Holcomb pictured in Debris 1954, Purdue yearbook
|Sport(s)||Football, basketball, baseball|
September 11, 1910|
|Died||January 11, 1977
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1941||Washington & Jefferson|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|1971–1973||Chicago White Sox (GM)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1 Ohio Athletic (1939)
1 Big Ten (1952)
Stuart K. Holcomb (September 11, 1910 – January 11, 1977) was an American football and basketball coach best known for serving as head football coach for Miami University (1942–1943) and Purdue University (1947–1955). Before coaching, Holcomb was a starting halfback at Ohio State University and the captain of the 1931 Buckeyes football team. Prior to arriving at Miami, Holcomb was the head football coach at three smaller schools: the University of Findlay (1932–1935), Muskingum College (1936–1940), and Washington & Jefferson College (1941). He also served as the head basketball coach at University of Findlay for four seasons, 1932–33 thru 1935–36, and at the United States Military Academy from 1945 to 1947. After retiring from coaching, Holcomb was the athletic director at Northwestern University (1956–1966) and later the general manager of Major League Baseball's Chicago White Sox (1971–1973).
Holcomb was named Miami University's head football coach for the 1942 season succeeding Frank Wilton. His first team went 3–6 which equaled the number of wins of the three previous years for the Redskins. The next year Holcomb and the Redskins posted a winning record of 7–2–1. This team was dominated by defense, only allowing their opponents to score in double digits twice; A 34–12 win over Bradley University and a 35–0 blow out loss to Arkansas A&M. In his two years as Miami’s head coach he compiled an overall record of 10–9–1. He left Miami to become an assistant coach for Earl Blaik at the United States Military Academy. He was replaced as Redskins coach by future Pro and College Football Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman who was one of Holcomb's top assistant coaches.
United States Military Academy
While an assistant football coach for the United States Military Academy, Holcomb was head coach of the men’s basketball team for two seasons from 1945 through 1947. He led the cadets to two straight winning seasons of 9–6 and 9–7.
During Holcomb’s tenure as Boilermakers head coach he compiled a record of 35–42–4. His best year was 1952 when he led the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Conference co-championship and a #18 ranking in the final poll. Despite having only a 4–3–2 overall record, Holcomb's team played well in conference with a 4–1–1 record. Holcomb’s Purdue teams are, perhaps, best remembered for ending Notre Dame's 39-game unbeaten streak when his Boilermakers defeated the Irish, 28–14, in the second game of the 1950 season. Holcomb was known for developing solid quarterbacks including Bob DeMoss, Dale Samuels and Len Dawson. These players helped grow a strong tradition at Purdue of great quarterback play. On December 12, 1955, After his nine seasons at Purdue, Holcomb left Purdue to accept the athletic director position at the Northwestern University
Professional sports administrator
Holcomb was appointed as the general manager of the Chicago Mustangs, a United Soccer Association franchise owned by Arthur and John Allyn. After the Mustangs folded following the 1968 season, Holcomb was reassigned to the Chicago White Sox, another of the Allyn brothers' business entities, as its public relations director.
He was promoted to replace Ed Short as general manager in September 1970, the last month of a season in which the White Sox finished with its worst record in team history at 56–106. He began overhauling the ballclub by firing manager Don Gutteridge and replacing him with Chuck Tanner (third-base coach Bill Adair served as the interim for ten games during the transition).
Head coaching record
|Findlay Oilers () (1932–1935)|
|Muskingum Fighting Muskies (Ohio Athletic Conference) (1936–1940)|
|Washington & Jefferson Presidents (Independent) (1941)|
|1941||Washington & Jefferson||5–1–1|
|Washington & Jefferson:||5–1–1|
|Miami Redskins (independent) (1942–1943)|
|Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten Conference) (1947–1955)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.