James McKinley (American football)

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Jim McKinley
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1945-02-25)February 25, 1945
Chicago, Illinois
Died July 6, 2012(2012-07-06) (aged 67)[1]
Tamarac, Florida
Alma mater Western Michigan
Playing career
1963–1965 Western Michigan
Position(s) Tight end
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1974–1976 Central State
1977–1981 North Carolina A&T
1982 Prairie View A&M
1984 Oklahoma Outlaws (DL)
1985–1986 Missouri (DC/ILB)
Head coaching record
Overall 46–53–1

James Ruffin McKinley (February 25, 1945 – July 6, 2012) was an American football player, coach, and businessman. He coached football teams at several historically black colleges and universities, was a defensive coach for the Oklahoma Outlaws of the United States Football League (USFL), and served as executive director of the Heritage Bowl, which he helped create.

Playing career[edit]

McKinley played at tight end for Western Michigan University's football team, was named to WMU's All Century Football Team in 2005[2] and was inducted into the WMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Central State[edit]

McKinley got his first head coaching position at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio from 1974 until the end of the 1976 seasons.[4]

North Carolina A&T[edit]

After coaching at Central State, McKinley moved on to be the head coach at North Carolina A&T from 1977 to 1981 [4] His record at NCA&T was 29 wins, 32 losses and 1 tie with a highlight 9 wins and 3 losses for the 1980 season.[5]

Prairie View A&M[edit]

McKinley was the 14th head football coach at Prairie View A&M University[6] in Prairie View, Texas and he held that position for the 1982 season.[7] His record at Prairie View was 1–10. [8]

Other coaching positions[edit]

McKinley's coaching career also took him to Eastern Michigan University, USFL’s Oklahoma Outlaws, where he served as defensive line coach,[9] and the University of Missouri.[10]

Business accomplishments[edit]

McKinley started McKinley Financial Services, Inc., in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company has become one of the largest minority insurance agencies in the United States with over 50 agents and staff. He was awarded the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award from Western Michigan University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1966.[10]

Heritage Bowl[edit]

In 1991, McKinley formulated the idea of the Heritage Bowl, an annual college football bowl game matching up two Division I-AA teams left out of the division's playoff system.[11] McKinley served as the bowl's executive director in its first years. Despite massive financial losses,[12] poor attendance,[12] protests from neighborhood residents,[13] and a lack of television coverage in its first year,[14] the bowl continued to be played every year until 1999, when the game was discontinued.


  1. ^ Ariel Barkhurst (2012-07-10). "James McKinley, prominent Fort Lauderdale businessman, dies at 68 - Sun Sentinel". Articles.sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ WMU News "Three honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards" October 17, 2007
  3. ^ Western Michigan University Broncos Archived 2011-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. Athletic Hall of Fame
  4. ^ a b James "Jim" McKinley Records by Year
  5. ^ The Sports Network North Carolina A&T Football Records
  6. ^ Redmond Zone Prairie View A&M Football Record History
  7. ^ "Prairie View Agricultural & Mechanical University Directory". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on 2011-05-25. 
  8. ^ Prairie View A&M University coaching records Archived 2009-01-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ The Associated Press. "Outlaws name two assistant coaches to staff", The Daily Oklahoman. January 8, 1984. Sports Page 3.
  10. ^ a b Western Michigan University "2007 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient" Jim McKinley
  11. ^ Walker, Richard. "A&T Aggies are bowl bound", The Charlotte Observer. December 21, 1991. Sports Page 4.
  12. ^ a b Wyche, Steve and Pugh, Tony. "Heritage Bowl fumbles its economic potential", The Miami Herald. December 27, 1991. Page BR1.
  13. ^ Woolfe, Tao. "Heritage Bowl organizers unfazed by residents' protest", South Florida Sun-Sentinel. April 5, 1991. Page B4.
  14. ^ Wyche, Steve. "'91 Heritage Bowl won't be televised; Conflict with NCAA cited", The Miami Herald. June 27, 1991. Page D8.