James F. Lanagan

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James F. Lanagan
Sport(s) Football, rugby, baseball
Biographical details
Born c. 1879
Paris, Kentucky
Died August 7, 1937 (aged 58)
Applegate, California
Alma mater Stanford University
Playing career
1897–1900 Stanford
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1903–1905 Stanford
1906–1908 Stanford
1906–1907 Stanford
Head coaching record
Overall 23–2–4(football)
26–8–1 (rugby)
9–19–2 (baseball)
Accomplishments and honors
Highest win percentage of a multi-season football coach in Stanford history (.862)

James Francis "Jimmy" Lanagan (c. 1879 – August 7, 1937) was an American football, rugby, and baseball coach at Stanford University.

Lanagan played college baseball at Stanford from 1897 to 1900.[1] In 1902, he married Clara Earl, a fellow member of the Stanford Class of 1900.[2]

In 1903, despite never having played football, Lanagan was selected as Stanford's head football coach, and coached the team for three years, compiling an overall record of 23–2–4.[1]

Following the 1905 season, Stanford, responding like other American universities to concerns about the violence in football, dropped football in favor of rugby from 1906 to 1917.[3][4] Despite having no knowledge of the sport, Lanagan was retained as the rugby coach, spending time in Vancouver, British Columbia and Australia to study the sport.[1][5] In his first season, the team ended with a 6–2–1 season. Lanagan remained as rugby coach for two more seasons.[1] He also served as Stanford's baseball coach from 1906 to 1907.[1][6]

Lanagan attended Stanford Law School from 1905 to 1907.[2] He resigned from coaching in 1908 to focus on his law practice.[5]

During World War I, Lanagan was a major in the United States Army, fighting in France,[2] where he contracted a lung disease that would eventually result in his death two decades later.[7]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Stanford (Independent) (1903–1905)
1903 Stanford 8–0–3
1904 Stanford 7–2–1
1905 Stanford 8–0
Stanford: 23–2–4
Total: 23–2–4


  1. ^ a b c d e Migdol, Gary (1997). Stanford: Home of Champions. Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC. pp. 33, 36. ISBN 1-57167-116-1. Retrieved June 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Guide to the James F. Lanagan Papers". Online Archive of California – California Digital Library. Archived from the original on February 17, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Many changes in rugby game". The Evening News (San Jose). September 14, 1906. Retrieved June 29, 2010. 
  4. ^ Elliott, Orrin Leslie (1937). Stanford University - The First Twenty Five Years 1891-1925. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. pp. 231–233. Retrieved June 29, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Friends Join in Last Tribute to James F. Lanagan". Sausalito News. August 13, 1937. Retrieved February 17, 2016. 
  6. ^ "James F. Lanagan". New York Times. August 8, 1937. Retrieved June 29, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Former Coach Succumbs". The Stanford Daily. August 10, 1937. Retrieved February 17, 2016.