James McKinley (American football)

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Jim McKinley
Biographical details
Born(1945-02-25)February 25, 1945
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJuly 6, 2012(2012-07-06) (aged 67)
Tamarac, Florida, U.S.
Playing career
1963–1965Western Michigan
Position(s)Tight end
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1966–1971Allegan HS (MI)
1972–1973Eastern Michigan (LB/RC)
1974–1976Central State
1977–1981North Carolina A&T
1982–1983Prairie View A&M
1984Oklahoma Outlaws (DL)
1985–1986Missouri (DC/ILB)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1978–1980North Carolina A&T (interim AD)
Head coaching record
Overall46–64–1 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
MEAC Coach of the Year (1980)

James Ruffin McKinley (February 25, 1945 – July 6, 2012)[1] was an American football player, coach, and businessman. He coached football teams at several historically black colleges and universities, was a defensive coach for the Oklahoma Outlaws of the United States Football League (USFL), and served as executive director of the Heritage Bowl, which he helped create.

Playing career[edit]

McKinley played at tight end for Western Michigan University's football team, was named to WMU's All Century Football Team in 2005[2] and was inducted into the WMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Central State[edit]

McKinley got his first head coaching position at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio from 1974 until the end of the 1976 seasons.[4]

North Carolina A&T[edit]

After coaching at Central State, McKinley moved on to be the head football coach at North Carolina A&T State University from 1977 to 1981 [4]

Prairie View A&M[edit]

McKinley was the 14th head football coach at Prairie View A&M University, serving two season, from 1982 to 1983, and compiling a record of 1–21.

Other coaching positions[edit]

McKinley's coaching career also took him to Eastern Michigan University, USFL’s Oklahoma Outlaws, where he served as defensive line coach,[5] and the University of Missouri.[6]

Business accomplishments[edit]

McKinley started McKinley Financial Services, Inc., in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company has become one of the largest minority insurance agencies in the United States with over 50 agents and staff. He was awarded the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award from Western Michigan University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1966.[6]

Heritage Bowl[edit]

In 1991, McKinley formulated the idea of the Heritage Bowl, an annual college football bowl game matching up two Division I-AA teams left out of the division's playoff system.[7] McKinley served as the bowl's executive director in its first years. Despite massive financial losses,[8] poor attendance,[8] protests from neighborhood residents,[9] and a lack of television coverage in its first year,[10] the bowl continued to be played every year until 1999, when the game was discontinued.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Central State Marauders (NCAA Division II independent) (1974–1976)
1974 Central State 6–5
1975 Central State 4–6
1976 Central State 6–5 L Orange Blossom Classic
Central State: 16–16
North Carolina A&T Aggies (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) (1977–1981)
1977 North Carolina A&T 7–4 5–1 2nd
1978 North Carolina A&T 6–6 4–2 2nd Gold Bowl
1979 North Carolina A&T 4–6–1 2–2–1 3rd
1980 North Carolina A&T 9–3 3–2 2nd Gold Bowl
1981 North Carolina A&T 3–8 0–5 6th
North Carolina A&T: 29–27–1 14–12–1
Prairie View A&M Panthers (Southwest Athletic Conference) (1982–1983)
1982 Prairie View A&M 1–10 0–6 7th
1983 Prairie View A&M 0–11 0–6 T–7th
Prairie View A&M: 1–21 0–12
Total: 46–64–1


  1. ^ Ariel Barkhurst (July 10, 2012). "James McKinley, prominent Fort Lauderdale businessman, dies at 68 - Sun Sentinel". Articles.sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  2. ^ WMU News "Three honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards" October 17, 2007
  3. ^ Western Michigan University Broncos Archived September 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Athletic Hall of Fame
  4. ^ a b "James "Jim" McKinley Records by Year". Archived from the original on February 15, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2008.
  5. ^ The Associated Press. "Outlaws name two assistant coaches to staff", The Daily Oklahoman. January 8, 1984. Sports Page 3.
  6. ^ a b Western Michigan University "2007 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient" Jim McKinley
  7. ^ Walker, Richard. "A&T Aggies are bowl bound", The Charlotte Observer. December 21, 1991. Sports Page 4.
  8. ^ a b Wyche, Steve and Pugh, Tony. "Heritage Bowl fumbles its economic potential", The Miami Herald. December 27, 1991. Page BR1.
  9. ^ Woolfe, Tao. "Heritage Bowl organizers unfazed by residents' protest", South Florida Sun-Sentinel. April 5, 1991. Page B4.
  10. ^ Wyche, Steve. "'91 Heritage Bowl won't be televised; Conflict with NCAA cited", The Miami Herald. June 27, 1991. Page D8.

External links[edit]