Alexander Jerrems
Sport(s)Football, baseball
Biographical details
Born(1874-08-03)August 3, 1874
Sydney, Australia
DiedSeptember 21, 1948(1948-09-21) (aged 74)
Los Angeles, California
Playing career
Position(s)Fullback, halfback (football)
Head coaching record
Overall12–6 (college)

Alexander Nicoll Jerrems (August 3, 1874 – September 21, 1948)[1] was an American football player and coach. He played college football for the Yale Bulldogs football teams from 1893 to 1895 and coached the Minnesota Golden Gophers football teams from 1896 to 1897.

Early yearsEdit

Jerrems was born in Sydney, Australia. While still an infant, he moved with his parents to London, England. After three years in London, the family moved to Philadelphia, and after two years there, settled in Chicago.[2][3]:5 He attended preparatory school education at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and while there played football.[2][4] His father, William George Jerrems, was the president of Nicoll the Tailor, Inc. (The "Nicoll the Tailor" chain operated nationwide from San Francisco to New York.) His mother was Mary (Nicoll) Jerrems.[4]


From 1893 to 1896, Jerrems attended the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University. He played college football for the Yale Bulldogs football teams from 1893 to 1895. He played on his class team in 1893 and also served as a substitute for the varsity team. In 1894, he played halfback for the varsity, and in his final year, he was the starting fullback for the undefeated 1895 Yale team that compiled a 13–0–2 record. On November 23, 1895, he helped lead Yale to a 20–10 victory over Princeton before a crowd of 30,000 at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Jerrems handled the punting duties, blocked a kick, and scored a touchdown in the game.[5] He also played college baseball at Yale as a center fielder.[4]


In April 1896, Jerrems received an offer to coach the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team.[6] After several weeks of negotiating a salary, Jerrems was engaged in May 1896, at age 21, and with a salary reported to be $1,200.[7] He served as the head football coach at the University of Minnesota for the 1896 and 1897 Golden Gophers seasons, leading the team to a 12–6 overall record including 1–5 in Big Ten Conference play. On October 31, 1896, Jerrems also played at the fullback position for the Ex-Collegians team that played against his Minnesota squad.[8] He was the only Minnesota football coach in the 1890s to coach for more than one season.

Later yearsEdit

In 1898, Jerrems served as a football coach at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis.[9]

In 1900, he married Mary Emlen Bell. They had three children: Marabel, born in 1901 in Chicago; Alexander Nicoll, Jr., born in 1903 in Chicago; and Hellen Virginia, born in 1905 in Chicago.[4]

He worked for a time with his family's "Nicoll The Tailor" business in Chicago.[10] He was secretary and director of the business in 1912.[4]

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Minnesota Golden Gophers (Western Conference) (1896–1897)
1896 Minnesota 8–2 1–2 5th
1897 Minnesota 4–4 0–3 7th
Minnesota: 12–6 1–5
Total: 12–6
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. "Personal Details for Alexander Nicoll Jerrems, California Death Index, 1940-1997". Intellectual Reserve, Inc..
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Gopher. 1898. p. 165. (biographical sketch including photograph)
  3. Papas Jr., Al (1990). Gopher Sketchbook. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Nodin Press.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Guy Beardsley (1912). Quindecennial Record of the Class of 1896, Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University. R.S. Peck & Company. p. 159.
  5. "Yale Wins a Brilliant Game". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle: pp. 1, 9. November 24, 1895.
  6. "Minnesota Wants Jerrems". Chicago Daily Tribune: p. 6. April 18, 1896.
  7. "Coach Jerrems Engaged". The Saint Paul Globe: p. 12. May 17, 1896.
  8. "Stars of Old Days Will Meet the University Football Team at Minneapolis Today: Some Not Very Old Either; Jerrems of Yale, 1893-5, Being One of the Ex-Collegians". The Saint Paul Globe: p. 5. October 31, 1896.
  9. "C.B.C.'s New Coach: Alexander Nicol Jerrems". St. Louis Republic. November 23, 1898. (includes photograph of Jerrems in his Yale sweater)
  10. Draft registration card for Alexander Nicoll Jerrems, born August 3, 1874. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line].

External linksEdit

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