Dan McGugin


Dan McGugin (Head Football Coach, 1904-1934) 

The winningest football coach in Vanderbilt history and one of college football’s greatest innovators, Dan McGugin remains a legend more than seven decades after his death.

  • Elected to National Football Foundation Hall of Fame 1951
  • Overall record of 197-55-19
  • Ranks fourth in winning percentage among all-time NCAA football coaches with careers of 30 years (.762 behind Gil Dobie, Joe Paterno & Woody Hayes, two points ahead of Bear Bryant)
  • Ranks #20 in all-time NCAA victories at 197 and 22nd in winning percentage
  • Had four undefeated teams (1904, 1910, 1921 and 1922)
  • Eleven other teams lost just one game
  • Began his career sharing time between his law practice and coaching; later became Director of Athletics
  • One of the first collegiate coaches to promote intersectional rivalries, the first coach to pull guards in the interference, the first to successfully work the onside kick and one of the first to emphasize the forward pass
  • A native of Iowa and a graduate of the University of Michigan, he and Wolverine coaching legend Fielding Yost married twin sisters from Nashville
  • In 1922, after 18 years as head coach, Vanderbilt built and dedicated Dudley Field, a gleaming facility of 22,000 that was the largest stadium in the South.
  • When he retired in 1934, he was the Dean of college football coaches in terms of length of tenure at one institution.