|Born||July 22, 1913|
McColl, South Carolina
|Died||July 23, 1959 46) (aged|
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
|1938–1939||Snow Hill Billies|
|Position(s)|| Tackle (football)|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1939–1941||North Carolina (assistant)|
|1943||Iowa Pre-Flight (assistant)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Overall||100–35–7 (football) |
|Accomplishments and honors|
1 National (1953)
1 Big Six (1946)
1 SoCon (1951)
2 ACC (1953, 1955)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1953)
2× ACC Coach of the Year (1953, 1955)
| College Football Hall of Fame |
Inducted in 1984 (profile)
James Moore "Big Jim" Tatum (July 22, 1913 – July 23, 1959) was an American football and baseball player and coach. Tatum served as the head football coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1942, 1956–1958), the University of Oklahoma (1946), and the University of Maryland, College Park (1947–1955), compiling a career college football record of 100–35–7.His 1953 Maryland team won a national title. As a head coach, he employed the split-T formation with great success, a system he had learned as an assistant under Don Faurot at the Iowa Pre-Flight School during World War II. Tatum was also the head baseball coach at Cornell University from 1937 to 1939, tallying a mark of 20–40–1. Tatum's career was cut short by his untimely death in 1959. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1984.
Tatum was born in McColl, South Carolina on July 22, 1913.He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he played college football as a tackle under head coach Carl Snavely. Tatum was named to the All-Southern Conference team as a senior in 1935.
Tatum played minor league baseball as a catcher for the Kinston Eagles.The 6 feet, 3 inches and 230 pounds Tatum had the nicknames "Big Jim" and "Sunny Jim".
In September 1935, Tatum participated in training camp with the New York Giants of the National Football League at Blue Hill Country Club.
In 1936, Tatum followed his football coach at North Carolina, Carl Snavely, to Cornell University where he became Snavely's assistant football coach and also the head baseball coach for three seasons before returning to North Carolina in 1939. During this time, Tatum played minor league baseball in the class "D" Coastal Plain League with the Tarboro Serpents in 1937 and the Snow Hill Billies in 1938 and 1939.
Tatum enlisted in the United States Navy after one season as the head coach at North Carolina following Raymond Wolf's departure for naval service in 1941. He was assigned to the Iowa Pre-Flight school where he was an assistant coach for Don Faurot, the Missouri Tigers head coach and the inventor of the Split-T offense. Tatum used this offensive scheme with great success throughout his later career.
After World War II, Tatum accepted a position as the head coach at the University of Oklahoma. He compiled an 8–3 in 1946 record before accepting the head coaching position at the University of Maryland. Bud Wilkinson, a fellow assistant coach at the Iowa Pre-Flight School, was one of his assistants at Oklahoma and was promoted to head coach when Tatum left for Maryland.
At Maryland, Tatum compiled a 73–15–4 record for an .815 winning percentage. Maryland was undefeated in the 1951 season at 10–0, upsetting the top-ranked Tennessee Volunteers in the 1952 Sugar Bowl, 28–13. Tatum's 1953 team won a national championship. That season, Tatum was voted AFCA Coach of the Year. His Maryland teams won conference co-championships in 1951 in the Southern Conference and in 1953 and 1955 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In addition to playing in the Sugar Bowl, Maryland also played twice each in the Gator Bowl and the Orange Bowl during Tatum's tenure.
In 1942 and from 1956 to 1958, Tatum served as the head football coach at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina. There he compiled a 19–17–3 record; two 1956 wins were later forfeited for use of an ineligible player.Tatum had originally returned to North Carolina to coach the freshmen football team in 1939 after spending time as an assistant at Cornell University. His first stint is notable for his recruitment of Felix "Doc" Blanchard, a son of one of his cousins, who played on the freshman team before enlisting and later starring as "Mr. Inside" for Army. He left his first tenure as head coach after the 1942 season to enlist in the Navy during World War II. His second tenure at North Carolina was cut short due to his untimely death.
