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Mollenkopf, Jack (1905-1975) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: Mollenkopf, Jack (1905-1975)
Variant Name: Mollenkopf, Kenneth

Historical Note:

Kenneth "Jack" Mollenkopf (born 1905) is one of the most accomplished and best known football coaches in Purdue University history.  He served as head coach for the Purdue Boilermakers from 1956 to 1969 and is Purdue’s all-time leader in games (132), wins (84), Big Ten wins (57), and ranks fourth in winning percentage (.670).

Jack Mollenkopf grew up in Convoy, Ohio. He coached three state championship teams and won six city titles at Toledo Waite High School. In 1946, he was offered a job at Purdue as assistant to coach Stu Holcomb. He accepted the position and in 1956 he succeeded Holcomb as head coach, serving in that capacity until 1969. During his 14-year tenure as head coach the Purdue Boilermakers won more than twice as many victories (84) as under any other coach at Purdue. Coach Mollenkopf is remembered for his unsurpassed winning record and for coaching many athletes who later played professional football, including Griese, Keyes, Phipps, Len Dawson, Dale Samuels, Tim Foley, Lamar Lundy and Perry Williams. Coach Mollenkopf led Purdue in its 1967 victory over Southern California at the Rose Bowl.

He organized the Ohio High School Coaches Association, the annual Ohio High School All-Star Game, and was a long-time member of the Ohio Football Coaches Association and the American Football Coaches Association. Mollenkopf was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame on January 16, 1975. He passed away of cancer later that same year, on December 4, 1975. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame posthumously in 1988 and into the inaugural class of 1994 Purdue Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame.

Sources: Obituary, New York Times, December 5, 1975; Indiana Football Hall of Fame web site:  http://www.indiana-football.org/?q=node/253; Legends of Purdue Football web site: http://www.purduesports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/legends-mollenkopf.html.

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