Owens from 1960 UW yearbook
March 6, 1927|
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
|Died||June 6, 2009
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1954–1956||Texas A&M (assistant)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|3 AAWU (1959, 1960, 1963)|
|College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1982 (profile)
James Donald "Jim" Owens (March 6, 1927 – June 6, 2009) was an American football player and coach. He was the head coach at the University of Washington from 1957 to 1974, compiling a record of 99–82–6 (.545) in 18 seasons.
Owens played college football at the University of Oklahoma from 1946 to 1949, under head coach Bud Wilkinson. He played a year of pro football in 1950 and then was a college assistant coach for six years under the legendary Bear Bryant at the University of Kentucky and Texas A&M University. According to legend, after the 1956 season, when the Washington Huskies were looking for a head coach, Bryant indicated to reporters that Owens "will make a great coach for somebody some day."
In 1959 and 1960, he led Washington to back-to-back ten-win seasons and consecutive Rose Bowl wins, as well as a national championship in 1960. He also coached the Huskies to the 1964 Rose Bowl. Owens concurrently served as the athletic director at Washington from 1960 to 1969. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1982.
Owens resigned as head coach of the Huskies following the 1974 season at the end of his last contract, a three-year deal at $33,000 per year. His later years at Washington were marred by accusations of racism and the backlash that resulted from his actions and attitudes towards black players. He was succeeded by Don James, who would also coach the Huskies for 18 seasons. He would later apologize for his actions and a statue of Owens was erected at Washington in 2003.
Head coaching record
|Washington Huskies (PCC/AAWU/Pac-8) (1957–1974)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
- The New York Times - Jim Owens, former Washington football coach, dies at 82 - Associated Press - 2009-06-08
- USA Today - Former Washington football coach Jim Owens dies at 82 - Associated Press - 2009-06-06
- Withers, Bud (June 6, 2009). "Jim Owens, coaching legend of UW football, dies at 82". Seattle Times.
- "Sarkisian has 'it' factor UW needs".
- Lewiston Morning Tribune - Huskies' Owens quits - Associated Press - 1974-11-27 - p.B1
- HistoryLink: "Carver Gayton reflects on the Jim Owens statue at Husky Stadium, University of Washington" - Carver Gayton, 2004-9-19
- Owens repeats apology as statue is unveiled - Bob Condotta, Seattle Times (October 26, 2003)