Duffy Daugherty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Duffy Daugherty
Biographical details
Born(1915-09-08)September 8, 1915
Emeigh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedSeptember 25, 1987(1987-09-25) (aged 72)
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1940, 1946Syracuse (line)
1947–1953Michigan State (line)
1954–1972Michigan State
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
4 National (1955, 1957, 1965–1966)
2 Big Ten (1965–1966)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1955)
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1965)
Sporting News College Football COY (1965)
Walter Camp Man of the Year (1973)
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (1985)
Michigan State Hall Of Fame (1992)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1984 (profile)

Hugh Duffy Daugherty (September 8, 1915 – September 25, 1987) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Michigan State University from 1954 to 1972, compiling a record of 109–69–5. His 1965 and 1966 teams won national championships. Daugherty's tenure of 19 seasons at the helm of the Michigan State Spartans football team is the longest of any head coach in the program's history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1984.

Early years, playing career, and military service[edit]

Daugherty was born in Emeigh, Pennsylvania, on September 8, 1915. Though Daugherty would later become known as "the Irish pixie, short and stocky, a man of endearing charm, with smiles and jokes,"[1] both of his parents were Pennsylvania natives whose parents were immigrants from Scotland.[2][3] His father, Joseph Daugherty, was the manager of a general merchandise store at Susquehanna in 1920.[2] By 1930, the family had moved to Barnesboro, Pennsylvania, where Daugherty's father was working as an adjuster for a compensation and insurance company.[3] Daugherty had two older brothers, John and Joseph, Jr., and a younger sister Jean.[2][3]

Raised as a Presbyterian, he converted to Catholicism in 1964.[citation needed] Daugherty played college football as a guard at Syracuse University. He was named co-captain of the Syracuse football team in his senior year in 1939. He enlisted in the United States Army on February 7, 1941, ten months before the United States entered World War II.

In his enlistment papers, Daugherty listed his residence as Onondaga County, New York, and his occupation as "unskilled machine shop and related occupations." His height was recorded at 68 inches and his weight at 175 pounds.[4] While serving in the Army, Daugherty was promoted from private to major and earned the Bronze Star.[5]

Early coaching career[edit]

In 1946, upon his return from the war, Daugherty became an assistant coach in charge of linemen at Syracuse under Clarence L. "Biggie" Munn.[5]

In December 1946, when Munn was hired to become the new head coach at Michigan State University for the 1947 season, Daugherty moved to East Lansing with him.[6] Munn's teams had a great deal of success, winning the AP national championship in 1952. The next year, in their first year of Big Ten Conference play, Michigan State tied for the conference title with Illinois and defeated UCLA in the 1954 Rose Bowl. With Munn as head coach and Daugherty as an assistant, the Michigan State football team compiled a record of 54–9–2. The Michigan State lines coached by Daugherty in those years became known as "Duffy's Toughies."[5]

In December 1953, following Munn's promotion to Michigan State's athletic director, Daugherty became Michigan State's head football coach, the 15th in the history of Michigan State football.[7] He became well known for his humorous quips during press conferences.[8]

Michigan State head coach[edit]

After compiling a disappointing 3–6 record in Daugherty's first season in 1954, the Spartans improved and finished second in the Big Ten behind Ohio State in 1955 with an 8–1 record in the regular season. Michigan State received the conference's invitation to the 1956 Rose Bowl instead of the Buckeyes due to the conference's prohibition against consecutive trips to the Rose Bowl. In Pasadena, the Spartans defeated UCLA, 17–14, for their second bowl win in school history and Daugherty was voted coach of the year by the largest percentage in the history of the award.

From 1956 to 1964, Daugherty's Michigan State teams were usually strong, three times placing second in the Big Ten, but never captured the conference crown. The Spartans did, however, beat Notre Dame eight straight times between 1955 and 1963, a feat matched only by Michigan (1887–1908) and USC (2002–2009).

In 1962, the University of Nebraska offered Daugherty their head coaching position. Not wishing to leave Michigan State for a rebuilding program, Daugherty turned it down, but recommended his former assistant, Bob Devaney, for the position. The Cornhuskers hired Devaney, who would turn Nebraska into a national power.

The 1965 and 1966 seasons were the high points in Daugherty's coaching tenure, if not in the history of Michigan State football. The 1965 team finished the regular season 10–0 and ranked first in the country, but was upset by UCLA in the 1966 Rose Bowl, 14–12. Nevertheless, Michigan State was named national champions by the UPI and the National Football Foundation. The 1966 team began the season 9–0 and headed into their final game ranked #2 against #1 Notre Dame at Spartan Stadium on November 19. The #1 vs. #2 showdown, dubbed the "Game of the Century" by national media, ended in a 10–10 tie. The Spartans did not play in a bowl game following the 1966 season due to Big Ten rules in place at the time that prohibited its teams from playing in the Rose Bowl in consecutive years and barred participation in any other bowl. Notre Dame was named the national champion in both major polls, but Michigan State received a share of the National Football Foundation's title with the Fighting Irish.

