Saturday, February 4, 2006 Updated: February 7, 11:43 AM ET
Vaught led Ole Miss to six SEC titles
OXFORD, Miss. -- John Vaught, a Texas native who played at
TCU before leading Mississippi to six Southeastern Conference
titles and 18 postseason bowl appearances, has died at 96.
He died Friday night at his assisted living facility in Oxford,
Miss., the school said.
Vaught's influence lingers beyond the University of Mississippi
stadium that now bears his name. Professional and college football
teams still use his variations on offense.
Quarterbacks Charles Conerly, Jimmy Lear, Jake Gibbs, Doug
Elmore, Glynn Griffing and Archie Manning brought national fame to
Ole Miss under Vaught's tutelage from 1947-1970. Vaught's teams
lost only two Southeastern Conference games from 1959-63.
Heart problems forced Vaught to retire in 1970. But after the
Rebels started poorly in 1973, Vaught returned to finish the
season. He went 190-61-12 in 25 seasons at Ole Miss and served as
athletic director for four years.
"With the death of John Vaught, we lose an epic figure of 20th
century college football," Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat, who
played for Vaught, said Saturday in a release. "Universally
recognized as one of the great coaches in American football
history, he brought dignity, intellect, creativity and vision to
Born on May 6, 1909, in Olney, Texas -- about 100 miles northwest of
Fort Worth -- Vaught played at TCU from 1930-32. A guard, he
captained his TCU team and became the school's first All-American.
He was inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame. He was inducted as a
coach into the Mississippi Hall of Fame and National College
Football Hall of Fame.
Vaught was preceded in death by his wife, Johnsie, and his son,
John Jr. Survivors include a sister, Nedra Strickland;
daughter-in-law Bonnie L. Vaught; and step granddaughter Susan
Funeral arrangements were incomplete Saturday.