John Mauer

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John Mauer
John Mauer, c. 1926.jpg
The Illio, 1927
Biographical details
Born(1901-09-04)September 4, 1901
Aurora, Illinois
DiedDecember 20, 1978(1978-12-20) (aged 77)
Knoxville, Tennessee
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1926Batavia HS (IL)
1938–1946Tennessee (DB)
1951–1960Florida (DB)
1960–1963Tennessee (DB)
1926–1927Batavia HS (IL)
1930–1938Miami (OH)
Head coaching record
Overall344–272 (college basketball)
24–23 (college baseball)
0–1 (NIT)
Accomplishments and honors
2 SEC regular season (1941, 1943)
2 SEC Tournament (1941, 1943)

John W. Mauer (September 4, 1901 – December 20, 1978) was an American college basketball, baseball and football coach and multi-sport college athlete. During the course of his 36-year collegiate coaching career, Mauer was the head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, Miami University (Ohio), the University of Tennessee, the U.S. Military Academy, and the University of Florida. John was the head coach of the Tennessee baseball team. John also served as the defensive backs coach for Tennessee under head coach General Robert Neyland. After coaching his college coaching career, John worked under Vince Lombardi scouting players for the Green Bay Packers. Mauer also scouted for the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, and New York Giants.

Early life and education[edit]

Mauer was born in 1901 at Aurora, Illinois. Both of his parents died by the time he was 13 years old, and he was raised by his older sister. With the financial assistance of a local businessman, he attended Batavia High School in Batavia, Illinois and was able to enroll in college.

Mauer attended the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois from 1922 to 1926, where he played for the Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team. As a player, he was remembered for being one of the pioneers of one-handed shooting. While attending Illinois, his roommate was Illini football great Harold E. "Red" Grange. Mauer was named Outstanding Athlete and Scholar in the Big Ten Conference as a senior, and graduated from Illinois with a bachelor's degree in 1926.

Coaching career[edit]

Mauer was the head coach in football, basketball, and track at Batavia High School, from 1926 to 1927, after which he was the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky from 1927 to 1930, immediately preceding the legendary Adolph Rupp. Mauer's successful Wildcats teams were known as the "Mauer men," and he was one of the first coaches to popularize the bounce pass as an element of basketball offense. His Wildcats teams posted an overall win-loss record of 40–14 (.741) in three seasons.

After leaving Kentucky, he became the head coach of the Miami Redskins men's basketball team of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, coaching the Redskins (now known as the "RedHawks") for eight seasons from 1930 to 1938. Mauer did not have a winning record in his first five seasons with the Redskins, but posted winning records in two of his final three seasons. During the 1937–1938 season, the Redskins finished 11–5. At Miami, he coached Walter "Smoky" Alston who would go on manage the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. He finished his Miami career with an overall record of 46–80 (.365), leaving Oxford after the 1937–1938 season, and was replaced by Weeb Ewbank.[1]

Mauer became the head coach for the Tennessee Volunteers men's basketball team of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, for eight seasons between 1938 and 1947.[2] Mauer's Volunteers had significant success, posting an overall record of 127–41 (.756), and winning two Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships (1941, 1943) and two SEC tournaments (1941, 1943). In 1945, John led the team to the Quarterfinals in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). At the time, the National Invitation Tournament was more prestigious than the NCAA Basketball Tournament. During his time as the Volunteers' head basketball coach, he also worked as the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers baseball team from 1938 to 1942, and as an assistant football coach for the Tennessee Volunteers football team under head coaches Neyland and John Barnhill from 1938 to 1946.

Mauer later served as the head coach for the Army Black Knights men's basketball team of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, for four seasons from 1947 to 1951,[3] and the Florida Gators men's basketball team of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, for nine seasons from 1951 to 1960. His four Army Cadets teams finished 33–35 (.485); his nine Gators teams compiled a record of 98–102 (.490). While coaching the Gators basketball team, he also served as an assistant coach for the Florida Gators football team under head coaches Bob Woodruff and Ray Graves.

After his final season as the Gators' basketball mentor, Mauer returned to the University of Tennessee and worked as an assistant coach for the Volunteers football team from 1960 to 1963 under head coaches Bowden Wyatt and Jim McDonald.


Mauer died in Knoxville on December 20, 1978; he was 77 years old. He was survived by his wife Grace, their two sons, and their five grandchildren.

Mauer was the first, and to date the only, person to serve as the head coach in the same sport at three different SEC universities. His winning percentage as the Tennessee Volunteers men's basketball head coach remains the best of the modern era; his winning percentage as the Kentucky Wildcats' head is still among the program's six best of the modern era. Mauer was posthumously inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.

Head coaching record[edit]

College basketball[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Kentucky Wildcats (Southern Conference) (1927–1930)
1927–28 Kentucky 12–6 8–1 T–3rd
1928–29 Kentucky 12–5 7–4 T–6th
1929–30 Kentucky 16–3 9–1 T–2nd
Kentucky: 40–14[4] 24–6
Miami Redskins (Independent) (1930–1938)
1930–31 Miami 5–10
1931–32 Miami 6–10
1932–33 Miami 3–13
1933–34 Miami 4–11
1934–35 Miami 3–12
1935–36 Miami 9–8
1936–37 Miami 5–11
1937–38 Miami 11–5
Miami: 46–80[5]
Tennessee Volunteers (Southeastern Conference) (1938–1947)
1938–39 Tennessee 14–7 6–5 8th
1939–40 Tennessee 14–7 7–3 2nd
1940–41 Tennessee 17–5 8–3 3rd
1941–42 Tennessee 19–3 7–1 1st
1942–43 Tennessee 14–4 6–3 3rd
1944–45 Tennessee 18–5 8–2 T–1st NIT Quarterfinal
1945–46 Tennessee 15–5 8–3 3rd
1946–47 Tennessee 16–5 10–3 3rd
Tennessee: 127–41 60–23[6]
Army Cadets (Independent) (1947–1951)
1947–48 Army 8–9
1948–49 Army 7–10
1949–50 Army 9–8
1950–51 Army 9–8
Army: 33–35[7]
Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1951–1960)
1951–52 Florida 15–9 7–7 7th
1952–53 Florida 13–6 8–5 3rd
1953–54 Florida 7–15 3–11 10th
1954–55 Florida 12–10 5–9 9th
1955–56 Florida 11–12 4–10 11th
1956–57 Florida 14–10 6–8 9th
1957–58 Florida 12–9 5–9 9th
1958–59 Florida 8–15 2–12 11th
1959–60 Florida 6–16 3–11 11th
Florida: 98–102 43–82[8]
Total: 344–272

      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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ miami 2006 basketball media guide
  2. ^ Mauer's tenure at Tennessee was interrupted for a single season by World War II in 1943–1944.
  3. ^ Associated Press, "Mauer Leaves West Point Post," The New York Times, p. S48 (April 11, 1951). Retrieved June 26, 2010.
  4. ^ UK Athletics, Men's Basketball, All-Time UK Coaches. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  5. ^ Miami University RedHawks Men's Basketball 2009-10 Fan Guide, History, Miami University Athletic Department, Oxford, Ohio, p. 107 (2009). Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  6. ^ 2010-11 Tennessee Men's Basketball Media Guide, Volmanac, University of Tennessee Athletic Department, Knoxville, Tennessee, pp. 166–167 (2010). Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  7. ^, College Basketball, Army Black Knights Archived February 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  8. ^ 2009–10 Florida Gators Men's Basketball Media Guide, History Archived July 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 124–125, 132, 134 (2009). February 12, 2011.

External links[edit]