Hoover J. Wright
Biographical details
Born(1928-07-23)July 23, 1928
Hebron, Maryland, U.S.
DiedMarch 7, 2003(2003-03-07) (aged 74)
Cypress, Texas, U.S.
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1955–1960Paul 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) 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.[1]

Prairie View A&M

Wright served two stints as the head football coach at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, from 1966 to 1968 and 1973 to 1979.[2] His record at Prairie View was 31–68–2.[3][4]

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.[5] In 2005, he was inducted into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame.[6][7] The school has since honored him by naming their annual track meet after his legacy.[8]

He served as the meet referee of the NCAA National Championship track meet in 1987.[9] He was also placed in the Drake Relays Hall of Fame in 1986 for his excellence as a coach.[10]

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.[11][12] Later that season, Wright was able lead his team to put the tragedy behind them by defending their Southwestern Athletic Conference indoor track championship.[13]

Education and death

Wright earned a bachelor's degree from Maryland State College—now known as University of Maryland Eastern Shore—in 1948 and a master's degree from Pennsylvania State University. He also completed post-graduate work at the University of Iowa and the University of North Texas.[14]

Wright died on March 7, 2003, at his home in Cypress, Texas.[15]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Prairie View A&M Panthers (Southwestern Athletic Conference) (1966–1968)
1966 Prairie View A&M 5–3–1 3–3–1 T–5th
1967 Prairie View A&M 5–5 2–5 7th
1968 Prairie View A&M 4–6 2–5 6th
Prairie View A&M Panthers (Southwestern Athletic Conference) (1973–1979)
1973 Prairie View A&M 2–6–1 0–6 7th
1974 Prairie View A&M 0–10 0–6 7th
1975 Prairie View A&M 3–7 1–5 7th
1976 Prairie View A&M 6–5 3–3 T–4th
1977 Prairie View A&M 3–8 1–5 7th
1978 Prairie View A&M 3–7 1–5 7th
1979 Prairie View A&M 0–11 0–6 7th
Prairie View A&M: 31–68–2 13–49–1


  1. ^ "USA Track and Field News". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  2. ^ "Wright Is Successor To Nicks". Pittsburgh Courier. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. June 4, 1966. p. 14. Retrieved December 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com Open access icon.
  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. ^ CSTV.com Archived September 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Hoover Wright profile
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Texas A&M Athletics news Archived March 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Track Coaches Hall of Fame
  8. ^ Black Sports The Magazine May 2006 issue
  9. ^ New York Times N.C.A.A. Track
  10. ^ "Drake Realays Coaches Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  11. ^ ESPN.com "Four killed, five seriously hurt in van crash"
  12. ^ Washington Post Conditions Improve, February 14, 2000
  13. ^ Amarillo.com Triumphantly overcoming tragedy
  14. ^ Prairie View A&M News Archived June 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Hoover Wright Career Perspective
  15. ^ "Funeral services set for hall-of-fame track and field coach". The Marshall News Messenger. Marshall, Texas. March 13, 2003. p. 7. Retrieved December 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com Open access icon.