Bert Coan


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Bert Coan

Postby user4 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:30 pm

Does anyone know of solid references regarding previously published claims of 9.5 sec 100yd speed for the 6'4/ 220lb Kansas RB from the early 60s who later played in SB I ? Or is it the 6'4" 220 part I should question?
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby nunusguy » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:38 am

Elroy Bert Coan III (born July 2, 1940 in Timpson, Texas)[1] is a former American football player. He is most notable because of his extraordinary speed (9.4 in the 100-yard dash) and size (6'4", 215 lbs) and because he was the central figure in a dispute over the 1960 college football game between the University of Kansas Jayhawks and the University of Missouri Tigers, the second-longest-running rivalry in college football (known as the "Border War"). Coan played for Kansas - and helped the Jayhawks win the 1960 game by a score of 23-7 over Missouri, then-ranked #1. But later, the NCAA declared Coan ineligible, due to a recruiting violation by Bud Adams while Coan was still at Texas Christian University (TCU)[2] and the game was forfeited. Missouri (and the NCAA) considers the 1960 game a victory for Missouri, while Kansas argues otherwise. Ever since, the two universities have disputed the overall win-loss record in the long-running series.[3]
Coan went on to play in 72 games in seven seasons in the American Football League; the first season with the San Diego Chargers, and the rest with the Kansas City Chiefs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bert_Coan
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I remember Coan who was a member of the great KU backfields of that era which included
QB John Hadl & RB Curtis McClinton, who was a bonafide Track guy. McClinton won more than a single conference High Hurdles event as I recall, but I saw McClinton compete in the Big 8 Indoor Meet in Kansas City.
But according to Wiki Coan actually ran a 9.4 Hundred, but I'm thinking it was not an official time ? But I remember Coan definitely looking more like a Track guy than a football player because he was so long & lanky and he looked every bit of 6'4" and was raw-boned.
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby gh » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:11 am

more sterling track research by Wiki :|
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby user4 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:28 am

I went off and did some digging of my own ... 1956-1957 outdoor season

http://uil100.org/archives/athletics/tr ... =1956-1957

If I understand this listing correctly he was the Texas 2A champ in the 100y dash (10.0) and 220y dash (22.1). Was he a junior or sophomore ? Either way it is Impressive for a 6'4" teen but not quite Morrow-esque. No evidence that he ever ran in college and so it is highly unlikely that he was ever in the 9.5 range as a footballer.
Last edited by user4 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby nunusguy » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:52 am

1956-1957 2A Pasadena Bert Coan 24’ 4”
http://uil100.org/archives/athletics/tr ... girls=Boys
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Coan's Broad-jump mark is rather impressive. But I'm going to do some more "research", maybe
even enough to be worthy of an "atta-boy" from GH ? I dunno, is he usually sarcastic & grumpy ?
Interesting, looks like Coan grew up right here in Houston metro.
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby no one » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:23 am

6'4" 220 is cited in several places via google and he long jumped 24' 4" to win LJ same yr he won the 100/220. Ad a relay victory as well. He is lauded as a great football player. John Hadl (QB @ Kansas) said Coan had run 9.6 - but thats was just a quote from football guy - wouldn't hang my hat on it. Some quote I found which drift to the edges of your question.

From : Houston Chronicle April 17, 2012
Angular Bert Coan (Pasadena High School, 1958) was PISD's (  Pasadena Independent School District's Athletics Hall of Fame.) best-ever track man and, perhaps, its best football player. As a Kansas City Chief, he played in Super Bowl I. When PHS won the district's only state track championship, Coan won three individual events and pulled the sprint-relay team to another first.

