Billy Tohill

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Billy Tohill
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1939-04-05)April 5, 1939
Batesville, Mississippi
Died April 11, 2000(2000-04-11) (aged 61)
Hoover, Alabama
Alma mater Mississippi State University
Playing career
1958–1960 Mississippi State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1961–1965 Mississippi State (assistant)
1966–1970 Tulane (assistant)
1971 TCU (assistant)
1971–1973 TCU
1974 Birmingham Americans (DB)
1975 Birmingham Vulcans (DB)
1980–1981 Hueytown HS (AL) (assistant)
1982–1990 Pelham HS (AL)
1991 UAB (assistant)
Head coaching record
Overall 11–15

Billy Tohill (April 5, 1939 – April 11, 2000)[1] was an American football player and coach. He served as head coach at Texas Christian University (TCU) from 1971 to 1973.[2][3]

A native of Batesville, Mississippi, Tohill played at Mississippi State University from 1958 to 1960, where he was awarded letters in 1959 and 1960.[2] He served as an assistant at TCU before taking over as head coach for Jim Pittman, who died midway through the 1971 season.[4][5] Seventeen months after replacing Pittman, Tohill had a serious automobile accident that nearly killed him and left him with a prosthetic foot.[4][5] Tohill compiled an 11–15 record overall at TCU. He was fired after the 1973 season. In 1974, Tohill became part of the recruiting team and the coach of the defensive backs[6] for the Birmingham Americans of the World Football League (WFL).[7] One of his final coaching jobs was at Pelham High School in Alabama, where in 1986 he coached the Panthers in their first winning season ever. In 1988, Tohill lead Pelham to a 7-3 season, which was, at the time, the best season the program had ever experienced. In early 1990, Tohill would resign as football coach and athletic director of Pelham High School. Although the reasons were never made clear, it was stated that this move was due to clashes with the school administration. He would go on to be an assistant coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1991, which was UAB's inaugural football season. Tohill would retire from coaching altogether after the 1991 season at UAB. Tohill lived in Hoover, Alabama until his passing in 2000. [2]

Current Clemson University head football coach, Dabo Swinney, played high school football for Tohill at Pelham High School. Swinney went on to play for the 1992 national championship team at the University of Alabama under coach Gene Stallings and later coached as an assistant at Alabama. In 2016, Swinney lead Clemson to the College Football Playoff National Championship, making Swinney the first former player of Tohill's to win a national title as a head coach.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
TCU Horned Frogs (Southwest Conference) (1971–1973)
1971 TCU 3–1[n 1] 3–1[n 1] 3rd
1972 TCU 5–6 2–5 T–7th
1973 TCU 3–8 1–6 7th
TCU: 11–15 6–7
Total: 11–15


  1. ^ a b Jim Pittman coached the first seven games of the season before he died on October 30, 1971. Pittman led TCU to an overall record of 3–3–1 with a conference mark of 2–1. TCU finished 6–4–1 overall and 5–2 in conference for the season.


  1. ^ "Social Security Death Index: Billy Tohill (1939–2000)". Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Lost Lettermen-Billy Tohill". Lost Lettermen. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Billy Tohill". Sports-Reference. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Sherrington, Kevin (18 September 2010). "TCU's tradition was tragedy". Dallas Morning News Sports Day. Retrieved 25 September 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Jenkins, Dan (5 August 2008). "Purple Reign". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "World Foodball League 1974 WFL Teams". World Football League Website. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Birmingham Americans-1974". HelmetHut. Retrieved 25 December 2010.