Rice Institute and University Owls football Coach Jess C. Neely
Black and white photograph of Rice Institute football coach and athletic director Jess C. Neely, class of 1939, headlining his achievement into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. There are two pictures of him, one from 1940 and the other from 1966. Caption reads: For 27 seasons, JESS CLAIBORNE NEELY ruled the Owl’s roost as head football coach and athletic director. He saw his Owls win 144 games, more victories than any other Southwest Conference Coach, before or—to date—since. He led Rice to four championships, two outright and two shared, into six Bowl games where he split, beating Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina—losing to Navy, Mississippi and Kansas. Equally a success at the box office, Jess is credited with having paid off a $2 million balance due on the great new Rice Stadium he helped so materially to set the stage for and build. At the same time, his football “take” was contributing thousands of dollars to other Rice funds and activities. He came to Rice as a successful coach from Clemson in 1940. He returned to his alma mater, Vanderbilt (Class of 1922), after his last Rice season effectively helping lead a renaissance in Vandy’s athletics. In 1971, Coach Neely was inducted into the National Hall of Fame as player at Vanderbilt under the great old timer, Dan McGugin, an as outstanding coach, joining three of his “boys”, Weldon Humble and James “Froggie” Williams of Rice and Banks McFadden of Clemson, in this greatest of all football shrines.
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/64010
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