Tatum died on July 23, 1959 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina at the age of 46. He had contracted an infection on July 13, and entered the hospital on July 18. On the day of his death, he fell into a coma in the afternoon and never regained consciousness. He was declared dead at 11:40 p.m. His ailment was later determined to be a rickettsial disease "similar to typhus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever". He was buried in Old Chapel Hill Cemetery.
Himself a pupil of split T innovator Don Faurot, Tatum's coaching tree included the following assistants who later held head coaching positions of their own:
A number of Tatum's players also went on to become head coaches:
|North Carolina Tar Heels (Southern Conference)(1942)|
|Oklahoma Sooners (Big Six Conference)(1946)|
|Maryland Terrapins (Southern Conference)(1947–1952)|
|Maryland Terrapins (Atlantic Coast Conference)(1953–1955)|
|North Carolina Tar Heels (Atlantic Coast Conference)(1956–1958)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
Frank J. Howard was an American college football player and coach. He played college football for Alabama. After a career-ending injury, Howard joined the staff at Clemson College and became head coach in 1940. Howard coached the Clemson Tigers for 30 years, amassing the 15th most wins of any college football coach. He led Clemson to ten bowl games, an undefeated season in 1948, and several top-20 rankings during his tenure as head coach. During his stay at Clemson, Howard also oversaw the athletic department, ticket sales, and was an assistant coach for the baseball team. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, the South Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the Clemson Ring of Honor. The playing surface at Clemson's Memorial Stadium is named after him.
George T. Barclay was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Washington and Lee University from 1949 to 1951 and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1953 to 1955, compiling a career college football record of 28–30–2. Barclay was a standout guard and linebacker at North Carolina. He was a three-year starting player from 1932 to 1934. Barclay made the first team All-Southern Conference as a guard in 1933 and 1934 and was an All-American in 1934.
Donald Burrows Faurot was an American football and basketball player, coach, and college athletics administrator best known for his eight-decade association with the University of Missouri. He served as the head football coach at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College—commonly known at the time as Kirksville State Teachers College and now known as Truman State University—from 1926 to 1934 and at Missouri from 1935 to 1942 and again from 1946 to 1956. During World War II, Faurot coached the Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks in 1943 and the football team at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in 1944. He was also the head basketball coach at Kirksville State from 1925 to 1934, tallying a mark of 92–74. Faurot was the athletic director at Missouri from 1935 to 1942 and again from 1946 to 1967. He lettered in three sports at Missouri in the early 1920s: in football, as a halfback, basketball and baseball.
The split-T is an offensive formation in American football that was popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Developed by Missouri Tigers head coach Don Faurot as a variation on the T formation, the split-T was first used in the 1941 season and allowed the Tigers to win all but their season-opening match against the Ohio State Buckeyes and the 1942 Sugar Bowl versus Fordham. Jim Tatum and Bud Wilkinson, who coached under Faurot with the Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks during World War II, brought the split-T to the Oklahoma Sooners in 1946. After Tatum left for Maryland in 1947, Wilkinson became the head coach and went on to win a record-setting 47 straight games and two national titles between 1953 and 1957.
The North Carolina Tar Heels football team represents the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the sport of American football. The Tar Heels play in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
Carl Gray "The Grey Fox" Snavely was an American football and baseball coach. He served as the head football coach at Bucknell University (1927–1933), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Cornell University (1936–1944), and Washington University in St. Louis (1953–1958), compiling a career college football record of 180–96–16. Snavely was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1965.
Wade Hampton Walker was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He played college football as a tackle at the University of Oklahoma under head coaches Jim Tatum and Bud Wilkinson. Walker was named an all-conference player all four years and a first-team All-American in 1949. He served as the head football coach at Mississippi State for six seasons, from 1956 to 1961, and compiled a 22–32–2 record. He also served as the athletic director at Mississippi State and Oklahoma.
The Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks represented the U.S. Navy pre-flight school at the University of Iowa in the college football seasons of 1942, 1943, and 1944.
James Benton Hickey was an American football and basketball player, coach of football, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Hampden–Sydney College from 1951 to 1955 and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1959 to 1966, compiling a career college football record of 63–56–4. Hickey was the athletic director at the University of Connecticut from 1966 to 1969.
The 1946 Oklahoma Sooners football team represented the University of Oklahoma in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college football. The team was led by Jim Tatum in his first and only season as head coach. Along with first-year backfield coach Bud Wilkinson, who became the head coach himself the following year, Tatum installed the new split-T offense. An intensive recruiting effort, largely focused at veterans returning from the Second World War, helped Oklahoma to on-field success and eight of the team's new recruits eventually earned first-team All-America honors. The team improved from the previous season to an 8–3 record and a share of the Big Six Conference championship.
From 1947 to 1955, Jim Tatum served as the head coach of the Maryland Terrapins football team, which represented the University of Maryland in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college football. Maryland hired Tatum to replace Clark Shaughnessy after the 1946 season. Tatum had created both success and controversy during his one season as head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners football team. During his nine-year tenure, Tatum became one of the most successful head football coaches in Maryland history, and the Terrapins compiled two national championships, three conference championships, and five bowl game appearances. His teams compiled a 73–15–4 record without a single losing season, and as of the end of 2016, he has the highest winning percentage of any Maryland football coach who coached at least seven games. In 1954, the University of Maryland appointed a new president, Dr. Wilson Elkins, who chose to de-emphasize football. Following the 1955 season, Tatum took a pay cut to coach at his alma mater, North Carolina, and he died four years later.
The 1950 Gator Bowl was the fifth edition of the Gator Bowl and featured the Maryland Terrapins representing the University of Maryland and the Missouri Tigers representing the University of Missouri. It was the first-ever meeting of the two teams.
The 1954 Orange Bowl was a postseason American college football bowl game between the first-ranked Maryland Terrapins and the fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. It was the twentieth edition of the Orange Bowl and took place at the Orange Bowl stadium in Miami, Florida on January 1, 1954.
The 1951 Maryland Terrapins football team represented the University of Maryland in 1951 college football season as a member of the Southern Conference (SoCon). Maryland outscored its opponents, 381–74, and finished the season with a 10–0 record, including three shut outs, and held seven opponents to seven points or less. It was the school's first perfect undefeated and untied season since 1893. Maryland also secured its first berth in a major postseason bowl game, the 1952 Sugar Bowl, where it upset first-ranked Tennessee under head coach Robert Neyland.
Warren Giese was a state legislator in South Carolina and a college football coach. He served as the head football coach for the South Carolina Gamecocks for five years at the University of South Carolina. He later served in the South Carolina State Senate.
The 1949 Maryland Terrapins football team represented the University of Maryland in 1949 college football season as a member of the Southern Conference (SoCon). Jim Tatum served as the head coach for the third season of his nine-year tenure. The team compiled a 9–1 record and received a bid to the 1950 Gator Bowl, where they defeated 20th-ranked Missouri, which was coached by Don Faurot, Tatum's former boss and the inventor of the split-T offense.
The 1956 Maryland Terrapins football team represented the University of Maryland in the 1956 NCAA University Division football season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. They were led by first-year head coach Tommy Mont, who had been promoted from backfield assistant after Jim Tatum left to take over at North Carolina. Preseason hopes were high for the team, but it suffered numerous injuries and other misfortunes. Maryland finished with a 2–7–1 record, and the Associated Press called it "one of the year's most disappointing football teams".
The 1935 North Carolina Tar Heels football team represented the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the 1935 college football season. The Tar Heels were led by second-year head coach Carl Snavely and played their home games at Kenan Memorial Stadium. They competed as a member of the Southern Conference. Snavely unexpectedly resigned at the end of the season to accept a head coaching position at Cornell University. He returned to coach the Tar Heels again from 1945 to 1952.