Slip Madigan

Slip Madigan
Sport(s) Football, basketball, baseball
Biographical details
Born (1896-11-18)November 18, 1896
Ottawa, Illinois
Died October 10, 1966(1966-10-10) (aged 69)
Oakland, California
Playing career
1916–1917, 1919 Notre Dame
Position(s) Center
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1921–1939 Saint Mary's (CA)
1943–1944 Iowa
1921–1927 Saint Mary's (CA)
1926–1930 Saint Mary's (CA)
Head coaching record
Overall 119–58–13 (football)
38–33 (basketball)
30–31 (baseball)
Bowls 1–0
Accomplishments and honors
4 NCAC (1924–1928)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1974 (profile)

Edward Patrick "Slip" Madigan (November 18, 1896 – October 10, 1966) was an American football player and coach of football, basketball, and baseball. He served as the head coach at Saint Mary's College of California from 1921 to 1939 and at the University of Iowa from 1943 to 1944, compiling a career college football record of 119–58–13. Madigan was also the head basketball coach at Saint Mary's from 1921 to 1927 and the head baseball coach at the school from 1926 to 1930. He played football at the University of Notre Dame as a center. Madigan was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1974.

Playing and coaching career

Madigan played college football for Knute Rockne at the University of Notre Dame, playing the center position. After his playing days, he took over a floundering football program at Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga, California in 1921. In their final game in 1920, the Gaels lost to California, 127–0. Madigan immediately recruited sixty men and taught them Notre Dame's plays and some tricks of his own, including the "forward fumble."

By 1927, Saint Mary's College developed into one of the strongest football programs on the West Coast. They defeated programs such as USC, UCLA, California, and Stanford. The Stanford team they defeated in 1927 went on to play in the Rose Bowl, as did the USC team they defeated in 1931. Though the school's enrollment seldom exceeded 500, the Galloping Gaels of Saint Mary's became a nationally known football powerhouse.

The most notable win came in 1930, when Saint Mary's traveled to New York City to play Fordham. Fordham was a heavy favorite, as the Rams had won 16 straight games going back to 1928. They featured the first version of a defense known as the "Seven Blocks of Granite," a formidable unit that later would include the likes of Vince Lombardi. Saint Mary's recovered from a 12–0 halftime deficit to win, 20–12.

The Gaels were known for their flashy style that reflected the personality of their flamboyant coach. Madigan traveled to New York for the Fordham game with 150 fans on a train that was labeled "the world's longest bar." To stir up publicity for the game, he threw a party the night before and invited not only sportswriters but such celebrities as Babe Ruth and New York mayor Jimmy Walker.

After the 1938 season, Saint Mary's was invited to the Cotton Bowl Classic, where they defeated Texas Tech, 20–13. After the 1939 season, however, the successful and controversial Slip Madigan was fired at Saint Mary's after 19 years of coaching. He had a 117–45–12 record at Saint Mary's. Saint Mary's never again came close to the football success they had under Madigan, and in 2004, the school dropped football altogether.

Madigan was also the 16th coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes, where he coached in 1943 and 1944. He was an interim coach for Eddie Anderson, who was serving in World War II. However, the University of Iowa at that time had to share their athletic facilities with a local military academy, and nearly all the able-bodied men in Iowa City found their way into the military school. Madigan's Iowa roster was mostly filled with players with conditions that exempted them from military service.

Madigan coached some good performances out of the 1943 Hawkeyes. Though they had a record of just 1–6–1, they played respectably in losses. As a result, Madigan was retained in 1944. However, the 1944 season was similar to 1943, except the losses were by greater margins. Madigan suggested that he would be finished with coaching at the end of the year, which may have inspired Iowa to a 27–6 victory over Nebraska, but Iowa ended the year with a 1–7 record. Madigan turned down an offer to coach for Iowa again in 1945 and retired for good.

A relative of Alameda County Sheriff Frank Madigan. Slip Madigan died in 1966 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974. He is buried at Saint Mary Cemetery in Oakland.[1]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Saint Mary's Gaels (Independent) (1921–1924)
1921 Saint Mary's 4–3
1922 Saint Mary's 3–6
1923 Saint Mary's 5–3–1
1924 Saint Mary's 9–1
Saint Mary's College Gaels (Northern California Athletic Conference) (1925–1928)
1925 Saint Mary's 8–2 1st
1926 Saint Mary's 9–0–1 1st
1927 Saint Mary's 7–2–1 1st
1928 Saint Mary's 5–4 1st
Saint Mary's College Gaels (Independent) (1929–1939)
1929 Saint Mary's 8–0–1
1930 Saint Mary's 8–1
1931 Saint Mary's 8–2
1932 Saint Mary's 6–2–1
1933 Saint Mary's 6–3–1
1934 Saint Mary's 7–2
1935 Saint Mary's 5–2–2
1936 Saint Mary's 6–3–1
1937 Saint Mary's 4–3–2
1938 Saint Mary's 6–2 W Cotton
1939 Saint Mary's 3–4–1
Saint Mary's: 117–45–12
Iowa Hawkeyes (Big Ten Conference) (1943–1944)
1943 Iowa 1–6–1 0–4–1 9th
1944 Iowa 1–7 0–6 9th
Iowa: 2–13–1 0–10–1
Total: 119–58–13
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title


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