Tommy Hudspeth

Last updated
Tommy Hudspeth
Tommy Hudspeth 1964.jpeg
Hudspeth, circa 1964
Biographical details
Born(1931-09-14)September 14, 1931
Cherryvale, Kansas
DiedJune 23, 2015(2015-06-23) (aged 83)
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Alma mater University of Tulsa
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1953 Norman HS (OK) (assistant)
1956 Tulsa Central HS (OK) (assistant)
1957–1960 Tulsa (assistant)
1961–1963 Calgary Stampeders (assistant)
1964–1971 BYU
1972 UTEP (OC)
1972–1973 UTEP
1974 Chicago Fire (OB)
1976–1977 Detroit Lions
1981 Toronto Argonauts
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1974–1975 Detroit Lions (scout)
1975–1976 Detroit Lions (CPS)
1979–1981 Toronto Argonauts (GM)
Head coaching record
Overall40–56–1 (college)
11–13 (NFL)
2–4 (CFL)
Accomplishments and honors
1 WAC (1965)
WAC Coach of the Year (1965)

Tommy Joe Hudspeth (September 14, 1931 – June 23, 2015) was an American and Canadian football coach and executive at both the collegiate and professional levels. He was the head coach at Brigham Young University (BYU) from 1964 to 1971, and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) from 1972 through 1973, compiling an overall college football record of 40–56–1. Hudspeth served in the same capacity for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL) from 1976 until 1977, and Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1981, posting a mark of 13–17.



Early positions

Hudspeth graduated from the University of Tulsa in 1953 after completing his playing career at the school. He moved into the coaching ranks that fall as an assistant coach at Norman High School in Oklahoma, then served the next two years in the military. Upon his release, he accepted an assistant position at Tulsa Central High School in 1956. Returning to his alma mater the following year, Hudspeth served as an assistant for the next four years, then moved up north to the Canadian Football League (CFL), working in a similar capacity with the Calgary Stampeders from 1961 to 1963.


In 1964, Hudspeth became a head coach for the first time, taking over the Brigham Young Cougars struggling football program. Husdspeth recruited a number of ex-Marines to play for the Cougars in his first couple of seasons and BYU saw a dramatic rise in its football fortunes. In his second season 1965 BYU won its first Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championship and posted a 6–4 record. Hudspeth led the Cougars to an 8–2 mark in 1966 and had two more winning seasons in 1967 and 1969. Over an eight-year span, he compiled a record of 39–42–1. Hudspeth is credited with recruiting the program's first black player, Ronnie Knight, in 1970, following pressure from the LDS leadership and the "Black 14" Incident with Wyoming the previous year. [1] On January 22, 1972, Hudspeth resigned and was replaced by one of his assistant coaches, Lavell Edwards. Edwards built BYU into a national power by the end of the decade and later led the school to its first and only football national championship in 1984.

"I can't take any credit for what LaVell did at BYU", Hudspeth said. "LaVell was a brilliant coach. When we worked together back in the 1960s, LaVell already had a great understanding of what to do on offense. I recommended him when I left to take the job at UTEP, but everyone knew what a smart young coach he was."


Hudspeth accepted a job as offensive coordinator at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) shortly after leaving BYU. He became interim head coach on October 22, 1972 when head coach Bobby Dobbs resigned following a 56–7 loss. Hudspeth closed out the year 1–3, but followed up with a disastrous 0–11 record the next year. He was subsequently fired from UTEP.

Pro ranks

The advent of the new World Football League (WFL) in 1974 provided a new job opportunity for Hudspeth. He was hired as an offensive backs coach for the Chicago Fire. A major reason he was hired was because he had coached Chicago's quarterback Virgil Carter, at BYU. However, during the course of the season, the team's weak defense, coupled with severe financial troubles, eventually saw Hudspeth also take over the defensive backfield coaching duties.

