(February 17, 1941 May 29, 2001) was an American collegefootballplayer and coach. Pell was anAlabamanative and analumnusof theUniversity of Alabama, where he playedcollege football. He is most notably remembered as thehead coachof theClemson Universityand theUniversity of Floridafootball teams. Pell was credited with laying the foundation for the later success of both programs, but his coaching career was tainted byNational Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA) rules violations.
Charley Pell was born inAlbertville, Alabamain 1941.1Neither of his parents had completed any education beyond the fifth grade.1He did not play football until his senior year ofhigh school.2After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Alabama, having been recruited to play football for theCrimson Tideby coachBear Bryant.1Pell was undersized at 187 pounds, but he became an all-anddefensive tackle.1Pell played for Bryants Crimson Tide from1961to1963, including Bryants first national championship team in 1961.1
After graduating from the University of Alabama, Pell stayed in Tuscaloosa, serving as agraduate assistantunder Bryant in1964.1Charlie Bradshaw, a former Alabama assistant and currentKentucky Wildcats footballhead coach, offered Pell a position as the defensive line coach at theUniversity of Kentucky.2While coaching at Kentucky, Pell met his future wife, Ward Noel.2
Pell earned his first head coaching job at age 28 when he was hired byJacksonville State Universityin 1969. He coached the Gamecocks to four consecutive winning seasons, including a 100 record and aGulf South Conferencechampionship in 1970. His overall record as head coach was 33131.3
In 1974, Pell leftNAIAJacksonville State to become defensive coordinator for.2He stayed for just two seasons.2
After taking the defensive coordinator position for theClemson Tigers footballteam in 1976, he was elevated to head coach in 1977 whenRed Parkerwas fired.2In his first year, he led the Tigers to the 1977Gator Bowltheir first bowl invitation in 18 years. A year later, his Tigers won their firstAtlantic Coast Conference(ACC) championship in 11 years, and were ranked seventh in the finalAP Pollthe highest final ranking in school history at the time. Pell was named ACC Coach of the Year in 1978, and compiled an 1841 record.4
Pell left Clemson after the 1978 regular season to become head coach at the University of Florida. He was succeeded at Clemson by assistant coachDanny Ford, who led the Tigers in the Gator Bowl. In 1982, it emerged that Pell and his staff had committed major NCAA infractions in player recruiting, for which the NCAA placed the Clemson football program on two years probation.2The Tigers were allowed to keep their 1978 ACC title.
Pell coached theFlorida Gators footballteam from1979to1984, posting a 33263 record.56The 1979 Gators suffered an 0101 recordstill the worst in school history. However, Pells Gators quickly improved, with winning records and bowl invitations during the next four years.6The Gators improvement from 0101 in 1979 to 84 in1980was the largest one-year turnaround in major college football history at the time.7His1983 Gatorsfinished 921 and were ranked sixth in the final Associated Press football pollthe Gators first-ever top-ten finish, and the highest final ranking in school history at the time.2
After the1982 season, theNational Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA) began an investigation into possible rule violations by Pell and his staff at Florida. Pell took full responsibility for the violations in August 1984 and announced he would resign at the end of the season. However, on September 16, only three games into the season, the NCAA announced that Florida was alleged to have committed 107 infractionsincluding spying on other teams practices, payments and gifts to players, and allowing walk-ons to stay in the athletic dorm. That night, university presidentMarshall Criserfired Pell and named his offensive coordinator,Galen Hall, as interim coach.8Hall and the1984 Gatorswon Floridas first-everSoutheastern Conference(SEC) football championship, but the SEC refused to allow the Gators to play in the Sugar Bowl; LSU went in their place. In January 1985, after it was ultimately determined that Pell and the Gators coaching staff had actually committed 59 infractions, the NCAA placed Florida on two years probation and banned the Gators from bowl games and live television in1985and1986. The NCAA also reduced the Gators football scholarships by 20 over three years.29To the shock and dismay of the team and fans, the SEC university presidents voted to retroactively vacate the Gators 1984 SEC championship in the spring of 1985. The loss of scholarships proved to be the most crippling sanction in the long-term; with a depleted roster, the Gators did not win more than seven games from 1986 to1989.10
