Former football coach Ken Hatfield to receive Amos Alonzo Stagg Award
Nov. 25, 2014



WACO, TEX. — Former Air Force, Arkansas, Clemson and Rice head coach Ken Hatfield has been named the 2015 recipient of the AFCA’s Amos Alonzo Stagg Award. The award, which honors those “ whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football,” will be presented to Hatfield at the AFCA Awards Luncheon on January 13 during the 2015 AFCA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Hatfield retired from coaching football at Rice in 2005 after making stops at Air Force, Arkansas and Clemson. Hatfield won a total of four conference championships (three Southwest Conference titles, 1988-89, 1994, and one Atlantic Coast Conference, 1991); led his teams to 10 bowl games and posted a career record of 168-140-4. During Hatfield’s coaching career, he guided three different schools to 10-win seasons and is one of only a handful of coaches to lead three different teams to Top 20 seasons in FBS.



“When Grant Teaff called and told me I was the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award recipient, my first thought was shock. My next thought was how honored I am to win such an award. Then I started thinking of my junior high and high school coaches who kept me out of trouble and taught me a lot of great lessons about life through football. The game of football is great because of everything that you can learn from it. It was an honor to play the sport, then it was an honor to coach it and work alongside a lot of great men who were outstanding coaches,” said Hatfield. 

Ken Hatfield was born on June 6, 1943 in Helena, Arkansas. In college, Hatfield starred as a defensive back and outstanding punt returner for Arkansas. During his playing days, Hatfield earned Academic-All-American honors and was a part of the 1964 team that claimed the program’s first and only national title. Hatfield led the nation in punt return yards in 1963 and 1964, and remains the only player in college football history to finish in the Top 2 in punt returns for three straight seasons; he finished second as sophomore in 1962. In 1964, Hatfield earned all All-Southwest Conference honors and returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown against Texas, helping the Razorbacks to a 14-13 win in what would be considered a pivotal moment for Arkansas’ 1964 championship season. Following a successful playing career at Arkansas and graduating with a degree in accounting, Hatfield went straight into coaching, first at the high school level, then as an assistant at Army before landing at Tennessee in 1968. After spending three years with the Volunteers, Hatfield moved on as an assistant coach at Florida from 1971-77 until he arrived at Air Force as the offensive coordinator in 1978.

Following one season as the offensive coordinator, Hatfield became the head coach and turned the program towards dominance in the early 1980’s. Hatfield led the Falcons to back-to-back bowl victories in 1982 and 1983. In 1983, Hatfield coached the program to its first 10-win season and was named AFCA National and Regional Coach of the Year, and Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year. After five seasons at Air Force, Hatfield became the head coach at Arkansas in 1984.

In his six seasons in Fayetteville, Hatfield took his teams to bowl games every year that he served as head coach, and coached them to three 10-win seasons. He guided the Razorbacks to a 55-17-1 record and back-to-back Southwest Conference titles in 1988 and 1989. Hatfield remains the winningest coach (by winning percentage .760) in Razorback history. Following the 1989 season, Hatfield left Arkansas to become the head coach at Clemson, where he cleaned the program’s image from sanctions that occurred prior to his arrival. Hatfield led the Tigers to three bowl games during his four years and a 32-13-1 record. 

In 1994, Hatfield took over at Rice, which would be his final coaching stop. In Hatfield’s inaugural season, he led the Owls to a share of the Southwest Conference championship. Hatfield guided Rice to three winning seasons and tremendous victories in rivalry games against SMU and Tulsa. 

Hatfield’s coaching career has been earmarked by balanced success, both offensively and defensively. The final 18 teams that Hatfield coached all went on to finish in the Top 20 nationally in rushing offense. In 2004, Hatfield and the Owls led the country in rushing yards, averaging, 306.5 rushing yards per game. While at Arkansas, Hatfield coached his teams to lead the nation in turnover margin, including the 1988 Razorbacks that finished first in the nation in this category. Defensively, six of his teams finished in the Top 15 fewest rushing yards allowed per season, and in 1990, his Clemson Tigers finished the season ranked first in the nation in total defense.

Hatfield was the 2004 AFCA president, and also served as the president of the American Football Coaches Foundation. He has won several awards both as a coach and player, including AFCA Coach of the Year, Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year, three-time AFCA Regional Coach of the Year, been inducted into both the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor, and named a member of the Arkansas Razorbacks’ all-time team, to name a few. 


The Award

The Amos Alonzo Stagg Award is given to the “individual, group or institution whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football.” Its purpose is “to perpetuate the example and influence of Amos Alonzo Stagg.”

The award is named in honor of a man who was instrumental in founding the AFCA in the 1920s. He is considered one of the great innovators and motivating forces in the early development of the game of football. The plaque given to each recipient is a replica of the one given to Stagg at the 1939 AFCA Convention in tribute to his 50 years of service to football.


Amos Alonzo Stagg

Amos Alonzo Stagg began his coaching career at the School of Christian Workers, now Springfield (Mass.) College, after graduating from Yale University in 1888.

