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John Chalmers

John Chalmers  

John George Chalmers (August 17, 1874 - June 8, 1962) was an American football, basketball, and baseball coach. He served as the head football coach at Franklin & Marshall College (1902), the University of Iowa (1903-1905), Columbia College in Dubuque, Iowa, now known as Loras College, (1907-1914), and the University of Dubuque (1914-1924), compiling a career college football record of 100-47-8. Chalmers was also the head men's basketball coach at Iowa for one season (1904-1905), tallying a mark of 6-8, and the baseball coach at Iowa for two seasons (1904-1905) and at Columbia College from 1915 to 1921.

Iowa had a 9-2 record in 1903 under Chalmers. Those nine wins were a school record that stood for 82 years. The record was tied in 1956 and 1983, but it was not until 1985 that an Iowa team surpassed Chalmers' nine wins in 1903.

The highlight of the 1903 season was a home victory over Illinois. The Hawkeyes had not yet won a home game against a Western Conference opponent, and Illinois had humiliated the Hawkeyes 80-0 in 1902. But the Hawkeyes pulled out a 12-0 victory in 1903, Iowa's first conference victory since 1900.

Iowa had a 7-4 record in 1904 and an 8-2 record in 1905. The 1905 team was led by captain Earle McGowan, one of the most prolific scorers in Hawkeye history. He scored 114 points in 1905, and the 1905 Hawkeyes shut out seven of their ten opponents. But losses to Minnesota and Chicago kept Iowa in the cellar in the Western Conference.

Chalmers served as Iowa's basketball coach during the 1904-1905 season, coaching the team to a 6-8 record. He also coached baseball at Iowa for two years in 1904 and 1905. Chalmers wanted to leave the university after the 1905 football season and begin his law practice in Dubuque. However, school officials convinced him to stay for one more year. Mark Catlin from the University of Chicago, the heir apparent to Chalmers as head coach, was hired that season to assist Chalmers. Although Catlin was actually an assistant coach, many Iowa records consider Catlin, not Chalmers, the official coach of the 1906 Hawkeyes.

Iowa finished with a 2-3 record in 1906. Coaches Chalmers and Catlin worked well together but had contrasting coaching styles. Chalmers learned the eastern style of play at Lafayette, coaching players as individuals and devising conservative schemes to maximize their talents. Catlin learned the western style of play from Amos Alonzo Stagg at Chicago, coaching schemes rather than players and advocating an open, aggressive style.

Chalmers left Iowa with a record of 24-8 over three years. Official records indicate that he has the highest winning percentage of any Hawkeye coach that coached more than one year. However, Iowa won just one Western Conference game with Chalmers, the 1903 victory over Illinois.






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John Chalmers - Iowa Hawkeyes Head Coach Profile | Football - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games