Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Jim Phelan

Jim Phelan


  • Position: Coach
  • School: Missouri, Purdue, Washington, St. Mary's
  • Years: 1920-1947
  • Inducted: 1973
  • Place of Birth: Sacramento, CA
  • Date of Birth: Dec 05, 1892
  • Place of Death: Honolulu, HI
  • Date of Death: Nov 14, 1974

Member Biography

Jimmie Phelan was the quarterback on the last three teams coached by Jesse Harper at Notre Dame 1915-17. Phelan joined the Army Air Corps and was a pilot in France in World War I. He was head coach at Missouri 1920-21 where his teams posted a combined 13-3 record. His next stop was Purdue 1922-29. The 1929 team was unbeaten and won the Big 10. He was at Washington 1930-41 and won the Pacific Coast Conference in 1936. Phelan coached St. Mary's College in Moraga, California 1942-47; his 1945 team was in the Sugar Bowl and his 1946 team in the Oil Bowl. Phelan then went to the pros, coaching the New York Titans, New York Yankees, and Baltimore Colts. After his coaching days he served three terms on the board of commissioners of Sacramento County, California. Phelan died November 14, 1974 at age 81. His overall record for 28 years of college coaching was 137-87-14. Among the great players he coached were Ralph "Pest" Welch at Purdue, Herman Wedemeyer at St. Mary's, and Vic Markov and Paul Schwegler at Washington.