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James F Donnelly

Sport(s)  Football
Name  James Donnelly
1962–1964  Middle Tennessee
Role  American football player
1974–1975  Father Ryan HS (TN)
Positions  Defensive back
1977–1978  Austin Peay

Boots Donnelly Boots Donnelly statue unveiled at MTSU

Born  October 15, 1942 (age 73) Nashville, Tennessee (1942-10-15)
1967–1973  Father Ryan HS (TN) (assistant)
1976  Vanderbilt (offensive backfield)
Education  Middle Tennessee State University

James F. "Boots" Donnelly (born October 15, 1942) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Austin Peay State University from 1977 to 1978 and at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) from 1979 to 1998, compiling a career college football coaching record of 154–94–1. Donnelly was inducted into the Blue Raider Hall of Fame in 1993. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2013.

Playing career

Donnelly was a defensive back at MTSU; his playing career culminated with an MTSU victory in the 1964 Grantland Rice Bowl.

Coaching career

Donnelly began his coaching career at his alma mater, Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Tennessee. He served as the head football coach there from 1974 to 1975, tallying a mark of 21–2. His 1974 team went 13–0 and won the Tennessee Class AAA title. In 1976 Donnelly joined the football staff at Vanderbilt University, coaching the offensive backfield under head coach, Fred Pancoast. Donnelly went on to be the head coach at Austin Peay for two seasons, and at MTSU for twenty seasons.

Later life

After the conclusion of his coaching career, Donnelly served as athletic director at MTSU for several years. In 2006, he became CEO of Backfield in Motion, an organization dedicated to fostering academic and athletic abilities among inner city youth. In October 2015, a statue of Donnelly was unveiled on the MTSU campus.


Boots Donnelly Wikipedia

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