Indiana’s winningest football coach tragically dies after fall at age 82

By Ross Kelly  |   Western Journal

Bill Mallory, who coached at four different football programs and is Indiana’s all-time winningest coach, died on Friday at the age of 82.


Mallory suffered a fall on Tuesday that required emergency brain surgery. His son Curt first tweeted that his father was in hospice care after the surgery, then said Mallory “passed away peacefully” surrounded by his family, according to The Associated Press.

Mallory spent 13 years as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers, from 1984-1996. After a winless first season, he posted a 69-66-3 record over his last 12 seasons, which included seven winning seasons and six bowl appearances, both of which are Indiana records.

He became the first Big Ten coach to win back-to-back Coach of the Year honors in 1987 and was inducted into the Indiana Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.

Mallory coached six All-Americans and two first-round NFL draft picks, as well as two-time Pro Bowler Trent Green, who was taken in the eighth round in 1993.

Mallory’s tenure at Indiana coincided with Bobby Knight’s time coaching the Hoosiers’ basketball team. The two legends had similar philosophies on coaching, and Knight spoke highly of Mallory.

“I was confident that Bill Mallory was a winner, and he’s proved it,” Knight told Indiana students during a 1986 football pep rally, according to The New York Times. “He deserves your support, because we need coaches like him, willing to work hard and play by the rules.”

Mallory coached three other programs before coming to Indiana, and posted a winning record at each one.

He was at Northern Illinois from 1980 until 1983, when he led the Huskies to a win in the 1983 California Bowl.

Prior to that, Mallory was the coach at Colorado, where he posted a 35-21-1 record over five seasons. He won a Big Eight Conference championship and led the Buffaloes to two bowl game appearances.

Mallory’s first head coaching job came with Miami of Ohio from 1969-73. The Redskins posted an 11-0 record in his final year, won the Mid-American Championship and defeated Florida in the Tangerine Bowl. It remains the only perfect season in program history.

Mallory is survived by his wife Ellie, his daughter Barbara and three sons who are current football coaches. Mike is a Jacksonville Jaguars special teams coach, Doug is the Atlanta Falcons’ defensive backs coach and Curt is head coach of Indiana State.

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