For his son, also a football coach, see Bill Elias Jr..
Bill Elias
Biographical details
Born(1923-03-15)March 15, 1923
Martins Ferry, Ohio
DiedJune 28, 1998(1998-06-28) (aged 75)
Claremont, California
Playing career
Head coaching record
Overall36–48–5 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
2 North Central Conference (HS) (1951, 1952)
ACC Coach of the Year (1961)

William T. Elias (March 15, 1923 – June 28, 1998)[1] was an American football coach. He served as the head coach at George Washington University, the University of Virginia, and the United States Naval Academy. Elias compiled a career college football record of 36–48–5.


Elias attended Martins Ferry High School in Martins Ferry, Ohio, where he starred on the football and basketball teams.[2] He went on to college at the University of Maryland. He was a guard on the football team in 1945 and 1946,[3] but did not earn a varsity letter.[4]

Elias began his coaching career at Richmond High School in Richmond, Indiana from 1950 to 1952. In his last two seasons there, he led two undefeated teams to consecutive North Central Conference championships and set the longest Indiana interscholastic winning streak at 22 games.[5] In 1956, Elias was promoted from an assistant position to head backfield coach at Purdue.[2] In 1960, he received his first collegiate head coaching position at George Washington, where he compiled a 5–3–1 record. From 1961 to 1964, he coached at Virginia, where he compiled a 16–23–1 record. From 1965 to 1968, he coached at Navy, where he compiled a 15–22–3 record.[6]

In 1969 Elias was hired as an assistant coach for the Boston Patriots of the American Football League (AFL).[7]

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
George Washington Colonials (Southern Conference) (1960)
1960 George Washington 5–3–1 4–2 T–2nd
George Washington: 5–3–1 4–2
Virginia Cavaliers (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1961–1964)
1961 Virginia 4–6 2–4 8th
1962 Virginia 5–5 1–4 7th
1963 Virginia 2–7–1 0–5–1 8th
1964 Virginia 5–5 1–5 8th
Virginia: 16–23–1 4–18–1
Navy Midshipmen (NCAA University Division independent) (1965–1968)
1965 Navy 4–4–2
1966 Navy 4–6
1967 Navy 5–4–1
1968 Navy 2–8
Navy: 15–22–3
Total: 36–48–5
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. Elias, William. "Death Record". Genealogybank. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Elias Promoted, Toledo Blade, January 24, 1956.
  3. Morris Allison Bealle, Kings of American Football: The University of Maryland, 1890–1952, pp. 165–169, Columbia Publishing Co., 1952.
  4. 2007 Terrapin Football Record Book (PDF), "All-Time Lettermen", p. 18, University of Maryland, 2007.
  5. Richmond Grid Mentor in Line for Purdue Job, Warsaw Times, January 29, 1953.
  6. William T. "Bill" Elias Records by Year, College Football Data Warehouse, retrieved June 7, 2011.
  7. Elias, Ex-Navy Coach, Is Named Patriot Aide, The New York Times, February 16, 1969.

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