, he was appointed the head coach of the Temple basketball team. In 1944, he guided the Owls to their first NCAA Tournament berth, reaching the Elite Eight. He remained Temple's basketball coach until 1952—compiling a record of 124–103—and then became athletic director.

In 1955, after the sudden resignation of Albert Kawal, he served one year as Temple's head football coach, compiling an 0–8 record.[4]

In 1959, at the age of 67, he retired to his 190-acre (0.77 km2) farm across the Delaware River in Moorestown, New Jersey. He died in Mount Laurel, New Jersey on June 17, 1961.[6]


In 1969, Cody was named by the Football Writers Association to the 1869–1918 Early Era All-American Team. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1970[1] and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.[7]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Mercer Baptists (Independent) (1920–1922)
1920 Mercer 2–7–0
1921 Mercer 3–6–0
1922 Mercer 4–6–0
Mercer: 9–19–0
Clemson Tigers (Southern Conference) (1927–1930)
1927 Clemson 5–3–1 2–2 9th
1928 Clemson 8–3 4–2 T–7th
1929 Clemson 8–3 3–3 12th
1930 Clemson 8–2 3–2 9th
Clemson: 29–11–1 12–9[8]
Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1936–1939)
1936 Florida 4–6 1–5 11th
1937 Florida 4–7 3–4 8th
1938 Florida 4–6–1 2–2–1 7th
1939 Florida 5–5–1 0–3–1 12th
Florida: 17–24–2 6–14–2[9]
Temple Owls (Independent) (1955)
1955 Temple 0–8
Temple: 0–8
Total: 55–62–3[4]


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Vanderbilt Commodores (Southern Conference) (1923–1927)
1923–24 Vanderbilt 7–15 1–3 15th
1924–25 Vanderbilt 12–13 4–3 10th
1925–26 Vanderbilt 8–18 2–7 17th
1926–27 Vanderbilt 20–4 7–1 2nd SoCon Tourn Champions
Vanderbilt: 47–50 14–14
Clemson Tigers (Southern Conference) (1927–1931)
1927–28 Clemson 9–14 5–7 11th
1928–29 Clemson 14–13 6–4 9th
1929–30 Clemson 16–9 8–4 8th
1930–31 Clemson 6–7 3–5 15th
Clemson: 45–43 22–20
Vanderbilt Commodores (Southern Conference) (1931–1932)
1931–32 Vanderbilt 8–11 5–7 15th
Vanderbilt Commodores (Southeastern Conference) (1932–1936)
1932–33 Vanderbilt 14–8 11–5 3rd
1933–34 Vanderbilt 11–6 8–5 5th
1934–35 Vanderbilt 9–11 9–6 4th
1935–36 Vanderbilt 9–14 9–4 2nd
Vanderbilt: 51–50 42–27
Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1936–1937)
1936–37 Florida 5–13 1–9 12th
Florida: 5–13 1–9
Temple Owls (Independent) (1942–1952)
1942–43 Temple 11–11 NCAA Regional
1943–44 Temple 14–9
1944–45 Temple 16–7
1945–46 Temple 12–7
1946–47 Temple 8–12
1947–48 Temple 12–11
1948–49 Temple 14–9
1949–50 Temple 14–10
1950–51 Temple 12–13
1951–52 Temple 9–15
Temple: 122–104
Total: 273–272

      National 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b College Football Hall of Fame, Hall of Famers, Josh Cody Member Biography. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  2. ^ "Walter Camp's All-America Elevens, 1919," The New York Times, p. S1 (December 14, 1919). Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Sam Blackman, "Program Feature: Josh Cody, Former Tiger Coach also led Temple teams," Clemson Tigers (October 20, 2005). Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d College Football Data Warehouse, All-Time Coaching Records, Josh C. Cody Records by Year. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  5. ^ 2012 Florida Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 108, 115, 116 (2012). Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  6. ^ Bill Traughber, "Josh Cody, a College Football Hall of Famer," Vanderbilt Commodores (September 30, 2009). Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  7. ^ Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Inductees, Josh Cody. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  8. ^ 2009 Southern Conference Football Media Guide, Year-by-Year Standings, pp. 74–77 (2009). Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  9. ^ Southeastern Conference, All-Time Football Standings 1933–1939. Retrieved March 16, 2010.


  • 2012 Florida Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida (2012).
  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.
  • Proctor, Samuel, & Wright Langley, Gator History: A Pictorial History of the University of Florida, South Star Publishing Company, Gainesville, Florida (1986). ISBN 0-938637-00-2.

External links[edit]