John Rich


John Rich (Football-Baseball, 1945-1951) 

John Rich remembers being on the verge of expulsion from Vanderbilt University in the late 1940’s and being given an unexpected second chance by the Dean of Students. He never forgot that golden opportunity and through the years as his coal business grew, he says he has tried to repay his beloved University with his time, by sharing his resources and lending his expertise.

  • Arrived on campus in 1945 as a scholarship football player from Mississippi
  • Earned three varsity letters in baseball, leading the 1949 team in hitting as a third baseman
  • Founder of Delta Coals, Incorporated
  • Joined Board of Trust in 1988; trustee emeritus in 2003
  • Was a member of steering committee for Athletics Campaign
  • Provided leadership for major athletics projects including expansion of McGugin Center, 1982 construction of Vanderbilt Stadium and most recently the 2002 John Rich Football Training Complex.
  • Member of the Dean’s Council, Blair Patrons, Owen Associates and Friends of Children’s Hospital
  • Member of the National Commodore Club since its inception
  • Received Nashville Banner’s Commodore Award in 1984
  • Son Tate is a Vanderbilt football letterman