Beginning with the 1967 season, there was a significant decline in the Spartans football program. Daugherty's teams in the late 1960s and early 1970s consistently hovered around the .500 mark, with only his 1971 squad finishing with a winning record (6–5). Dissatisfaction from segments of the Michigan State alumni factored into Daugherty announcing on November 3 his resignation as head coach upon the conclusion of the 1972 season.[9] Spartans defensive coordinator/linebacker coach Denny Stolz was promoted to succeed Daugherty on December 12, 1972.[10]

During Daugherty's time in East Lansing, he recruited and coached 32 All-Americans, some of the best players in Michigan State's history, including Herb Adderley, Brad Van Pelt, Bubba Smith, George Webster, and Joe DeLamielleure. He recruited black players upon arrival in East Lansing in 1947, and his recruiting strategy was dubbed "The Underground Railroad." He was one of the first college football coaches to field a racially integrated team. His 1966 team featured four of the first eight players in the 1967 NFL draft, all of them black.

Daugherty's 109 wins were the most in Spartans history until Mark Dantonio surpassed him in a 31–10 victory over Northwestern at Ryan Field on September 21, 2019.[11]

Later life and honors[edit]

Daugherty was a color commentator alongside Chris Schenkel and Bud Wilkinson on ABC Sports' college football telecasts beginning in 1973.[12] He died at the age of 72 on September 25, 1987, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, after being hospitalized a month earlier with heart and kidney problems.[5]

To honor his accomplishments at Michigan State, the university named the football team's practice facility the Duffy Daugherty Football Building. The Duffy Daugherty Memorial Award is presented annually to a person for lifetime achievement and outstanding contribution to amateur football.[13] Duffy was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1975.[14][15]

Coaching tree[edit]

Played under:

Coached under:

Assistant coaches who became head coaches:

Former players who went on to become head coaches

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten Conference) (1954–1972)
1954 Michigan State 3–6 1–5 T–8th
1955 Michigan State 9–1 5–1 2nd W Rose 2 2
1956 Michigan State 7–2 4–2 T–4th 10 9
1957 Michigan State 8–1 5–1 2nd 3 3
1958 Michigan State 3–5–1 0–5–1 10th
1959 Michigan State 5–4 4–2 2nd 16
1960 Michigan State 6–2–1 4–2 4th 13 15
1961 Michigan State 7–2 5–2 3rd 9 8
1962 Michigan State 5–4 3–3 T–5th
1963 Michigan State 6–2–1 4–1–1 T–2nd 10 9
1964 Michigan State 4–5 3–3 6th 20
1965 Michigan State 10–1 7–0 1st L Rose 1 2
1966 Michigan State 9–0–1 7–0 1st 2 2
1967 Michigan State 3–7 3–4 T–5th
1968 Michigan State 5–5 2–5 7th
1969 Michigan State 4–6 2–5 9th
1970 Michigan State 4–6 3–4 T–5th
1971 Michigan State 6–5 5–3 T–3rd
1972 Michigan State 5–5–1 5–2–1 4th
Michigan State: 109–69–5 72–50–3
Total: 109–69–5
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ "Ex-Michigan State Coach Duffy Daugherty Dies". San Jose Mercury News. September 26, 1987.
  2. ^ a b c Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: Susquehanna, Cambria, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1548; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 229; Image: 139.
  3. ^ a b c Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: Barnesboro, Cambria, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2010; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 5; Image: 753.0.
  4. ^ U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 about Hugh D Daugherty. National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.
  5. ^ a b c d "Duffy Daugherty, Ex-Coach". The New York Times. Associated Press. September 26, 1987. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  6. ^ "Munn Takes Post At Michigan State: Head Football Coach Quits Syracuse After One Season". The New York Times. December 1946.
  7. ^ "Daugherty Munn's Choice: Biggie Ready To Succeed Young". The Windsor Daily Star. December 26, 1953.
  8. ^ Claerbaut, David, Duffy Daugherty: A Man Ahead of his Time (East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University Press, 2018), 2.
  9. ^ Damer, Roy. "Michigan State's Daugherty Resigns," Chicago Tribune, Saturday, November 4, 1972. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  10. ^ "Denny Stolz Gets Michigan State Post," United Press International, Tuesday, December 12, 1972. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  11. ^ Solari, Chris. "Mark Dantonio becomes Michigan State's winningest coach in domination of Northwestern," Detroit Free Press, Saturday, September 21, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  12. ^ "People in Sports: Prognosis on Oliva Is Favorable, According to Twins Trainer," The New York Times, Wednesday, April 18, 1973. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  13. ^ "About the Award". Duffy Daugherty Memorial Award. 16 November 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  14. ^ "Duffy Daugherty". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  15. ^ "Past Inductees". Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved April 20, 2010.

External links[edit]