During his time at the University of Florida, Pell led the fund-raising efforts to make several major facility improvements atFlorida Field, including the construction of a world-class training facility (the Ben Hill Griffin, Jr. Athletic Training Center), a major expansion of the south end zone seating and the construction of the first luxury skyboxes. Pell is credited by many with rebuilding Floridas football program and rehabilitating the finances of the schools athletic department. At the same time, he was condemned for committing NCAA violations whose repercussions hobbled the program for the rest of the decade.11
After being fired by Florida, Pell was unable to secure another coaching job, a frustration that was a factor in a suicide attempt in 1994.12Pell was treated forclinical depressionand became a spokesman for depression awareness.12He coached one season of high school football at the newly builtLake Region High SchoolinEagle Lake, Florida,12but his new players were undersized and inexperienced, and the team finished 19.2He worked as a real estate broker and auctioneer for several years before dying oflung cancerin 2001.113
Pell was married to the former Ward Noel.1Pell was survived by his wife, their three children, and two grandchildren.2
In May 2012, Pell was inducted into theAlabama Sports Hall of Fame.14
*Pell left for Florida after the 1978 regular season. Assistant coachDanny Fordcoached the Tigers in the Gator Bowl. Clemson credits the regular season to Pell and the Gator Bowl to Ford.
** Pell was fired three games into the 1984 season. Assistant coachGalen Hallfinished the season. Florida credits the first three games of the season to Pell and the final eight to Hall.
Assistant coaches and players under Charley Pell who became head coaches:
Mike ShanahanLos Angeles Raiders1988-89;Denver Broncos1995-2008;Washington Redskins2010-2013
Joe Kines: *Arkansas1992; *Alabama2006 * Interim
Charlie Strong: *Florida2004;Louisville2010-2013;Texas2014-2016;South Florida2017-present *Interim
Mike MularkeyBuffalo Bills2004-05;Jacksonville Jaguars2012;Tennessee Titans2016-17
Gene ChizikIowa State Cyclones2007-08;Auburn Tigers2009-2012
Kerwin BellJacksonville2007-2015;Valdosta State2016-present
Clemson University football recruiting scandal
Frank Litsky,Charley Pell Is Dead at 60; Ousted as Florida Coach,
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, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 111112, 116 (2012). Retrieved September 16, 2012.
Antonya English,100 things about 100 years of Gator football,
Jack Hairston,UF axes Pell as football coach,
, pp. 1A & 8A (September 17, 1984). Retrieved March 4, 2010.
Jack McCallum,Gatorgate May Be The Real Gatoraid,
(November 19, 1984). Retrieved March 20, 2010.
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Pat Dooley,Pell succumbs to cancer: Winning was Pells obsession,
, pp. 1C & 6C (May 30, 2001). Retrieved June 18, 2011.
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Inductees,Charley Pell. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
, Gulf South Conference, Birmingham, Alabama, p. 32 (2009). Retrieved March 30, 2010.
,All Time Scores, Gamecocks Athletic Department, Jacksonville, Alabama, p. 196 (2009). Retrieved March 30, 2010.
Southeastern Conference,All-Time Football Standings 19701979andAll-Time Football Standings 19801989. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
College Football Data Warehouse, All-Time Records,Charley Pell Records by Year. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
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Jacksonville State Gamecocks head football coaches
Jacksonville State Gamecocks athletic directors
1961 Alabama Crimson Tide footballAP & UPI national champions
Jacksonville State Gamecocks athletic directors
Jacksonville State Gamecocks football coaches
Pages using infobox college coach with unsupported parameters
This page was last edited on 20 April 2019, at 20:25