John L. Griffith

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Not to be confused with John G. Griffith or Johnny Griffith (coach).
John L. Griffith
John L Griffith.jpg
Griffith pictured in The Quax 1918, Drake yearbook
Sport(s) Football, baseball, basketball, track
Biographical details
Born (1877-08-20)August 20, 1877
Mount Carroll, Illinois
Died December 7, 1944(1944-12-07) (aged 67)
Chicago, Illinois
Playing career
?–1902 Beloit
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1905–1907 Morningside
1908–1915 Drake
1909–1910 Drake
1912–1914 Drake
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1902–1905 Yankton
1905–1908 Morningside
1908–1918 Drake
1922–1944 Big Ten (commissioner)
Head coaching record
Overall 49–31–7 (football)

John L. Griffith (August 20, 1877 – December 7, 1944) was an American football, basketball, and baseball player, track athlete, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the first commissioner of the Big Ten Conference from 1922 until his death in 1944.[1] His career football coaching record was 49 wins, 31 losses, and 7 ties.

Coaching career[edit]


Griffith was the head college football coach for the Morningside Mustangs located in Sioux City, Iowa. He held that position for 3 seasons, from 1905 until 1907. His coaching record at Morningside was 13 wins, 6 losses and 4 ties. As of the conclusion of the 2009 season, this ranks him #8 at Morningside in total wins and #3 at the school in winning percentage (.652).[2]


Griffith was the tenth head coach for the Drake University Bulldogs located in Des Moines, Iowa and he held that position for eight seasons, from 1908 until 1915. His overall coaching record at Drake was 36 wins, 25 losses, and 3 ties. This ranks him seventh at Drake in terms of total wins and seventh at Drake in terms of winning percentage.[3] During his time at Drake, he created the Drake Relays in 1910.


  1. ^ Schmidt, Ray (2000). "Major John Griffith" (PDF). College Football Historical Society Newsletter. LA 84 Foundation. 13 (2). Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ DeLassus, David. "Morningside Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ DeLassus, David. "Drake Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 

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