Bill Doolittle
File:Bill Doolittle 1967.png
Doolittle from The 1968 Brown and Gold
Biographical details
Born(1923-08-10)August 10, 1923
Mansfield, Ohio
DiedApril 10, 2014(2014-04-10) (aged 90)
Playing career
Head coaching record
Overall58–49–2 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
1 MAC (1966)
MAC Coach of the Year (1966)

Francis William Doolittle (August 10, 1923 – April 10, 2014) was an American football player and coach. Doolittle attended high school in Mansfield, Ohio, where he was selected as an all-state quarterback in his senior year. He enrolled at Ohio State University in 1941. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1943, served 53 months in the military and earned a Bronze Star for his service in the Pacific Theater before returning to Ohio State. He played college football as quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team in 1946 and 1947.

He began his coaching career in 1948 at Grandview High School in Columbus, Ohio. From 1949 to 1950, he was the backfield coach at Brown University, where he was Joe Paterno's position coach. He was an assistant football coach at Lincoln High School in Canton, Ohio, in 1951 and head coach at Owosso High School in Owosso, Michigan, in 1952–53, where his record was 6–12.[1]

He later coached at Flint Central High School from 1954 to 1959, compiling a record of 37–14–3 at the school and leading his team to the Class A state championship in 1958.[2] He returned to his alma mater, Mansfield High School, as the head football coach in 1960 and 1961, where his teams went 12–6–2.

In January 1962, he was hired as the offensive backfield coach for the Army football team by high school teammate Paul Dietzel.[3]

After two years as the backfield coach for Army, he was hired as the head football coach at Western Michigan University in January 1964.[4][5] After leading the team to a Mid-American Conference championship in 1966, he was named the conference's coach of the year.[6] He spent 11 years as the head coach at Western Michigan from 1964 to 1974, compiling a record of 58–49–2 as a head coach.[7] Doolittle resigned as the head coach at Western Michigan in November 1974.[8]

In 1975 Doolittle became the director of Western's Gary Athletic Fund. In 1988, Doolittle received the Man of the Year Award from Western Michigan's Alumni "W" Club.[9] He was inducted into WMU's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. He died at the age of 90 on April 10, 2014.[10]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Western Michigan Broncos (Mid-American Conference) (1964–1974)
1964 Western Michigan 3–6 2–4 5th
1965 Western Michigan 6–2–1 3–2–1 T–3rd
1966 Western Michigan 7–3 5–1 T–1st
1967 Western Michigan 5–4 4–2 T–3rd
1968 Western Michigan 3–6 2–4 5th
1969 Western Michigan 4–6 2–4 T–5th
1970 Western Michigan 7–3 2–3 4th
1971 Western Michigan 7–3 2–3 T–3rd
1972 Western Michigan 7–3–1 2–2–1 3rd
1973 Western Michigan 6–5 1–4 T–5th
1974 Western Michigan 3–8 0–5 6th
Western Michigan: 58–49–2 25–34–2
Total: 58–49–2
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. "Ex-Ohio State Athlete Is New OHS Football Coach: Doolittle Led 2 Ohio School 11's; Had 6-2 Mark at Canton Last Year; Ex-Brown U. Coach". The Owosso Argus-Press. July 31, 1952.,2018706.
  2. "Doolittle Dinner Tonight". The Owosso Argus-Press. April 1, 1964.,3506590.
  3. "High School Coach Gets Army Backfield Post". The New York Times. January 1962.
  4. "Doolittle Named Coach". The Hartford Courant. January 22, 1964.
  5. "Western Michigan Signs Grid Coach". The Milwaukee Sentinel. January 21, 1964.,666023&dq=bill-doolittle+football&hl=en.
  6. "Doolittle Acclaimed as Coach". The New York Times. November 27, 1966.
  7. "William Doolittle Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse.
  8. "Bill Doolittle resigns at W. Michigan". Chicago Tribune. November 19, 1974.
  9. "Western To Honor Doolittle". The Argus-Press. February 8, 1988.,3186036.
  10. "WMU Hall of Famer Bill Doolittle Passes Away". Western Michigan University. April 11, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2014.

External links

Template:Western Michigan Broncos football coach navbox

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