Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Dan McGugin

Dan McGugin


  • Position: Coach
  • School: Vanderbilt
  • Years: 1904-1934
  • Inducted: 1951
  • Place of Birth: Tingley, IA
  • Date of Birth: Jul 29, 1879
  • Place of Death: Memphis, TN
  • Date of Death: Jan 19, 1936

Member Biography

Dan McGugin coached Vanderbilt 30 years in two terms, 1904-17 and 1919-34. In 1918 he served in the U.S. Army. His record was 197-55-19, earning him a place in the College Football Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1951. Fred Russell, the renowned football historian, summed up McGugin: "sensationally successful, winning glorious intersectional victories....responsible, more than any other man, for southern football gaining national recognition." McGugin was born July 29, 1879, in Tingley, Iowa. He played football one year at Drake University. He played three years at Michigan 1901-03 and was left guard on the Michigan team which played in the first Rose Bowl Jan. 1, 1902. He graduated from Michigan with a law degree and began coaching at Vanderbilt in 1904. For many years he coached in the football season and practiced law in the interim. His first Vanderbilt team in 1904 went 9-0 and outscored the opposition 474-4. This team led the nation in scoring. McGugin coached four unbeaten teams and 11 teams which lost one game. His 30 teams outscored its opponents 6673-1668. He got Vanderbilt involved in intersectional games with Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Michigan, and Ohio State. In 1922 Vanderbilt built the first football stadium erected in the south. McGugin was an intense motivator, giving inspiring talks to his players. Some of his players became great coaches - Red Sanders, Jess Neely, Josh Cody, Ray Morrison. McGugin died Jan. 19, 1936, at age 56.