From: Pasadena Independent School District's
Few athletes in Pasadena ISD history would rank above Bert Coan in versatility. It’s not likely that any would outrank him in acclaim.
Generally considered to be the most honored football player in Pasadena schoolboy history, Coan was equally heralded for his track exploits while at Pasadena High. As a junior in 1957, Coan almost single-handedly led his team to the school district’s only state track championship. He won both sprints and the long jump. He also ran the fastest leg on the Eagles’ winning sprint-relay team.
Focused on other events, he rarely long-jumped. But at the state meet, he soared 24 feet, 4 inches -- smashing the state record.
Coan ranked in five events on the National Track Honor Roll: both sprints, the sprint relay, the long jump and the low hurdles.

From: Big Twelve Sports, quote from John Hadl

"First of all, back then, we didn't throw the ball more than 10 or 15 times a game," said Hadl, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994. "Playing quarterback wasn't that much different than running back. Also, we had a guy named Bert Coan who was about 6-3, 220 and ran a 9.6 in the 100. He was going to play left halfback, my position.

"I could never outrun that guy. I figured if I was gonna play on offense that year, my best chance was at quarterback."


Wouldn't a 9.5 appear in yearly marks in TFN ... for 195X ..
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby user4 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:11 pm

no one wrote:...

Wouldn't a 9.5 appear in yearly marks in TFN ... for 195X ..


I cant find evidence that he ever ran track in college so the 9.5 number sounds like he was simply regarded by football players at Kansas as a very fast guy. Based on the attention he was getting across the conference it was obviously common knowledge that he could move. I would suspect based on his size and times in HS that he was a very fast guy.

There is only one man that can probably tell us the real story and that is lonewolf:

Wolf-den to lonewolf, come in lonewolf .... wolf-den to lone-wolf, come in lonewolf ?
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby lonewolf » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:18 pm

Sorry to disappoint. I recognize the names Coan, Hadl and Mcclinton and was living in Wichita part of the time they were at KU but do not remember Coan in a track/field context. These guys were nine years behind me. I was off soldering and drilling oil (sometimes) wells during their tenure and not as attuned to the college athleltic scene.
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby rhymans » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:56 am

Coan ran 9.5w and 20.5w in Pasadena, TX on 26 April 1957 - with a following wind of 15mph - about 6.7 m/s. Legally he was about a 9.7/9.8 man - this while weihing around 200 rather than his NFL 220
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby gh » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:17 am

That's 20.5w on a straight, however, so in modern terms, running around the curve, even with wind he's probably not a sub-21 guy.
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby nunusguy » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:20 am

rhymans wrote:Coan ran 9.5w and 20.5w in Pasadena, TX on 26 April 1957 - with a following wind of 15mph - about 6.7 m/s. Legally he was about a 9.7/9.8 man - this while weihing around 200 rather than his NFL 220

Not surprised he was only 200 lbs in April of '57 since he was just a 17-year old HS student at that time. How do you know about his 9.5 hundred ? Did you find the info about the track meet in the Houston Post/Chronicle or another Houston area publication, or did you actually know first hand, i.e., attend the meet or hear from a reliable source or did attend ?
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby user4 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:06 am

gh wrote:That's 20.5w on a straight, however, so in modern terms, running around the curve, even with wind he's probably not a sub-21 guy.


a 17 year old running 21 in modern terms at 6'4" 200 lbs has a very good shot at under 20 sec in modern terms as a 22 year old. Seems he was another young guy with track talent that went over to the dark side.
Last edited by user4 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby rhymans » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:30 am

The 9.5w appeared in the 1958 ATFS Annual, and was reported invarious Texas Newspapers at the end of April/beginning of May '57
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Re: Bert Coan

Postby nunusguy » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:16 pm

Doing some research in a local library in Houston Post microfilm for 1957, I got Coan running a legit 9.7 when he tied the existing century mark at the Beaumont "Royal Purple Relays" on April 20, 1957. And he also anchored his 440-yard relay team to a new meet record in 43 flat. According to the story in the Post, this was the first time Houston-area schools were invited to compete in this meet. Beaumont is about 80 miles east of Houston and Pasadena, TX where Coan went to H.S. is a Houston suburb. And Coan was just a junior in '57, so it looks like he was a pretty respectable Texas schoolboy sprinter back in the day.
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