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Bill Meek
Born 1922
Waterbury, Connecticut
Died May 28, 1998(1998-05-28) (aged 76)
Dallas, Texas
Awards Missouri Valley COY (1956)

William M. Meek (1922 – May 28, 1998(1998-05-28)[1]) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Kansas State University (1947–1950), the University of Houston (1951–1954), Southern Methodist University (1957–1961),[2] and the University of Utah (1968–1973), compiling a career college football record of 78–88–7.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Meek was born in Waterbury, Connecticut and his family moved to Birmingham, Alabama in his youth. In college, he earned three letters playing as a back-up quarterback for the University of Tennessee; he graduated in 1943.

Coaching career[edit | edit source]

Meek had his first head coaching experience at age 22, with the Fort Benning Doughboy football club in 1944, while serving in the Army during World War II. Most of the starters on the team were members of the great Army teams of the early 1940s, and the team defeated all opponents except for a 0–7 loss to Auburn University. Marty Blake, later the NBA director of scouting, was one of the team managers.[3] Following the war, Meek left the Army with the rank of captain.

Meek served as an assistant football coach throughout the remainder of the 1940s. From 1947 to 1950, he coached under Jim Tatum at the University of Maryland.[4][5] During his tenure there, Meek was credited with the development of backs Ed Modzelewski and Bob Shemonski.[5]

In 1951, Meek was offered the his first collegiate head coaching position at $3 with an initial salary of $8,000.[5] Meek was offered the job even though he told the hiring committee at K-State that the program was a huge mess. His first season he posted a 1–7–1 record, typical for Kansas State at the time. When he learned after the season that an ineligible player had participated, he self-reported the violation to the NCAA and the school voluntarily forfeited the win and the tie. The following season, the squad went 1–9. Meek — who had already proven his integrity — accepted the services of several former Army players who resigned from the academy after violating the honor code in 1951. In 1953, Kansas State posted a 6–3–1 record, the first winning season at the school since Wes Fry's 1936 team. After starting that season 5–1, K-State also received its first national ranking, at #18 in the Coaches Poll on October 28, 1953. The following year was even better, with Kansas State posting a 7–3 record and playing for an Orange Bowl berth in their final game (they went on to lose at Colorado). Meek left Kansas State following the 1954 season, when the school refused to give raises to his assistants. Kansas State wouldn't have another winning record for 16 years.

In January 1955, Meek took over as the head coach at the University of Houston. In two years at Houston, from 1955 to 1956, Meek compiled a 13–6–1 record. In his second season, Meek led the Cougars to the Missouri Valley Conference championship and was named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year.

In 1957, Meek took the job as head coach of the SMU Mustangs. During his tenure, from 1957 to 1961, he compiled a 17–29–4 record, while coaching All-American quarterback Don Meredith. By far his worst season at SMU was 1960, when his team went 0–9–1, with the only game decided by less than 10 points being a 0–0 tie with Texas A&M.

From 1962 to 1967, Meek worked as an assistant coach, including stints as Director of Pro Personnel for the Denver Broncos and as a scout for the Dallas Cowboys. Meek was offensive coordinator for Army during the 1966 and 1967 seasons.

In 1968, he took his final coaching job, as head coach for the University of Utah. Meek guided the team to a 33–31 record between 1968 and 1973, and his 1969 Utes squad posted an 8–2 record.

Head coaching record[edit | edit source]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
$3 (Big Seven Conference) (1951–1954)
1951 Kansas State 0–9* 0–6* 7th
1952 Kansas State 1–9 0–6 7th
1953 Kansas State 6–3–1 4–2 T–2nd
1954 Kansas State 7–3 3–3 5th
Kansas State: 14–24–1 7–17
Houston Cougars (Missouri Valley Conference) (1955–1956)
1955 Houston 6–4 2–2 3rd
1956 Houston 7–2–1 4–0 1st
Houston: 13–6–1 6–2
SMU Mustangs (Southwest Conference) (1957–1961)
1957 SMU 4–5–1 3–3 4th
1958 SMU 6–4 4–2 T–2nd
1959 SMU 5–4–1 2–3–1 4th
1960 SMU 0–9–1 0–6–1 8th
1961 SMU 2–7–1 1–5–1 8th
SMU: 17–29–4 10–19–3
Utah Utes (Western Athletic Conference) (1968–1973)
1968 Utah 3–7 2–3 5th
1969 Utah 8–2 5–1 2nd
1970 Utah 6–4 4–2 3rd
1971 Utah 3–8 3–4 T–4th
1972 Utah 6–5 5–2 T–2nd
1973 Utah 7–5 4–2 3rd
Utah: 33–31 23–14
Total: 77–90–6
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
*1951 season record reflects voluntary forfeits by the school.


See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Bill Meek at the College Football Data Warehouse

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