2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Robertson, Albritton, Brown, Browning, Burton, Carmichael, Clarke, Cuevas, Davis, Doxey, Flowers, Frazier, Gollott, Gordon, Harden, Hewes, Horhn, Hyde-Smith, Jackson (15th), Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), King, Kirby, Lee (35th), Lee (47th), Little, Mettetal, Michel, Moffatt, Morgan, Nunnelee, Posey, Ross, Simmons, Thomas, Tollison, White, Wilemon

Senate Concurrent Resolution 561

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, legendary Ole Miss Football Coach John Howard Vaught died on Friday, February 2, 2006, at his home in Oxford, Mississippi.  He was 96; and

     WHEREAS, with the death of John Vaught, America and the State of Mississippi have lost an epic figure of 20th Century college football who brought fame to the University of Mississippi.  Coach Vaught's passing has affected all University of Mississippi Alumni.  Chancellor Robert Khayat stated that John Vaught is "universally recognized as one of the great coaches in American football history, who brought dignity, intellect, creativity and vision to the game"; and

     WHEREAS, the school's all-time winningest coach left an indelible mark on players, coaches and athletic department personnel alike during a 25-year coaching career that included three National Championships, six Southeastern Conference Championships and 18 bowl appearances; and

     WHEREAS, Coach Vaught's Rebels Football Teams won six Southeastern Conference Championships.  The NCAA record book lists three of Vaught's teams, 1959, 1960 and 1962, as having won at least a share of the National Championship.  He was named SEC Coach of the Year six times; and

     WHEREAS, during Vaught's tenure, Ole Miss achieved the SEC's best record.  Alabama, coached by Bear Bryant for much of that period, was second, Tennessee third and LSU fourth.  Vaught's teams won 190 games, lost 61 and tied 12; and

     WHEREAS, Coach Vaught's record against some of the most legendary coaches in history is remarkable.  Only Bryant owned a winning record against Vaught, barely:  seven victories, six defeats and one tie.  Vaught was 6-0 against Arkansas' Frank Broyles, 6-2-1 against LSU's Charles McClendon, 3-2 against Georgia's Vince Dooley and 4-3-1 against LSU's Paul Dietzel; and

     WHEREAS, born on May 6, 1909, in Olney, Texas, Vaught played Guard for Texas Christian University from 1930-1932.  After leading TCU to a Southwest Conference Championship his Senior year and becoming the school's first All-American, he began his coaching career.  Following coaching stops in the high school ranks and at the University of North Carolina, he entered the Navy during World War II, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  After his stint in the war, he took a line-coaching position at Ole Miss under Red Drew, then took the reins in 1947 when Drew left for Alabama; and

     WHEREAS, Archie Manning, one of Vaught's most celebrated players and one of his 18 Ole Miss All-Americans, said "Coach just flat-out hated to lose"; and

     WHEREAS, his final record with Ole Miss was a staggering 190-61-12 record, good enough to be among the top 25 winningest coaches in NCAA Division I history.  Vaught was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame in 1979, the Ole Miss Sports Hall of Fame in 1987 and was voted unanimously as the Ole Miss Coach of the Century in 1993; and

     WHEREAS, after nearly 70 years of being known as Hemingway Stadium, after Judge William Hemingway, the coaching staple in Ole Miss lore earned yet another recognition.  On October 16, 1982, Vaught saw his name added to the stadium, which is called Vaught-Hemingway Stadium; and

     WHEREAS, even during his retirement, he remained an icon to college football fans, residents of Oxford and of Mississippi.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Johnsie, and his son, John, Jr.  Survivors include a sister, Nedra Strickland of Glendale, Arizona; a daughter-in-law, Bonnie L. Vaught of Oxford; and a step granddaughter, Susan Vaught of Tennessee; and

     WHEREAS, we have lost a giant in Mississippi sports history:  NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and legacy of football excellence of legendary Ole Miss Football Coach John Howard Vaught, and express to his surviving family the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Coach Vaught and to Chancellor Robert Khayat representing his former players and fans, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.