Joel Eaves

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Joel Eaves
Joel Eaves.jpg
Eaves in the 1951 Glomerata
Sport(s) Football, basketball
Biographical details
Born (1914-06-03)June 3, 1914
Copperhill, Tennessee
Died July 18, 1991(1991-07-18) (aged 77)
Athens, Georgia
Playing career
1934–1936 Auburn
1934–1937 Auburn
Position(s) End (football)
Guard (basketball)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1957 Auburn (assistant)
1937 Sewanee (assistant)
1938–1941 Sewanee
1949–1963 Auburn
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1963–1979 Georgia
Head coaching record
Overall 217–143
Accomplishments and honors
SEC regular season (1960)
All-SEC (1936)

SEC Coach of the Year (1960)
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame

Joel Harry Eaves (June 3, 1914 – July 18, 1991) was an American college football and basketball player, coach, and athletic director. He is perhaps most known for coaching basketball at his alma mater, the Auburn Tigers of Auburn University.[1] He is the all-time winningest coach in Auburn basketball history. He was also once athletic director for the Georgia Bulldogs. Eaves was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1978.[2]

Early years[edit]

Eaves was born on the Georgia state line in Copperhill, Tennessee.[3][4] He grew up in Atlanta and attended Tech High School.[5]

Playing career[edit]

Eaves played on the Auburn Tigers basketball, football, and baseball teams


Eaves was captain of the basketball team his senior year, an all-around guard.[6] He stood 6 feet 3 inches and weighed 190 pounds. The head coach of the basketball team was Ralph "Shug" Jordan.


On coach Jack Meagher's football team, Eaves was an end, selected All-SEC by the Associated Press in 1936.[7] He was drafted in the eighth round of the 1937 NFL Draft by the Boston Redskins but never played in the National Football League (NFL).


He pitched on the baseball team.

Coaching career[edit]


Before coaching at Auburn, he coached the Sewanee Tigers basketball team.[8]


Eaves coached the Auburn men's basketball program from 1949 to 1963. He guided Auburn to its first SEC championship in 1960, and was named SEC Coach of the Year that season. Eaves made famous the shuffle offense while at Auburn.[9] After 14 seasons at Auburn, Eaves finished with a record of 213-100 (.681), making him the winningest men's basketball coach in Auburn history.

Eaves also assisted with the football team while at Auburn, helping with the freshmen ends for two years before coaching varsity defensive ends, contributing to Auburn's 1957 national championship.[10]

Joel Eaves was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1978.[9] Auburn's Memorial Coliseum was renamed after Eaves to Joel H. Eaves Memorial Coliseum in 1987, and later to Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum in 1993.[11]

Administrative career[edit]

Eaves was the athletic director for the Georgia Bulldogs from 1963 to 1979. He hired Vince Dooley as football coach.[4]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Coach Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Sewanee (Southeastern Conference) (1938–1940)
1938–39 Sewanee 1–16 0–13 13th
1939–40 Sewanee 2–13 0–9 13th
Sewanee (Independent) (1940–1941)
1940–41 Sewanee 1–14
Sewanee: 4–43 (.085) 0–22 (.000)
Auburn (Southeastern Conference) (1949–1963)
1949–50 Auburn 17–7 12–6 3rd
1950–51 Auburn 12–10 6–8 5th
1951–52 Auburn 14–12 6–8 9th
1952–53 Auburn 13–8 6–7 5th
1953–54 Auburn 16–8 8–6 5th
1954–55 Auburn 11–9 6–8 8th
1955–56 Auburn 11–10 8–6 4th
1956–57 Auburn 13–8 8–6 6th
1957–58 Auburn 16–6 11–3 2nd
1958–59 Auburn 20–2 12–2 2nd
1959–60 Auburn 19–3 12–2 1st
1960–61 Auburn 15–7 8–6 5th
1961–62 Auburn 18–6 11–3 3rd
1962–63 Auburn 18–4 10–4 2nd
Auburn: 213–100 (.681) 124–75 (.623)
Total: 217–143 (.603)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ "Joel Eaves".
  2. ^ "Joel Harry Eaves".
  3. ^ "Ex Tiger Coach Dies Of Heart Failure". Florence Times Daily. July 19, 1991.
  4. ^ a b "Ex Tiger Coach Dies Of Heart Failure". Times Daily. July 19, 1991.
  5. ^ "Former Georgia AD Eaves Dead At 77" (PDF). Savannah Morning News. July 19, 1991. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  6. ^ "Auburn University Original 1937 Basketball Photo".
  7. ^ "Associated Press Names All-Southeastern Eleven". St. Petersburg Times. December 1, 1936.
  8. ^ "Joel Eaves". Archived from the original on 2015-06-15.
  9. ^ a b "Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Museum – Birmingham, Alabama". Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  10. ^ "Joel Eaves, Georgia AD". Tuscaloosa News. October 15, 1978.
  11. ^ "AUBURNTIGERS.COM :: Auburn University Official Athletic Site". Retrieved 2016-03-02.