Nathan Dougherty

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Nathan Dougherty
Dougherty with his nose protection around his neck
Sport(s) Football, basketball
Biographical details
Born (1886-03-23)March 23, 1886
Hales Mill, Virginia
Died May 18, 1977(1977-05-18) (aged 91)
Knoxville, Tennessee
Playing career
1906–1909 Tennessee
1908–1909 Tennessee
Position(s) Guard (football)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1914–1915 George Washington
Head coaching record
Overall 5–9
Accomplishments and honors
All-Southern (1908)
AP Southeast All-Time football team (1869–1919 era)
Tennessee Athletics Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1967 (profile)

Nathan Washington "Big'n" Dougherty (March 23, 1886 – May 18, 1977) was a Hall of Fame college football player for the Tennessee Volunteers football team. He later became the Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee and chairman of its Athletic Council. For this as well as his playing days Dougherty is "considered by many to be the founding father of UT Athletics."[1] Dougherty was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1967, and was a unanimous choice for the Associated Press Southeast Area All-Time football team 1869–1919 era.[2]

Playing career[edit]

University of Tennessee[edit]

Dougherty c. 1909.

Dougherty played football and basketball at the University of Tennessee. He came to the university from Scott County, Virginia.


Dougherty played guard for the Tennessee Volunteers from 1906 to 1909, standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 185 pounds. Dougherty was a standout in the sport before it became wildly popular around the country. Of the few accolades that were bestowed on individuals, Dougherty was an honoree. He was named to the All Southern team in 1907 and 1908.


The 1908 team was widely considered the best Tennessee football season up to that point.[3] The backfield included Walker Leach. Vanderbilt coach Dan McGugin noted "All things considered, Leach was perhaps the best football player of the year in Dixie."[4]


He was captain of the football team in 1909.[5]



Dougherty was captain of the Tennessee Volunteers men's basketball team in 1908–09.[6]


Dougherty coached the George Washington University's basketball team during the 1914–15 season, and compiled a 5–9 record.


Dougherty was dean of the University of Tennessee College of Engineering at Knoxville from 1940 to 1956. He was also the chairman of the UT Athletic Council from 1917 to 1956. An engineering building at the school is named after him. The building caught fire in November 2006, but was later reopened.

Dougherty was instrumental in the establishment of the Southern Conference, being its first secretary-treasurer.[7]


External links[edit]