Jesse Harper

Jesse Harper
Jesse Harper
Sport(s) Football, basketball, baseball
Biographical details
Born December 10, 1883(1883-12-10)
Place of birth Paw Paw, Illinois
Died July 1, 1961(1961-07-01) (aged 77)
Place of death Sitka, Kansas
Playing career



Coaching career (HC unless noted)



Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Notre Dame
Notre Dame
Head coaching record
Overall 57–17–7 (football)
67–29 (basketball)
61–28 (baseball)
College Football Data Warehouse
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1971 (profile)

Jesse C. Harper (December 10, 1883 – July 1, 1961) was an American football and baseball player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Alma College (1906–1907), Wabash College (1909–1912), and the University of Notre Dame (1913–1917), compiling a career college football record of 57–17–7. Harper was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1971.


Coaching career


Harper was the head college football coach for the Alma Scots located in Alma, Michigan. He held that position for the 1906 and 1907 seasons. His coaching record at Alma was 8 wins, 3 losses and 4 ties.[1] As of the conclusion of the 2010 season, this ranks him #11 at Alma in total wins and #9 at the school in winning percentage (.667).[2]


Harper was the 18th head college football coach for the Wabash College Little Giants located in Crawfordsville, Indiana and he held that position for four seasons, from 1909 until 1912. His career coaching record at Wabash was 15 wins, 9 losses, and 2 ties. This ranks him tenth at Wabash in total wins and ninth at Wabash in winning percentage (.615). [3]

Notre Dame

Harper is most known for his coaching at the University of Notre Dame.[4] His 1913 football squad posted a 35–13 win over Army, one that is regarded by most football historians as the game that put Notre Dame on the football map.

Later life

Harper stepped down as head football coach after the 1917 season and returned to ranching in his home state of Kansas. His ranch was not far from where Knute Rockne was killed in a 1931 plane crash.[citation needed] Not long afterwards, Harper returned to Notre Dame as athletic director, where he remained until 1934, when Elmer Layden became head football coach and athletic director.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Alma Scots (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1906–1907)
1906 Alma 3–2–3
1907 Alma 5–1–1
Alma: 8–3–4
Wabash Little Giants (Independent) (1909–1912)
1909 Wabash 3–4–1
1910 Wabash 4–0
1911 Wabash 3–3–1
1912 Wabash 5–2
Wabash: 15–9–2
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Independent) (1913–1917)
1913 Notre Dame 7–0
1914 Notre Dame 6–2
1915 Notre Dame 7–1
1916 Notre Dame 8–1
1917 Notre Dame 6–1–1
Notre Dame: 34–5–1
Total: 57–17–7


External links

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