Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Terry Donahue

Terry Donahue


  • Position: Coach
  • School: UCLA
  • Years: 1976-1995
  • Inducted: 2000
  • Place of Birth: Los Angeles, CA
  • Date of Birth: Jun 24, 1944

Member Biography

Terry Donahue coached UCLA for 20 years and took the Bruins to 13 bowl games. Starting with the 1982 season, he had a streak of eight consecutive wins in bowls. This was a record at the time, later eclipsed by Bobby Bowden at Florida State. Donahue's record was 151-74-8, a winning percentage of .665. Of his 151 victories, 98 were in Pac-10 Conference games. He was the all-time conference leader, topping Don James of Washington (97) and John McKay of Southern California (70). He was in six Rose Bowls--one as a player, one as assistant coach, and four as head coach. He won five Pac-10 championships. UCLA ranked in the top 10 nationally five times. He said, "I won because I had great coaches and great players. Those are the ingredients that make a winner." He said his football science was inspired by three mentors-Tommy Prothro, for whom he played at UCLA in 1964-66; Pepper Rodgers, whom he served as assistant at Kansas and UCLA; and Dick Vermeil, whom he also served as assistant at UCLA. He said, "Prothro made me believe in the value of fundamentals. Rodgers was brilliant in his way of teaching technical features. Vermeil taught me the value of organized drills and hard work." Donahue succeeded Vermeil as head coach in 1976. He also credited John Wooden with brilliant leadership. He conferred often with Wooden, the highly successful UCLA basketball coach. Donahue left UCLA at age 51 after the 1995 season. He joined CBS as a football analyst on TV. He then moved to a job as player personnel director for the San Francisco 49ers. In May 2001 he was named general manager of the 49ers.
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