Jennings B. Whitworth

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Jennings B. Whitworth
Biographical details
Born(1908-09-17)September 17, 1908
DiedMarch 3, 1960(1960-03-03) (aged 51)
Athens, Georgia
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1932–1934Alabama (assistant)
1937LSU (freshmen)
1938LSU (line)
1939–1949Georgia (assistant)
1950–1954Oklahoma A&M
1959Georgia (assistant)
Head coaching record
Overall26–51–14 (football)
22–21 (baseball)
Accomplishments and honors
1 MVC (1953)

Jennings Bryan "Ears" Whitworth (September 17, 1908 – March 3, 1960) was an American football player and coach of football and baseball. He served as the head football coach at Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College—now known as Oklahoma State University–Stillwater—from 1950 to 1954 and the University of Alabama from 1955 to 1957, compiling a career college football coaching record of 26–51–4. Whitworth also coached baseball at Alabama from 1933 to 1934 and the University of Georgia in 1943, tallying a career college baseball coaching mark of 22–21.

Coaching career[edit]

From 1950 to 1954, he coached at Oklahoma A&M, and compiled a 22–27–1 record. From 1955 to 1957, he coached at Alabama, where he posted a 4–24–2 record that included a 14-game losing streak from 1955 to 1956. In his first year at Alabama, Whitworth was only allowed to hire only two of his own coaches and forced to retain the rest of former coach Harold Drew's assistants. This included athletic director Hank Crisp, Whitworth's boss, who was in charge of the defense. Whitworth brought assistant coach Moose Johnson with him from Oklahoma A&M. Following successive 2–7–1 seasons in 1956 and 1957, Whitworth was fired and replaced by Bear Bryant. In 1951, while Whitworth was coaching Oklahoma A&M, the infamous Johnny Bright Incident, occurred in the football game in Stillwater, Oklahoma, against the visiting Drake University Bulldogs. Whitworth acknowledged in subsequent press that the hit on Bright was illegal, but did not suspend the player responsible. One player later allegeded that Whitworth had instigated the incident through labelling Bright a "prima donna" and expressing racist sentiments during practice. [1]

Whitworth was an Alabama graduate and had played tackle on the football team alongside Fred Sington. He was an assistant football coach at Alabama, Louisiana State University, and the University of Georgia prior to becoming a head coach. In 1959, Whitworth returned as a line coach for Wally Butts' SEC champion Georgia team.

Whitworth was the head baseball coach at Georgia in 1943, compiling a 1–10 won-loss record.


Jennings Bryan Whitworth was born September 17, 1908 in Arkansas to parents James Ervin Whitworth (1870 – ?) and Lila Lee ? (1882 – ?). He married Virginia Ann Calvert (May 7, 1911 in West Monroe, Louisiana – May 11, 2003 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma) on July 21, 1936 in West Monroe, La. She was the daughter of Emmitt Griffin Calvert (1868 – 1951) and Johnnie Fletcher Tooke (1880 – 1926). Jennings died on March 3, 1960 in Athens, Georgia.

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Oklahoma A&M Cowboys (Missouri Valley Conference) (1950–1954)
1950 Oklahoma A&M 4–6–1 1–2–1 T–4th
1951 Oklahoma A&M 3–7 3–2 3rd
1952 Oklahoma A&M 3–7 2–2 3rd
1953 Oklahoma A&M 7–3 3–1 T–1st
1954 Oklahoma A&M 5–4–1 2–2 3rd
Oklahoma A&M: 22–27–2 11–9–1
Alabama Crimson Tide (Southeastern Conference) (1955–1957)
1955 Alabama 0–10 0–7 12th
1956 Alabama 2–7–1 2–5 T–8th
1957 Alabama 2–7–1 1–6–1 10th
Alabama: 4–24–2 3–18–1
Total: 26–51–4
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


Additional sources[edit]

  • Stoddard, Tom, Turnaround, 1996, The Black Belt Press, ISBN 1-881320-70-7
  • Hooper, Matt (June 10, 2009) "Low Tide: 'Ears' Whitworth & the Lost History of Alabama Football". Birmingham Weekly

External links[edit]