Johnny Majors, former Tennessee and Pitt coach, dies at 85

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Johnny Majors, the coach of Pittsburgh’s 1976 national championship team and a former coach and star player at Tennessee, has died. He was 85.

Majors died Wednesday at home, according to a statement from his wife, Mary Lynn Majors, first given to Sports Radio WNML.

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Majors compiled a 185-137-10 record in 29 seasons as a head coach at Iowa State (1968-72), Pittsburgh (1973-76, 1993-96) and Tennessee (1977-92). That followed a standout playing career at Tennessee that included finishing second to Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung in the 1956 Heisman Trophy balloting.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Majors starred at Tennessee from 1954-56 as a single-wing tailback and punter. He went on to a successful coaching career and had his greatest year in 1976, when he led Pittsburgh to a national championship with a team featuring Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett.

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