Jim Sutherland

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Jim Sutherland
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1914-08-20)August 20, 1914
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Died June 21, 1980(1980-06-21) (aged 65)
Hayden Lake, Idaho
Playing career
1934–1936 USC
Position(s) Halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1937–1940 Santa Monica HS (CA) (JV)
1941–1952 Santa Monica HS (CA)
1953–1954 California (backfield)
1955 Washington (offense)
1956–1963 Washington State
Head coaching record
Overall 37–39–4 (college)
79–13–3 (high school)

James Swanson "Jim" Sutherland (August 20, 1914 – June 21, 1980) was an American football player and coach. He was the head football coach at Washington State University in Pullman from 1956 to 1963, compiling a 37–39–4 record in eight seasons.[1][2] An innovative coach,[3] Sutherland ran a prototypical run-and-shoot offense at WSU in the early 1960s.[4]

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sutherland moved from Canada to Southern California at age nine and graduated from Inglewood High School in 1933. He attended the University of Southern California (USC) and played on the Trojans football team from 1934 to 1936, a halfback listed at 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 184 lb (83 kg).[5]

After graduating from USC in 1937, Sutherland stayed in the Los Angeles area and became a football and track coach at Santa Monica High School.[6] He was its head football coach from 1941 to 1952, with the exception of three years that he served in the United States Navy during World War II.[7] His record at SMHS was 79–13–3 (.847).[8]

Sutherland became a college assistant in 1953 at the University of California, Berkeley under Pappy Waldorf, and after two years moved to the University of Washington in Seattle in 1955 under head coach John Cherberg.[9]

In his final season in 1963, Sutherland's salary was $17,500, near the top for West Coast coaches.[2] After a 3–6–1 season, he voluntarily stepped down in December with a year remaining on his contract,[1][2] and then owned several automobile dealerships in Spokane.[3][10][11] After an extended illness, he died in 1980 at age 65 at his home in Hayden Lake, Idaho,[3][12][13] and was buried in Coeur d'Alene.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Washington State Cougars (Pacific Coast Conference) (1956–1958)
1956 Washington State 3–6–1 2–5–1 7th
1957 Washington State 6–4 5–3 4th
1958 Washington State 7–3 6–2 2nd
Washington State Cougars (NCAA University Division independent) (1959–1961)
1959 Washington State 6–4
1960 Washington State 4–5–1
1961 Washington State 3–7
Washington State Cougars (Athletic Association of Western Universities) (1962–1963)
1962 Washington State 5–4–1 1–1 3rd
1963 Washington State 3–6–1 1–1 T–3rd
Washington State: 37–39–4 15–12–1
Total: 37–39–4


  1. ^ a b Johnson, Bob (December 6, 1963). "WSU in market for new coach". Spokane Daily Chronicle. p. 16. 
  2. ^ a b c "Sutherland out as grid coach". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon). Associated Press. December 6, 1963. p. 2B. 
  3. ^ a b c Missildine, Harry (June 24, 1980). "WSU's Jim Sutherland - one of football's great inventors". Spokesman-Review. p. 21. 
  4. ^ Missildine, Harry (June 25, 1980). "Coach Sutherland saved his last invention for his final victory". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. C1. 
  5. ^ "Football: All-Time Lettermen, P-S". USC Athletics. Archived from the original on October 9, 2014. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Sutherland signed for Cougar post". Ellensburg Daily Record. (Washington). Associated Press. January 18, 1956. p. 8. 
  7. ^ "Sutherland named WSC coach; Ex-U. of Washington aide gets grid job". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). January 18, 1956. p. 21. 
  8. ^ Ripton, Ray (October 13, 1988). "A players' coach : Santa Monica's Tebb Kusserow believes football is a chance for young men to know themselves". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Sutherland through as grid coach at Washington State". Bend Bulletin. (Oregon). UPI. December 6, 1963. p. 8. 
  10. ^ "Lincoln-Mercury auto dealership is changed". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). April 3, 1968. p. 5. 
  11. ^ "Car firm builds winning 'team'". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). October 9, 1968. p. 57. 
  12. ^ "Football". Milwaukee Sentinel. June 24, 1980. p. 2, part 2. 
  13. ^ "Sutherland, James S.". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Funerals. June 24, 1980. p. 25. 

External links[edit]