Stagg also served as head coach at Chicago (1892-1932) and College of the Pacific (1933-1946). His 41 seasons at Chicago is one of the longest head coaching tenures in the history of the college game. 

Among the innovations credited to Stagg are the tackling dummy, the huddle, the reverse play, man in motion, knit pants, numbering plays and players, and the awarding of letters. 

A long-time AFCA member, Stagg was the Association’s 1943 Coach of the Year.

According to NCAA records, Stagg’s 57-year record as a college head coach is 314-199-35. He was 84 years old when he ended his coaching career at Pacific in 1946. He died in 1965 at the age of 103.


Past Amos Alonzo Stagg Award Winners

1940        Donald Herring, Jr., (Princeton player) and family 

1941        William H. Cowell (posthumously), New Hampshire 

1946        Grantland Rice, sportswriter 

1947        William A. Alexander, Georgia Tech 

1948        Gilmour Dobie, North Dakota State,Washington, Navy, Cornell, Boston College 

                Glenn S. “Pop” Warner, Georgia, Cornell, Carlisle, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Temple 

                Robert C. Zuppke, Illinois 

1949        Richard C. Harlow, Penn State, Colgate, Western Maryland, Harvard 

1950        No award given 

1951        DeOrmond “Tuss” McLaughry, Westminster, Amherst, Brown, Dartmouth 

1952        A.N. “Bo” McMillin, Indiana 

1953        Lou Little, Georgetown, Columbia 

1954        Dana X. Bible, Mississippi College, LSU, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Texas 

1955        Joseph J. Tomlin, founder, Pop Warner Football 

1956        No award given 

1957        Gen. Robert R. Neyland, Tennessee 

1958        Bernie Bierman, Mississippi A&M, Tulane, Minnesota 

1959        Dr. John W. Wilce, Ohio State 

1960        Harvey J. Harman, Haverford, University of the South, Pennsylvania, Rutgers 

1961        Ray Eliot, Illinois 

1962        E.E. “Tad” Wieman, Michigan, Princeton, Maine 

1963        Andrew Kerr, Stanford, Washington & Jefferson, Colgate, Lebanon Valley 

1964        Don Faurot, Missouri 

1965        Harry Stuhldreher, Wisconsin 

1966        Bernie H. Moore, LSU 

1967        Jess Neely, Southwestern, Clemson, Rice 

1968        Abe Martin, TCU 

1969        Charles A. “Rip” Engle, Brown, Penn State 

1970        Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf, Syracuse, Oklahoma City, Kansas, Oklahoma A&M, Kansas State, Northwestern, California 

1971        Bill Murray, Delaware, Duke 

1972        Jack Curtice, Stanford 

1973        Lloyd Jordan, Amherst, Harvard 

1974        Alonzo S. “Jake” Gaither, Florida A&M 

1975        Gerald B. Zornow, business executive 

1976        No award given 

1977        Floyd “Ben” Schwartzwalder, Muhlenberg, Syracuse 

1978        Tom Hamilton, Navy, Pittsburgh 

1979        H.O. “Fritz” Crisler, Minnesota, Princeton, Michigan 

1980        No award given 

1981        Fred Russell, sportswriter 

1982        Eddie Robinson, Grambling 

1983        Paul W. “Bear” Bryant, Maryland, Kentucky,Texas A&M, Alabama 

1984        Charles B. “Bud” Wilkinson, Oklahoma 

1985        Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State 

1986        Woody Hayes, Denison, Miami (Ohio), Ohio State 

1987        Field Scovell, Cotton Bowl 

1988        G. Herbert McCracken, Allegheny, Lafayette 

1989        David Nelson, Delaware 

1990        Len Casanova, Oregon

1991        Bob Blackman, Denver, Dartmouth, Illinois, Cornell

1992        Charles McClendon, LSU

1993        Keith Jackson, ABC-TV

1994        Bob Devaney, Nebraska, Wyoming

1995        John Merritt, Jackson State, Tennessee State

1996        Chuck Neinas, College Football Association

1997        Ara Parseghian, Miami (Ohio), Northwestern, Notre Dame

1998        Bob Reade, Augustana (Ill.)

1999        Bo Schembechler, Miami (Ohio), Michigan

2000        Tom Osborne, Nebraska

2001        Vince Dooley, Georgia

2002        Joe Paterno, Penn State

2003        LaVell Edwards, Brigham Young

2004        Ron Schipper, Central (Iowa)

2005        Hayden Fry, North Texas, SMU, Iowa

2006        Grant Teaff, McMurry, Angelo State, Baylor

2007        Bill Curry, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Kentucky

2008        Bill Walsh, San Francisco 49ers, Stanford

2009        John Gagliardi, Carroll (Mont.), St. John’s (Minn.)

2010        Darrell Royal, Mississippi State, Washington, Texas

2011        Bobby Bowden, Samford, West Virginia, Florida State

2012        Fisher DeBerry, U.S. Air Force Academy

2013        Frosty Westering, Parsons, Lea College, Pacific Lutheran

2014        R.C. Slocum, Texas A&M

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