William Jeffrey (American soccer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bill Jeffrey
Personal information
Full name William Jeffrey
Date of birth (1892-08-03)August 3, 1892
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Date of death January 7, 1966(1966-01-07) (aged 73)
Place of death New York City, New York, U.S.
Teams managed
Years Team
–1925 Altoona Works
1926–1952 Penn State
1950 United States

William "Bill" Jeffrey (August 3, 1892 – January 7, 1966) was the head coach of the 1950 United States World Cup team that famously beat England 1-0 in one of the greatest upsets in the history of soccer. He was the coach of Penn State for 26 seasons, winning ten national college championships. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.


Jeffrey began playing at an early age, but suffered a career-ending injury. His mother sent him to live with an uncle in the United States. He began working as a mechanic with the Altoona Railroad Shop of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

He eventually came to manage the company team. In 1925, his team played an exhibition game with Penn State University. This resulted in an offer to coach the men's soccer team, a position he held for 27 years.[1] Beginning in 1932, the Nittany Lions would go on a 65-game unbeaten streak, a streak which ended in November 1941. A founding member of the NSCAA, he served as president of the association in 1948.[2]

The United States Soccer Football Federation selected Jeffrey to coach the United States men's national soccer team at the 1950 FIFA World Cup just two weeks before the competition after Erno Schwarz declined the position. Jeffrey led the U.S. team to its historic 1-0 win over England in the 1950 World Cup, considered one of the greatest upsets in soccer history.[3]

In 1953, he retired from Penn State. He moved to Puerto Rico where he taught and coached for several years. On September 29, 1972, the Penn State soccer stadium was named after Jeffrey.[4] The NSCAA awards the annual Bill Jeffrey Award to college coaches.

He died of a heart attack while attending the NCAA soccer meetings in New York. He is buried in Centre County Memorial Cemetery in State College, Pennsylvania.[5]


  1. ^ "Penn State Soccer Timeline" (PDF). cstv.com. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  2. ^ "NSCAA Presidents". nscaa.com. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Football's 20 Greatest Upsets - Soccerphile". www.soccerphile.com. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Penn State Facilities :: Official Athletic Site". www.gopsusports.com. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  5. ^ "William "Bill" Jeffrey (1892-1966) - Find A Grave..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 21 April 2018.

External links[edit]