Johnny Vaught Biography
John Howard Vaught was born in Olney, Texas on May 6th, 1909. Vaught is thought to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, coach to ever take the head coaching position at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).
Vaught was a brilliant man, even at a young age. He graduated as the valedictorian of his senior from Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended college at Texas Christian University (TCU). At TCU, he was both an honor student and an All-American, showing just how diverse his talents were.
After graduating from TCU, Vaught went on to become the line coach at the University of North Carolina for six years before he joined the Navy to fight in World War II. He showed his leadership skills during the war, and was awarded the Lieutenant Commander position in the Navy.
With his duty to his country at an end, Vaught resumed coaching in 1946 as an assistant coach for Ole Miss. After one season on the staff, he was offered the head coaching position. In just his first year as the head coach of the Ole Miss football program, he accomplished something that no other coach had ever done at Ole Miss: he won the Southeastern Conference Title.
Thanks to wikipedia.org for the picture.
This first title was followed by many more in his career at Ole Miss. His final tally was six SEC titles, as well as three seasons, 1959, 1960, and 1962, in which his team won shares of the national title. He also finished as one of only two coaches in the SEC with a winning record against Paul "Bear" Bryant. His final mark against the Bear was 7-6-1, showing that the series was almost as even as one could get.
Vaught's final numbers for Ole Miss were 190-61-12. Out of 18 bowl appearances, Vaught led the Rebels to 10 victories, including five wins in one of the biggest bowls of the era: the Sugar Bowl. He is the coach that put Ole Miss on the map, as the Rebels went from dead lasting historical standing in the league, to being ranked third all-time. Ole Miss has not seen success like that since Vaught retired.
Johnny Vaught died in Oxford, Mississippi on February 3rd, 2006 at the age of 96. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979, and had the Ole Miss Stadium renamed after him in 1982. He lived a long and fulfilling life and he died as one of the greatest coaches to have ever coached in the SEC.
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