Escaping from the ill-fated league, Hudspeth took an off-the-field job the next year as the coordinator of personnel and scouting for the Detroit Lions. He remained in that position until October 5, 1976, when Lions' head coach Rick Forzano resigned following a 130 start and Hudspeth was tabbed to replace him. [2]

The new coach had mixed results during the remainder of the 1976 NFL season, with team owner William Clay Ford actively pursuing Los Angeles Rams head coach Chuck Knox to replace Hudspeth. After Knox elected to stay with the Rams, Hudspeth was re-hired on February 9, 1977, signing a three-year contract. Hudspeth and his entire coaching staff were dismissed only eleven months later on January 9, 1978, ending his Lions' tenure with an 11130 mark. [3]

On March 7, 1979, Hudspeth returned to Canada when he signed a three-year contract to become the general manager of the CFL's Toronto Argonauts. He would return as a head coach on September 14, 1981, when he replaced Willie Wood with the reeling Argonauts sporting an 0–10 record. Once again, he closed out the season, then returned to the front office.

Return to Tulsa

In 2006, Hudspeth was hired by University of Tulsa director of athletics Bubba Cunningham as an assistant in the area of development and fundraising for athletics. [4]

Hudspeth died June 23, 2015 of cancer. He was 83 years old. [5]

Head coaching record


BYU Cougars (Western Athletic Conference)(1964–1971)
1964 BYU 3–6–10–45th
1965 BYU 6–44–11st
1966 BYU 8–23–2T–2nd
1967 BYU 6–43–23rd
1968 BYU 2–81–57th
1969 BYU 6–44–3T–3rd
1970 BYU 3–81–6T–7th
1971 BYU 5–63–4T–4th
UTEP Miners (Western Athletic Conference)(1972–1973)
1972 UTEP 1–31–38th
1973 UTEP 0–110–78th
      National championship        Conference title        Conference division title or championship game berth

Related Research Articles

Steve Sarkisian American football coach and former player

Stephen Ambrose Sarkisian is an American football coach and former quarterback who is currently the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama. He previously served as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He has also served as the head coach of the University of Washington from 2009 to 2013 and at the University of Southern California (USC) from 2014 to 2015. He played college football as a quarterback at Brigham Young University (BYU) and professionally with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Norm Chow American football player and coach

Norman Yew Heen Chow is an American football coach and former player. He was most recently the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Wildcats of the XFL. He was the head football coach at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a position he held from December 2011 until November 2015 and previously held the offensive coordinator position for the Utah Utes, UCLA Bruins, the NFL's Tennessee Titans, USC Trojans, NC State Wolfpack, and BYU Cougars.

Adam Rita Canadian football player and coach

Adam Rita is a gridiron football coach & general manager, most notably in the Canadian Football League. He has served as the head coach of the Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders, and BC Lions and as general manager of the Lions and Argonauts. Since retiring from the CFL in 2012, Rita has been coaching gridiron football in Europe while concurrently coaching high school football in Canada.

Edward D. Hughes was an American football player and coach whose career spanned more than three decades. His most prominent coaching position came in 1971 when he served as head coach of the National Football League's Houston Oilers.

Mike Archer is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Vipers. From 1987 to 1990, Archer was the head football coach at Louisiana State University, where he compiled a record of 27–18–1. Archer has also served as an assistant coach at his alma mater University of Miami, the University of Virginia, and the University of Kentucky, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL), and with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Tom Holmoe

Thomas Allen Holmoe is an American college athletics administrator and former football player and coach. He has been the athletic director at Brigham Young University (BYU) since 2005. Holmoe played college football at BYU and then professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the San Francisco 49ers from 1983 to 1989. He served as the head football coach at the University of California, Berkeley (Cal) from 1997 to 2001.

Bronco Mendenhall American football coach

Marc Bronco Clay Mendenhall is the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers football team at the University of Virginia. Previously, he was head coach of Brigham Young University's (BYU) Cougars football team, leaving for Virginia with the second-most wins in school history, eleven consecutive bowl invitations, five 10-win seasons, and regular national Top 25 rankings. He won a total of 99 games in his eleven years there.

BYU Cougars football Wikimedia list article

The BYU Cougars football team is the college football program representing Brigham Young University (BYU), a private university owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Cougars began collegiate football competition in 1922, and have won 23 conference championships and one national championship in 1984. The team has competed in several different athletic conferences during its history, but since July 1, 2011, they have competed as an Independent. The team plays home games at the 63,470-seat LaVell Edwards Stadium, named after head coach LaVell Edwards who won 19 conference championships, seven bowl games, and one national championship (1984) while coaching at BYU.

Virgil R. Carter is a former professional American football quarterback who played in the National Football League and the World Football League from 1967 through 1976.

