Earl Abell

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Earl Abell
Coach Earl Abell.png
Abell pictured in Reveille 1925, Mississippi State yearbook
Sport(s) Football, basketball
Biographical details
Born (1892-05-29)May 29, 1892
Portage, Wisconsin
Died May 26, 1956(1956-05-26) (aged 63)
Pardeeville, Wisconsin
Playing career
1912–1915 Colgate
Position(s) Tackle
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1917–1918 VMI
1919–1920 Sewanee
1922 Virginia (line)
1923–1924 Mississippi A&M
1925–1927 Colgate (assistant)
1928 Colgate
1929–1930 Virginia
1917–1919 VMI
Head coaching record
Overall 38–34–6 (football)
14–12 (basketball)
Accomplishments and honors
All-American, 1915
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1973 (profile)

Earl C. "Tuffy" Abell (May 29, 1892 – May 26, 1956) was an American football player and coach. He played college football as a tackle at Colgate University. He later returned to Colgate as an assistant coach in 1925, and took over the head coaching job in 1928. He spent the 1929 and 1930 football seasons as head coach of the University of Virginia Cavaliers football team. He attended Portage High School in Portage, Wisconsin. Abell was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as player in 1973.

Coaching career[edit]

Virginia Military Institute[edit]

Abell was the 13th head football coach for the Virginia Military Institute Keydets located in Lexington, Virginia and he held that position for the 1917 season. His career coaching record at VMI was 4 wins, 4 losses, and 1 ties. This ranks him 24th at VMI in total wins and 16th at VMI in winning percentage.[1]


Abell was the 22nd head football coach for the Colgate University Raiders located in the Village of Hamilton in Madison County, New York and he held that position for the 1928 season. His overall coaching record at Colgate was 6 wins, 3 losses, and 0 ties. This ranks him 17th at Colgate in terms of total wins and tenth at Colgate in terms of winning percentage.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Portage, Wisconsin, Abell attended Colgate University, where he became a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. Abell was married and had three children. He worked for the American Can Company upon retiring from coaching. He died of a heart attack on May 26, 1956.[2]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
VMI Keydets (Independent) (1917–1918)
1917 VMI 4–4–1
1918 VMI 3–3
VMI: 7–7–1
Sewanee Tigers (Independent) (1919–1920)
1919 Sewanee 3–6
1920 Sewanee 4–3–1
Sewanee: 7–9–1
Mississippi A&M Aggies (Southern Conference) (1923–1924)
1923 Mississippi A&M 5–2–2 2–1–2 T–9th
1924 Mississippi A&M 5–4 3–2 T–6th
Mississippi A&M: 10–6–2 5–3–2
Colgate (Independent) (1928)
1928 Colgate 6–3
Colgate: 6–3
Virginia Cavaliers (Southern Conference) (1929–1930)
1929 Virginia 4–3–2 1–3–2 16th
1930 Virginia 4–6 2–5 17th
Virginia: 8–9–2 3–8–2
Total: 38–34–6

Note: In the 1918 season, Abell served as a co-coach alongside Mose Goodman.


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
VMI Keydets (Independent) (1917–1919)
1917–18 VMI 6–6
1918–19 VMI 8–6
VMI: 14–12
Total: 14–12



External links[edit]