Former Vol, coaching legend Murray Warmath dies at 98

University of Minnesota head football coach Murray Warmath, center, is carried by his players after Minnesota defeated UCLA 21-3 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 1, 1962. Warmath, a former University of Tennessee player who led the Minnesota Gophers to a national championship and two back-to-back Rose Bowls, died Wednesday in Bloomington, Minn., of natural causes, the University of Minnesota said in a statement.  He was 98.

Associated Press

University of Minnesota head football coach Murray Warmath, center, is carried by his players after Minnesota defeated UCLA 21-3 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 1, 1962. Warmath, a former University of Tennessee player who led the Minnesota Gophers to a national championship and two back-to-back Rose Bowls, died Wednesday in Bloomington, Minn., of natural causes, the University of Minnesota said in a statement. He was 98.

Murray Warmath, who played football at Tennessee from 1932 to 1934 and went on to coach Minnesota to the 1960 national championship, died Wednesday in Minneapolis. He was 98.

Warmath was thought to be UT's oldest living letterman, the university said.

Warmath coached at Minnesota from 1954 to 1971, going 87-78-7 and leading the Golden Gophers to back-to-back Rose Bowls in 1961-62.

Warmath coached at Mississippi State from 1952 to 1953, and led the Bulldogs against his former coach, Gen. Robert Neyland, in 1952 at Crump Stadium in Memphis.

"We beat them 14-7, and after the game, Murray grabbed hold of the General as they were coming off the field and said, 'By God, don't you retire. I'll beat you next year,' " said Gus Manning, who was UT's sports information director at the time.

Neyland did retire after the 1952 season, but the Bulldogs beat Tennessee 26-0 in Knoxville the following season.

A Humboldt native, Warmath was president of his class at UT and lettered three seasons for the Vols. He made the Associated Press' 1934 All-SEC team as a guard.

Warmath also worked on Neyland's coaching staff from 1935 to '39. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy in World War II, Warmath returned to Neyland's staff from 1946 to '48 before becoming an assistant coach at Army.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 5

Southland writes:

Vols fans need to know the history of what this program has been in the past. General Neyland was incredible and he helped produce incredible and classy players and coaches

westennvol writes:

Couldn't agree more Southland..coaching tree extends very far from knoxville.

alvol writes:

Rest in peace.

VOL7 writes:

Warmath was the most famous Vol still living from his era, but he is NOT the oldest living Vol letterman. That honor goes to a little-known man who shuns the limelight that I know personally who turns 101 this year & is still going strong. He lives across the highway from my cousin's farm two states from Tennessee & is a self-made millionaire. I've tried to get him to come & be honored at UT & to leave some of his estate to the University but he is reluctant to reveal himself, as he is just a simple man who lives in a simple house with a couple of small businesses that he still runs to this day. I visit him every summer when I go see my cousin & he has some wonderful stories of playing for "Captain Neyland," as he calls him, as that was Neyland's military rank when he played for him.

theoldbear writes:

My father was at old Knoxville High School during the years that Murray Warmath was at Tennessee. He knew him and thought he was a great player.

When Bowden Wyatt vacated the Volunteer coaching slot, and Jim McDonald was interim for a year, my dad launched a campaign to bring Murray Warmath back as the Vol coach. Remember, he was just a couple of years removed from a national championship at Minnesota.

Of course, Bob Woodruff brought in Doug Dickey, and the rest is history.

Wonder what if...

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features