Al Conover

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Al Conover
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born 1938 (age 78–79)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Playing career
1957–1960 Wake Forest
Position(s) Tackle
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1963–1967 Florida State (assistant)
1968–1970 Idaho (assistant)
1971 Rice (OC)
1972–1975 Rice
Head coaching record
Overall 15–27–2

Al Conover (born 1938) is a former American football player and coach. Most notably, he served as head coach at Rice University from 1972 to 1975, compiling a record of 15–27–2 in four seasons before resigning to enter private business.

A native of Largo, Florida, Conover attended Largo High School, where he starred on the football squad and earned an athletic scholarship to Wake Forest University.[1] He spent four years on the Demon Deacon squad, protecting quarterback Norm Snead as tackle under coaches Paul Amen and Billy Hildebrand.[2] Returning to Largo after graduation, he served as his alma mater's head swimming coach and assistant football mentor.[1]

In 1963, he was hired as a graduate assistant by Florida State University head coach Bill Peterson, and later became offensive line coach.[3] After helping the Seminoles to a Gator Bowl appearance in 1967, Conover was hired by Y C McNease at Idaho.[1] When Peterson moved on to Rice University in 1971, he hired Conover as offensive coordinator. Peterson left for the Houston Oilers one season later, and Conover was selected as his successor.[4]

In his first year as Rice head coach, he guided the Owls to a 5–5–1 record, the program's best since 1963.[5] Known for his flamboyance, he brought a coffin onto the practice field to "bury" the Owls' mistakes during the 1973 season.[5] Following a 3–8 season in 1975, Conover resigned to enter private business.[6]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Rice Owls (Southwest Conference) (1972–1975)
1972 Rice 5–5–1 3–4 T–4th
1973 Rice 5–6 4–3 3rd
1974 Rice 2–8–1 2–5 7th
1975 Rice 2–9 1–6 T–7th
Rice: 15–27–1 10–18
Total: 15–27–1


  1. ^ a b c "Idaho Hires Al Conover", St. Petersburg Times, January 19, 1968 .
  2. ^ "Deacons Put Final Touch On Grid Plans", The Dispatch, November 26, 1960 .
  3. ^ Robarts, Harry (December 16, 1967), "Talent Hunt Plane Waits On Peterson", St. Petersburg Times .
  4. ^ "Conover Named Rice Grid Coach", Reading Eagle, January 9, 1972 .
  5. ^ a b Kellum, B. F. (September 2, 1973), "A Surprise Every Day: Rice Skipper Thinks Football Should Be Fun As Well As Work", Park City Daily News .
  6. ^ "Rice Head Coach Al Conover Resigns", The Palm Beach Post, January 3, 1976 .