Ken Hatfield

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Ken Hatfield
Sport(s)Football
Biographical details
Born(1943-06-06) June 6, 1943 (age 70)
Helena, Arkansas
Playing career
1961–1964Arkansas
Position(s)Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1968
1969
1970
1971–1977
1978
1979–1983
1984–1989
1990–1993
1994–2005
Tennessee (assistant freshmen)
Tennessee (freshmen)
Tennessee (WR)
Florida (assistant)
Air Force (OC)
Air Force
Arkansas
Clemson
Rice
Head coaching record
Overall168–140–4
Bowls4–6
Statistics
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
3 SWC (1988–1989, 1994)
1 ACC (1991)
Awards
AFCA Coach of the Year (1983)
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (1983)
 
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Ken Hatfield
Sport(s)Football
Biographical details
Born(1943-06-06) June 6, 1943 (age 70)
Helena, Arkansas
Playing career
1961–1964Arkansas
Position(s)Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1968
1969
1970
1971–1977
1978
1979–1983
1984–1989
1990–1993
1994–2005
Tennessee (assistant freshmen)
Tennessee (freshmen)
Tennessee (WR)
Florida (assistant)
Air Force (OC)
Air Force
Arkansas
Clemson
Rice
Head coaching record
Overall168–140–4
Bowls4–6
Statistics
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
3 SWC (1988–1989, 1994)
1 ACC (1991)
Awards
AFCA Coach of the Year (1983)
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (1983)

Ken Hatfield (born June 6, 1943) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach for the United States Air Force Academy Falcons (1979–1983), the University of Arkansas Razorbacks (1984–1989), Clemson University Tigers (1990–1993), and Rice University Owls (1994–2005), compiling a career college football record of 168–140–4.

Playing career[edit]

Hatfield is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he starred at defensive back for the 1964 team that won a share of the national championship. Among his teammates were such pro football luminaries as Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones. He is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Coaching career[edit]

Hatfield began his college head coaching career at the United States Air Force Academy from 1979 to 1983. He gradually rebuilt a program that had struggled through most of the 1970s and laid the foundation for its success in the 1980s and early 1990s under his offensive coordinator and successor, Fisher DeBerry. By his final year, the Falcons were ranked 13th in the country by the Coaches' Poll and 15th in the AP Poll--their first appearance in a final poll since 1970. Hatfield then moved to his alma mater, Arkansas, where he compiled a 55–17–1 record from 1984 to 1989. His teams won two straight Southwest Conference titles in 1988 and 1989, a feat that the Razorbacks had not accomplished since his playing days. In 1989, Hatfield became the first former player to coach his alma mater in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Arkansas's Southwest Conference championship that season is the program's last conference title to date.

Hatfield had a somewhat frosty relationship with longtime Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles, even though Broyles had been his coach during his playing days. Broyles had a reputation for being very hands-on with the football program he had built into a national power as head coach from 1958 to 1976. As good as Hatfield's last two Razorback teams had been, he lost several recruits after 1987 when rival coaches claimed he was in Broyles' doghouse. When Broyles signed a new five-year contract in early 1990, Hatfield left for Clemson University without even visiting the campus. Later, when Hatfield was asked if Broyles had been a factor in his abrupt departure from Fayetteville, he replied, "His name is on the (athletics) building down there. Let that be my answer."[1] Ironically, the coach Hatfield succeeded at Clemson, Danny Ford, would eventually become the Razorbacks' coach in 1993.

Hatfield coached at Clemson from 1990 to 1993, compiling a 32–13–1 record. In his second season, 1991, he led the Tigers to their last Atlantic Coast Conference title in the pre-championship game era. He also worked to clean up the program's image; the Tigers had been slapped with probation for NCAA violations under Ford.[2] However, Hatfield was never really accepted by Clemson's fans. A common saying among Tiger fans during this time was "Howard built it. Ford filled it. Hatfield killed it."

Largely due to this discontent, school officials refused to grant him a one-year extension on his contract after the 1993 season, even though the Tigers had rebounded from 5–6 in 1992 to a solid 8–3 record that year. Angered at what he saw as a lack of support, Hatfield resigned at the end of the regular season.[3]

Soon afterward, Hatfield was hired at Rice University, where he compiled a 55–78–1 record before resigning on November 30, 2005 following a 1–10 season.[4] He only had three winning seasons in 12 years. Although the Owls were bowl-eligible in those three winning seasons, they weren't invited to a bowl in part because of the school's small alumni and fan base. Rice is the second-smallest school in Division I FBS and often had to play schools 10 times its size or more (and in some cases, with more freshmen than it has students), a major reason why he wasn't as successful as he had been at his previous stops. In his first year, despite a losing overall record, he managed to lead the Owls to a share of the SWC title.

One of the few remaining proponents of the conservative triple-option offense in college football, Hatfield compiled a 168–140–4 record as a head coach.

Some of the notable players that he helped coach include

Head coaching record[edit]

YearTeamOverallConferenceStandingBowl/playoffsCoaches#AP°
Air Force Falcons (NCAA Division I-A Independent) (1979)
1979Air Force2–9
Air Force Falcons (Western Athletic Conference) (1980–1983)
1980Air Force2–9–11–6T–8th
1981Air Force4–72–57th
1982Air Force8–54–3T–3rdW Hall of Fame Classic
1983Air Force10–25–22ndW Independence1513
Air Force:26–32–112–16
Arkansas Razorbacks (Southwest Conference) (1984–1989)
1984Arkansas7–4–15–3T–3rdL Liberty
1985Arkansas10–26–2T–2ndW Holiday1212
1986Arkansas9–36–2T–2ndL Orange1615
1987Arkansas9–45–2T–2ndL Liberty
1988Arkansas10–27–01stL Cotton1312
1989Arkansas10–27–11stL Cotton1313
Arkansas:55–17–136–10
Clemson Tigers (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1990–1993)
1990Clemson10–25–2T–2ndW Hall of Fame99
1991Clemson9–2–16–0–11stL Citrus1718
1992Clemson5–63–57th
1993Clemson8–3[n 1]5–3T–3rdW Peach[n 1]23[n 1]24[n 1]
Clemson:32–13–119–10–1
Rice Owls (Southwest Conference) (1994–1995)
1994Rice5–64–3T–1st
1995Rice2–8–11–67th
Rice Owls (Western Athletic Conference) (1996–2004)
1996Rice7–46–2T–2nd
1997Rice7–45–3T–2nd
1998Rice5–65–3T–3rd
1999Rice5–64–34th
2000Rice3–82–6T–6th
2001Rice8–45–3T–4th
2002Rice4–73–5T–6th
2003Rice5–75–3T–4th
2004Rice3–82–69th
Rice Owls (Conference USA) (2005)
2005Rice1–101–7T–5th (West)
Rice:55–78–143–50
Total:168–140–4
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hatfield resigned after the regular season. Tommy West coached Clemson in the Peach Bowl. Clemson credits the 1993 regular season to Hatfield and the Peach Bowl to West.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murphy, Austin. Not exactly Hog Heaven. Sports Illustrated, September 21, 1992.
  2. ^ Hanley, Brian. Clemson gets "Real McCoy". Chicago Sun-Times, December 30, 1990.
  3. ^ Clemson coach quits. The New York Times, November 25, 1993.
  4. ^ "Head football coach Ken Hatfield resigns". Rice University. December 1, 2005. Retrieved March 29, 2010. 

External links[edit]