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Clem Crowe
Clem Crowe.jpeg
Biographical details
Born(1903-10-18)October 18, 1903
Lafayette, Indiana
DiedApril 13, 1983(1983-04-13) (aged 79)
Rochester, New York
Playing career
1923–1925Notre Dame
1923–1926Notre Dame
Position(s)End (football)
Forward (basketball)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1926–1931Saint Vincent
1932–1935Xavier (line)
1944Notre Dame (assistant)
1949Buffalo Bills
1950Baltimore Colts
1951–1954Ottawa Rough Riders
1956–1958BC Lions
1928–1932Saint Vincent
1944–1945Notre Dame
Head coaching record
Overall71–66–5 (college football)
152–115 (college basketball)

Clem F. Crowe (October 18, 1903 – April 13, 1983) was an American gridiron football and basketball player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Saint Vincent College (1926–1931), Xavier University (1936–1943), and the University of Iowa (1945), compiling a career college football record of 71–66–5. Crowe was also the head basketball coach at Saint Vincent College (1928–1932), Xavier (1933–1943), and the University of Notre Dame (1944–1945), tallying a career college basketball mark of 152–115. He later coached professional football for the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), and the Ottawa Rough Riders and BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Playing career

Clem Crowe as captain of the 1925 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team
Clem Crowe as captain of the 1925 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

Crowe played college football and basketball at the University of Notre Dame. He earned three letters in basketball and was a basketball All-American. He also earned three letters in football under Coach Knute Rockne. Crowe played football from 1923 to 1925 and was a two-time All-American. He played end for Notre Dame's "Seven Mule" team and was named Notre Dame's football captain in 1925.

College coaching career

After graduation, Crowe took a position as a coach at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. There he coached the football team from 1926 to 1931, compiling a record of 23–27–3, and the basketball team from 1928–1932, tallying a 41–31 mark in four seasons.

Crowe left Saint Vincent in 1932 and took a job at Xavier University. He coached the Xavier basketball team from 1933 to 1943 and had a 96–79 record in ten seasons. He also coached the Xavier football team from 1935 to 1943 and compiled a 46–32–2 record. In addition, Crowe was a baseball coach and a golf coach at Xavier. He was inducted into the Xavier University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994.

Crowe left Xavier in 1943 and returned to his alma mater. He was an assistant football coach at Notre Dame in 1944 and the head basketball coach for the 1944–45 season.

In 1945, Crowe was hired on an interim basis as the 17th head football coach at the University of Iowa while Iowa's regular coach, Eddie Anderson, was serving with the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II. Following Crowe's one season, in which he had a 2–7 record, Anderson returned, and Crowe left the Iowa football program.

Professional coaching career

Crowe resurfaced in 1949 as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills of the All-America Football Conference, going 4–1–1. When the Buffalo franchise folded, he left to coach the Baltimore Colts in 1950. He had a 1–11 record, and after the season, that franchise folded as well.

NFL Hall of Famer Art Donovan had this to say of Clem Crowe, his coach during his 1950 rookie season with the Colts: "This sonofabitch was crazy, and my first training camp immediately became one of the worst experiences of my life. First of all, Crowe must have had 150 players in camp, and all we did was scrimmage. No drills. No chalk talk. No run-throughs of plays. Just hot, humid, bone-breaking, full-pad scrimmages.... For my first couple of days in camp I wasn't even issued pads."[1]

Crowe then headed north to Canada and agreed to coach the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League in 1951. In his first season in Ottawa, he led the Rough Riders to the Grey Cup. He later left Ottawa for the BC Lions. He was a head coach in Vancouver from 1956 to 1958. Crowe died in Rochester, New York on April 13, 1983 at age 79.[2]

Head coaching record

College football

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Saint Vincent Bearcats () (1926–1931)
1926 Saint Vincent 3–5
1927 Saint Vincent 1–6–1
1928 Saint Vincent 6–3
1929 Saint Vincent 4–4–1
1930 Saint Vincent 4–6
1931 Saint Vincent 5–3–1
Saint Vincent: 23–27–3
Xavier Musketeers (Independent) (1935–1943)
1935 Xavier 5–1[n 1]
1936 Xavier 6–4
1937 Xavier
1938 Xavier 7–2
1939 Xavier
1940 Xavier 7–3
1941 Xavier 9–1
1942 Xavier
1943 Xavier
Xavier: 46–32–2
Iowa Hawkeyes (Big Ten Conference) (1945)
1945 Iowa 2–7 1–5 T–8th
Iowa: 2–7 1–5
Total: 71–66–5

Professional football

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
BUF 1949 4 1 1 .750 3rd in AAFC 0 1 .000 Lost to Cleveland Browns in AAFC Divisional Playoffs.
BUF Total 4 1 1 .750 0 1 .000
AAFC Total 4 1 1 .750 0 1 .000
BAL 1950 1 11 0 .083 13th in NFL
BAL Total 1 11 0 .083
NFL Total[3] 1 11 0 .083
OTT 1951 7 5 0 .583 1st in IRFU 4 0 1.000 Won over Saskatchewan Roughriders in 39th Grey Cup.
OTT 1952 5 7 0 .417 3rd in IRFU
OTT 1953 7 7 0 .500 3rd in IRFU
OTT 1954 2 12 0 .143 4th in IRFU
OTT Total 21 31 0 .404 4 0 1.000
BC 1956 6 10 0 .375 4th in W.I.F.U
BC 1957 4 11 1 .281 4th in W.I.F.U
BC 1958 0 5 0 .000 5th in W.I.F.U
BC Total 10 26 1 .284
CFL Total 31 57 1 .354 4 0 1.000
Total 36 69 2 .346 4 1 .800


  1. ^ Joseph A. Meyer resigned after the first three games of the 1935 season. He was replaced by Crowe, who led the team for the final six games. Xavier finished the year with an overall record of 6–3.


  1. ^ Donovan, Arthur (1987). Fatso: Football When Men Were Really Men. pp. 115–116. ISBN 0-688-07340-9.
  2. ^ "Clem Crowe Dead". Daily Times. Associated Press. April 15, 1983. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  3. ^ "Clem Crowe Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks -".