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J. Thompson Prothro
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/14/2005
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1941 Jacobs Blocking Trophy
1942 Rose Bowl - player
1965, 1966 Rose Bowl - coach
Head Coach Oregon State, 1955-65 (63-37-2)
Head Coach UCLA, 1965-70 (41-18-3)
1965 AFCA Coach-of-the-Year


Tommy Prothro, a Memphis, TN, native, lettered for three of Wallace Wade's greatest football squads. The Blue Devils were 24-4 during Prothro's varsity career (1938-41) and hosted the only Rose Bowl ever held outside of California. Prothro was a senior on that 1942 Rose Bowl team and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy that year.

Some of Prothro's most noted achievements came after he left Duke to become one of college footballs greatest head coaches. In ten years at Oregon State (1955-64), Prothro compiled a 63-37-2 record. Another six at UCLA (1965-70) left him with a 104-55-5 career mark.

Oddly enough, Prothro coached two straight Rose Bowls for different teams, guiding Oregon State to the 1965 game and UCLA to the 1966 contest. Prothro also coached nine All-Americas and two Heisman Trophy winners (Terry Baker and Gary Beban). He coached professionally for the Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers before his retirement.

One of his top honors came in 1965 when he was named College Football Coach-of-the-Year by the American Football Coaches Association.
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