John Toner

Last updated
John Toner
Biographical details
Born(1923-05-04)May 4, 1923
Nantucket, Massachusetts
DiedSeptember 23, 2014(2014-09-23) (aged 91)
Savannah, Georgia
Playing career
1947–1948 Boston University
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
early 1950s Boston University (assistant)
1954–1956 New Britain HS (CT)
1957–1965 Columbia (backfield)
1966–1970 Connecticut
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1969–1987 Connecticut
1983–1985 NCAA (president)
Head coaching record
Overall20–24–3 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
2 Yankee (1968, 1970)
Awards
NFF Distinguished American Award (1986)

John L. Toner (May 4, 1923 – September 23, 2014) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at the University of Connecticut (UConn) from 1966 to 1970 and as the school's athletic director from 1969 to 1987. During his 18-year tenure as athletic director Toner also served in several roles with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), including as its president from 1983 to 1985. Toner was responsible for several momentous decisions in his time as athletic director at UConn, including UConn becoming a founding member of the Big East Conference in 1979, as well as the hiring of future Hall of Fame coaches Geno Auriemma and Jim Calhoun. He also oversaw the funding and construction of Gampel Pavilion.

Contents

Personal life

Toner was born in 1923 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. [1] [2] He died at the age of 91 in 2014. [3]

Football coach

Toner became UConn's 21st head football coach in 1966. [4] after having been the head football coach at New Britain High School in New Britain, CT. In five seasons under Toner the Huskies compiled a 20–24–3 record. [5] Toner resigned as football coach at the end of the 1970 season to concentrate on his position as athletic director. [6]

Athletic director

Toner became UConn's athletic director in 1969, continuing a tradition of elevating someone from the football program to that position. [6] He served in that position for 17 years until he resigned in 1987 except to oversee the construction of Gampel Pavilion. [7]

Joining the Big East Conference

Toner was first approached about Connecticut becoming a founding member of the Big East Conference in May 1979, but was uncertain. On May 26, UConn was given a 24-hour deadline to decide whether they would join. Toner, unable to reach the university president, unilaterally accepted the invitation. [8]

NCAA

Toner served as president of the NCAA from 1983 to 1985. During his tenure, he was involved in implementing Title IX in collegiate athletics, splitting college football into Divisions I-A and I-AA, and passing new freshman eligibility rules. [9] He also was involved in Herschel Walker's leaving college early to join the United States Football League. [10]

Honors and awards

Head coaching record

College

YearTeamOverallConferenceStandingBowl/playoffs
Connecticut Huskies (Yankee Conference)(1966–1970)
1966 Connecticut 2–6–12–2–13rd
1967 Connecticut 5–44–12nd
1968 Connecticut 4–64–1T–1st
1969 Connecticut 5–43–2T–2nd
1970 Connecticut 4–4–24–0–11st
Connecticut:20–24–313–8–1
Total:20–24–3
      National championship        Conference title        Conference division title or championship game berth

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References

  1. Toner, John L. "United States Public Records, 1970-2009". FamilySearch. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  2. Canfield, Owen (October 27, 1998). "Big-Time Thanks to Coach Toner". The Hartford Courant. Tribune Corporation. p. C5. Archived from the original on March 18, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  3. http://www.norwichbulletin.com/article/20140923/SPORTS/140929788/2000/NEWS
  4. Shea, Jim (1995). Huskymania: The inside story of the rise of UConn's men's and women's basketball teams (1st ed.). New York: Villard. p. 36. ISBN   978-0-679-44887-7.
  5. UConn Athletic Communications (2009). 2009 University of Connecticut Football Media Guide (pdf). University of Connecticut. p. 119. Retrieved February 21, 2010.[ permanent dead link ]
  6. 1 2 Shea, Jim (1995). Huskymania: The inside story of the rise of UConn's men's and women's basketball teams (1st ed.). New York: Villard. p. 37. ISBN   978-0-679-44887-7.
  7. "SPORTS PEOPLE; UConn Search Begins". The New York Times. January 23, 1987. p. A18. Archived from the original on March 18, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  8. Shea, Jim (1995). Huskymania: The inside story of the rise of UConn's men's and women's basketball teams (1st ed.). New York: Villard. pp. 38–39. ISBN   978-0-679-44887-7.
  9. Shea, Jim (1995). Huskymania: The inside story of the rise of UConn's men's and women's basketball teams (1st ed.). New York: Villard. p. 38. ISBN   978-0-679-44887-7.
  10. "One On One: John Toner". The Pittsburgh Press. E. W. Scripps Company. May 13, 1985. p. D2. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  11. "John Toner To Be Inducted Into "Huskies Of Honor"". www.uconnhuskies.com. University of Connecticut. February 23, 2000. Archived from the original on February 7, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2010.