John Roning

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John Roning
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1910-12-02)December 2, 1910
Red Wing, Minnesota
Died October 3, 2001(2001-10-03) (aged 90)
Denver, Colorado
Alma mater University of Minnesota
Playing career
1932–1934 Minnesota
Position(s) End
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1939–1941 Gustavus Adolphus
1942 Minnesota (ends)
1943–1944 North Carolina Pre-Flight (ends)
1946–1950 Minnesota (backfield)
1951–1954 Utah Agricultural
1955–1960 Denver
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1939–1942 Gustavus Adolphus
1961–1971 South Dakota
1971–1977 Big Sky Conference
Head coaching record
Overall 61–59–3
Accomplishments and honors
1 MIAC (1940)

John Olaf Roning (December 2, 1910 – October 3, 2001) was an American college football player, coach, and athletics administrator.

After he played end for the University of Minnesota (19321934), Roning entered the coaching ranks. After a few years coaching in the high school ranks, Roning became the head coach at Gustavus Adolphus in 1939. He left in 1942 to return to Minnesota as an assistant and then was at North Carolina Pre-Flight. In 1951, Roning became the head coach at Utah Agricultural (now Utah State) in Logan for four seasons and then at the University of Denver. He was athletic director at South Dakota during the 1960s and the second commissioner of the Big Sky Conference (1971–1977).

Early life and career[edit]

Roning was an end for Bernie Bierman at Minnesota from the 1932 through the 1934 seasons.[1] He started at end during their 1934 national championship season.[2] In 1939, Roning took over at Gustavus Adolphus College where he served as athletic director, football, basketball and track coach.[2] During his tenure as football head coach, Roning led the Gusties to an overall record of 17 wins, five losses and one tie (17–5–1).[3] He led the Gusties to the 1940 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) championship; however, the school was suspended from the MIAC for the 1941 season for its perceived "overemphasis" on collegiate athletics.[4] From Adolphus, Roning served as an assistant coach at Minnesota, with North Carolina Pre-Flight and again at Minnesota before he became head coach at Utah Agricultural.[1]

Utah Agricultural and Denver[edit]

Roning was hired at Utah Agricultural in January 1951 to replace George Melinkovich.[1] During his four-year tenure as head coach of the Aggies, Roning had an overall record of 18 wins, 21 losses and two ties (18–21–2).[5][6] In February 1955, he became the head coach of the Denver Pioneers.[7] During his six seasons there, Roning had an 27–13 overall record.[5] After the 1960 season, the university decided to drop football due to the costs of operating the program.[8][9][10][11]

Later life[edit]

After the closure of the Denver football program, Roning accepted the position of athletic director at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion in 1961.[12] He remained at South Dakota until 1971, when he followed Jack Friel as commissioner of the Big Sky Conference;[12][13][14] he served until June 1977, succeeded by Steve Belko.[15][16]

Roning retired to Denver, Colorado, where he resided until his death at age 90 on October 3, 2001.[12]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Gustavus Adolphus Gusties (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1939–1941)
1939 Gustavus Adolphus 6–2 3–2 4th
1940 Gustavus Adolphus 7–1 5–0 1st
1941 Gustavus Adolphus 4–2–1
Gustavus Adolphus: 17–5–1 8–2
Utah State Aggies (Mountain States Conference) (1951–1954)
1951 Utah State 3–5–1 2–4–1 6th
1952 Utah State 3–7–1 3–4 T–5th
1953 Utah State 8–3 5–4 2nd
1954 Utah State 4–6 4–3 3rd
Utah State: 18–21–2 14–15–1
Denver Pioneers (Mountain States Conference) (1955–1960)
1955 Denver 8–2 5–2 T–3rd
1956 Denver 6–4 4–3 T–3rd
1957 Denver 6–4 5–2 3rd
1958 Denver 2–8 2–5 T–6th
1959 Denver 2–8 2–5 T–5th
1960 Denver 3–7 1–6 T–7th
Denver: 27–33 19–23
Total: 61–59–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title


  1. ^ a b c "Roning named as USAC grid mentor". The Deseret News. January 28, 1951. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "John Roning: Inducted 1982". Gustavus Adolphus Athletic Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Gustavus Adolphus Football Records: Year-By-Year Records with Coaches". Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Gustavus Adolphus draws suspension". The Milwaukee Journal. United Press. April 7, 1941. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b DeLassus, David. "All-Time Coaching Records: John Roning". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ Miller, Hack (December 6, 1975). "Success formula at Utah State". Deseret News. p. 6A. 
  7. ^ "Denver University picks John Roning". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. February 9, 1955. p. 5B. 
  8. ^ "Denver University drops football". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 10, 1961. p. 14. 
  9. ^ "Denver may be asked to quit Skyline". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). UPI. January 10, 1961. p. 2B. 
  10. ^ "Tears are few over football". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. January 10, 1961. p. 16. 
  11. ^ Fisher, Steve (November 23, 2010). "Thanksgiving Day marks 50 years since last Pioneers football game". University of Denver. (magazine). Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c "Former South Dakota athletic director John Roning dies Oct. 3". October 17, 2001. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Frosh can play Sky frosh grid sport: but not Idaho". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. November 25, 1970. p. 12. 
  14. ^ Payne, Bob (May 19, 1971). "New Big Sky commissioner Roning sees fine future". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 10. 
  15. ^ Newnham, Blaine (January 6, 1977). "A chance in the Sky". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). p. 1C. 
  16. ^ "Belko planning a different look for Big Sky". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. June 10, 1977. p. 6E. 

External links[edit]