|Sport(s)||Football, basketball, baseball|
December 10, 1883|
Paw Paw, Illinois
|Died||July 1, 1961
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1971 (profile)
Jesse Claire Harper (December 10, 1883 – July 1, 1961) was an American football and baseball player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Alma College (1906–1907), Wabash College (1909–1912), and the University of Notre Dame (1913–1917), compiling a career college football record of 57–17–7. Harper was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1971.
Harper is most known for his coaching at the University of Notre Dame. His 1913 football squad posted a 35–13 win over Army, one that is regarded by most football historians as the game that put Notre Dame on the football map.
Harper stepped down as head football coach after the 1917 season and returned to ranching in his home state of Kansas. His ranch was not far from where Knute Rockne was killed in a 1931 plane crash. Harper accompanied Rockne's body on the train from Kansas back to South Bend, Indiana, for the funeral and burial. The University of Notre Dame immediately hired Harper to fill Rockne's role as athletic director, a position in which remained until 1934, when Elmer Layden became head football coach and athletic director.
Harper was married and had two sons and one daughter.
Head coaching record
|Alma Scots (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1906–1907)|
|Wabash Little Giants (Independent) (1909–1912)|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Independent) (1913–1917)|
- DeLassus, David. "Alma Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on November 21, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
- Wabash College coaching records Archived 2010-11-21 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Notre Dame Men's Basketball Media Guide". UND.com. Retrieved November 9, 2007.
- Cavanaugh, Jack (2010). The Gipper: George Gipp, Knute Rockne, and the Dramatic Rise of Notre Dame Fotball. New York, New York: Skyhorse Publishing.
- Plumlee, Rick (September 26, 1999). "Kansas Ties To Notre Dame Go Beyond Rockne Crash Scene". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 7, 2014.