Hoover J. Wright
Biographical details
Born(1928-07-23)July 23, 1928
Hebron, Maryland
DiedMarch 7, 2003(2003-03-07) (aged 74)
Cypress, Texas
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1955–?Paul Quinn
1961–1965Prairie View A&M (assistant)
1966–1968Prairie View A&M
1973–1979Prairie View A&M

Hoover John Wright Sr. (July 23, 1928 – March 7, 2003)[1] was an American football and track and field coach.

Football coaching career

Early coaching posts

Wright's coaching career began at Shorter College in North Little Rock, Arkansas. At Shorter, he was head football coach, men's and women's basketball coach, and track coach. His next post was at Paul Quinn College where he was the athletic director and head football coach.[2]

Prairie View A&M

Wright was the ninth head football coach at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas and he held that position for ten seasons, from 1966 to 1968, and 1973 to 1979. His career coaching record at Prairie View was 31–67–2.[3][4] He led the team to their last winning record in 2003[2] until the 2007 season under Henry Frazier, III.[5]

Track and field


Wright also found success as a track and field coach at Prairie View. He was the head coach of the programs for over 40 years and his teams secured two NAIA Indoor titles and one NAIA outdoor title.[6] In 2005, he was inducted into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame.[7][8] The school has since honored him by naming their annual track meet after his legacy.[9]

He served as the meet referee of the NCAA National Championship track meet in 1987.[10] He was also placed in the Drake Relays Hall of Fame in 1986 for his excellence as a coach.[11]

Overcoming tragedy

At age 71, Wright was seriously injured during a bus crash on the way to a track meet where four of his athletes were killed and five were seriously injured.[12][13] Later that season, Wright was able lead his team to put the tragedy behind them by defending their Southwestern Athletic Conference indoor track championship.[14]

Personal life

Wright earned a bachelor's degree from Maryland State (now called University of Maryland Eastern Shore) and a master's degree from Penn State. He also completed post-graduate work at the University of Iowa and the University of North Texas.[15]


  1. ^ Lubbock Online Tragic crash still weighs on Prairie View A&M
  2. ^ a b "USA Track and Field News". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  3. ^ Prairie View A&M University coaching records Archived January 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Prairie View Agricultural & Mechanical University Directory". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011.
  5. ^ "Henry Fraizer III Coaching Records". Archived from the original on 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
  6. ^ CSTV.com Archived September 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Hoover Wright profile
  7. ^ Prairie View A&M News Archived June 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Hoover Wright to be honored at 2005 ... Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
  8. ^ Texas A&M Athletics news Archived March 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Track Coaches Hall of Fame
  9. ^ Black Sports The Magazine May 2006 issue
  10. ^ New York Times N.C.A.A. Track
  11. ^ "Drake Realays Coaches Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  12. ^ ESPN.com "Four killed, five seriously hurt in van crash"
  13. ^ Washington Post Conditions Improve, February 14, 2000
  14. ^ Amarillo.com Triumphantly overcoming tragedy
  15. ^ Prairie View A&M News Archived June 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Hoover Wright Career Perspective (Broken link)