Coleman pictured in Prickly Pear 1949, Abilene Christian yearbook
July 7, 1907|
Phil Campbell, Alabama
October 18, 1973 (aged 66)|
Arthur Marvin "Tonto" Coleman (July 7, 1907 – October 18, 1973) was an American college football player, coach, and athletics administrator.
Early life and education
Coleman was born in Phil Campbell, Alabama, but moved to Texas with his family when he was 12 years old. After graduating from high school, he attended Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, where he was a varsity letterman in three sports—football, basketball and baseball. Coleman graduated from Abilene Christian with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1928, and subsequently earned a Master's Degree in post-secondary education in 1949. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.
Coleman was the sixth head football coach for the Abilene Christian University Wildcats for five seasons, from 1942 until 1949. His coaching record at Abilene Christian was 28–15–2, which ranks him sixth at Abilene Christian in total wins and seventh in winning percentage (.644).
In 1950, Florida Gators football coach Bob Woodruff recruited Coleman to be his assistant at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football coach Bobby Dodd subsequently invited him to become part of the Georgia Tech coaching staff in Atlanta, Georgia. While coaching at Georgia Tech, he also was the assistant athletic director and the coach of Georgia Tech's freshmen football team.
Coleman became the fourth commissioner of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 1966, serving until 1972.
Coleman died of a coronary occlusion in 1973.
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