Floyd Reese is a former National Football League (NFL) executive. From 1994 to 2006, he held the position of general manager of the Tennessee Titans. Reese then served as an analyst on ESPN's NFL Live, and as a writer on before joining the New England Patriots as a senior football advisor.

John Roland "Big John" Huard is an American business executive and a former gridiron football player and coach. After playing college football at the University of Maine, he played professionally as a linebacker with the Denver Broncos of the American Football League (AFL) from 1967 to 1969, with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL) in 1971, with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1973, and with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts from 1973 to 1975. Huard served as the head football coach at the Maine Maritime Academy from 1987 to 1993. He was the head coach of the CFL's Shreveport Pirates in 1994 and the Toronto Argonauts in 2000.

Gil Bartosh

Gilbert C. Bartosh Sr. was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) from 1974 to 1976, compiling a record of 6–28.

UTEP Miners football

The UTEP Miners football program represents University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in the sport of American football. The Miners compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the West Division of Conference USA (CUSA). They are coached by Dana Dimel. UTEP has produced a Border Conference championship team in 1956 and a Western Athletic Conference championship team in 2000, along with 14 postseason bowl appearances. The Miners play their home games at the Sun Bowl which has a seating capacity of 51,500.

Scott Milanovich is an American former professional football player and the current head coach for the Edmonton Football Team of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was previously a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in NFL Europe for the Berlin Thunder, in the XFL for the Los Angeles Xtreme, in the Arena Football League for the Tampa Bay Storm, and in the CFL for the Calgary Stampeders. He was also the head coach for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, winning the 100th Grey Cup in his first season. Milanovich also served as the offensive coordinator for the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL, and was the quarterbacks coach for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. Milanovich played college football for Maryland.

James Franklin Eddy was an American football coach in the National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football at New Mexico State University.

John D. Payne was an American collegiate and professional football coach. He served as head coach for the Saskatchewan Roughriders (1973–1976), Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1978–1980) and Ottawa Rough Riders (1996) of the Canadian Football League (CFL), compiling a career record of 62–63–3. Payne also was the head football coach at Abilene Christian University from 1985 to 1990, posting a mark of 26–34–2.

Jeff Grimes is an American college football assistant coach who has been the offensive coordinator at Brigham Young University (BYU) since December 2017. Prior to joining the BYU staff in 2017, he served at Louisiana State University (LSU) from 2014 to 2017 as offensive line coach and run game coordinator, offensive line coach at Virginia Tech in 2013, and a similar position at Auburn University from 2009 through the 2012 season. Before coaching at Auburn, he was the assistant head coach, running game coordinator and offensive line coach at the University of Colorado. Grimes also coached the offensive line at BYU, Arizona State University (ASU) and Boise State University (BSU).

The 1972 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University (BYU) for the 1972 NCAA University Division football season. It was their first year under head coach LaVell Edwards and the Cougars finished over .500 for the first time since 1969.

Corey Chamblin Canadian football coach

Corey Jermaine Chamblin is a Canadian football coach. He is a former professional gridiron football defensive back and was signed by the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL) as an undrafted free agent in 1999. He played college football at Tennessee Tech. As a player, Chamblin has also been a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Rhein Fire and Indianapolis Colts.

Rick Campbell Professional Canadian football coach

Rick Campbell is an American-born Canadian football head coach and co-general manager for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. He was the Calgary Stampeders' defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2013 and was also an assistant coach with the Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He then served as the head coach for the Ottawa Redblacks for six seasons. He is a three-time Grey Cup champion, once as the special teams coordinator with the Eskimos in 2003, again with the Eskimos as the defensive coordinator in 2005, and once as the head coach of the Redblacks in 2016. He attended Washington State University.


  1. White, Phil. "The Black 14: Race, Politics, Religion and Wyoming Football". Wyoming State Historical Society. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  2. McGowen, Deane. "People in Sports," The New York Times, Wednesday, October 6, 1976. Retrieved November 23, 2020
  3. "Lions Oust Hudspeth, All Of His Aides," United Press International (UPI), Monday, January 9, 1978. Retrieved November 24, 2020
  4. TU Alumnus Tommy Hudspeth Returns to Hurricane, article, Jan. 16, 2006, accessed March 30, 2012.
  5. Drew, Jay (June 23, 2015). "Former coach established foundation for BYU's success". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved June 25, 2015.