Jerry Stovall

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Jerry Stovall
refer to caption
Stovall returns kickoff 97 yards in 1962
No. 21
Position: Halfback, defensive back, punter
Personal information
Date of birth: (1941-04-30) April 30, 1941 (age 74)
Place of birth: West Monroe, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: West Monroe (LA)
College: LSU
NFL draft: 1963 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
AFL draft: 1963 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Career history
As player:
As coach:
  • LSU (1980–1983)
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Jerry Lane Stovall (born April 30, 1941) is a former American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He played college football at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he was an consensus selection to the 1962 College Football All-America Team as a halfback. Stovall played professionally as a defensive back and punter in the National Football League (NFL) with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1963 to 1971. Stovall served as the head football coach at his alma mater, LSU, from 1980 to 1983, compiling a record of 22–21–2 in four seasons and leading the 1982 team to an appearance in the 1983 Orange Bowl. He was the athletic director at Louisiana Tech University from 1990 to 1993.

Playing career[edit]

Born and raised in West Monroe, Louisiana, Stovall graduated from West Monroe High School in 1959 and went to Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, succeeding Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon as the Tigers' halfback. His 57-yard run in 1961 helped LSU defeat arch rival Ole Miss by a score of 10–7 in a major upset.[1]

Stovall was named an All-American running back and won the Walter Camp Memorial Trophy[2] in 1962 and was the runner-up for the 1962 Heisman Trophy. He finished 89 votes behind Oregon State's Terry Baker. In 2010, Stovall was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Stovall was the second overall pick in the 1963 NFL draft, selected by the St. Louis Cardinals. He was also the third overall pick of the 1963 American Football League draft. The Cardinals converted him to full-time defensive back. During his nine seasons with St. Louis, Stovall had 18 interceptions in 97 games, and was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1966, 1967, and 1969 seasons.

Coaching career[edit]

After his NFL career, Stovall became a college football assistant coach. He eventually returned to LSU, as an assistant for head coach Charlie McClendon. Stovall became LSU's head coach as an emergency hire after new head coach Bo Rein died when his plane depressurized and disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean.

In Stovall's four years with the Tigers (1980–1983), LSU finished 7–4, 3–7–1, 8–3–1, and 4–7. Only one of Stovall's teams appeared in the final AP Poll: the 1982 team. That team finished the season ranked #11 after it beat #4 Florida, #8 Alabama, and #7 Florida State and earned a spot in the Orange Bowl, where LSU lost, 21–20, to a #3 Nebraska team led by Tom Osborne. As a result of his performance in 1982, Stovall was named the National Coach of the Year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

In 1983, Stovall's success of 1982 came unraveled. The Tigers went 0–6 in the SEC, including an embarrassing 45-26 loss at home to Mississippi State, leaving Stovall 0–4 for his career against the Bulldogs.

Unfortunately, Stovall's tenure is most remembered for his 2–2 record against Tulane. To date, the Tigers have only lost to Tulane on two other occasions since 1948, both under McClendon. After the Tigers had secured the Orange Bowl berth in 1982, they suffered their only home loss to Tulane since 1948. The Tigers have won 18 in a row in the series since but has only played the Green Wave six times since 1994, typically winning by comfortable margins.

Stovall's dismissal by athletic director Bob Brodhead was approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors on December 2, 1983, despite an impassioned plea from former Governor John McKeithen, who had been appointed to the board by then-Governor Dave Treen, for Stovall to keep his job.


After his head coaching stint at LSU, Stovall went on to take a job in banking before becoming athletic director at Louisiana Tech University from 1990 to 1993. Afterwards, Stovall became the president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation, an organization dedicated to securing sporting events for the Baton Rouge area.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
LSU Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (1980–1983)
1980 LSU 7–4 4–2 T–4th
1981 LSU 3–7–1 1–4–1 8th
1982 LSU 8–3–1 4–1–1 2nd L Orange 11 11
1983 LSU 4–7 0–6 T–9th
LSU: 22–21–2 9–13–2
Total: 22–21–2
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ Hilburn, Chet (2012). The Mystique of Tiger Stadium: 25 Greatest Games: The Ascension of LSU Football. Bloomington, Indiana: WestBow Press. p. 35. ISBN 9781449752699. 
  2. ^ "2013 LSU Football Media Guide-National Awards". Retrieved December 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]