Charley Donnelly
File:Charles F Donnelly.JPG
Donnelly at Maryland in 1911
Sport(s)Football, golf
Biographical details
Born(1885-02-04)February 4, 1885
Worcester, Massachusetts, US
DiedMay 1967 (aged 67)
Worcester, Massachusetts, US
Playing career
Head coaching record

Charles Francis Donnelly (February 4, 1885 – May 1967) was an American educator, golfer, and college football and golf coach. He served as the head football coach at the Maryland Agricultural College (now the University of Maryland) in 1911 and as the head golf coach at the College of the Holy Cross in the 1930s and 1940s.

Life and careerEdit

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Charley was third child of John and Mary Ellen (Corcoran) Donnelly and younger brother of James C. Donnelly, a standout football player and coach. His youngest brother Ralph E. Donnelly was also a notable football player and war hero. He attended Worcester High School, where he played on a championship football team. He attended the College of the Holy Cross, and played as a substitute quarterback on the football team in 1907. After college, he began selling insurance and had an office out of 311 Main Street. In 1910, he moved to Washington, DC, and he coached Eastern High School on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and The Washington Herald considered that team "one of the best football elevens in the history of the institution". Donnelly also coached the Eastern High baseball team to success.[1]

In June 1911, while he worked as a clerk for the Census Bureau,[2] the Maryland Agricultural College (now the University of Maryland) hired him as an assistant English instructor and head coach for its football and baseball teams.[1] Donnelly resigned as coach midseason after the football team compiled a 2–4–2 record,[3] including an embarrassing 14–0 loss to Central High School. Maryland turned to alumnus Curley Byrd, high school coach at Western High School, as his replacement.[2]

He returned to Worcester in 1912 and by 1917, he was listed as the assistant state actuary. He soon was selling insurance again and eventually he became a partner in the local agency Sullivan, Garrity & Donnelly. Charles married Ethel (Estes) Donnelly and they had no children. In 1913 he returned to coaching football for one season when he was head coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.[4] During the 1940s, Charles was the head of the License Commission for the City of Worcester. At the end of his life he lived at the apartment on 46 Elm Street in Worcester. He died on May 1, 1967 at age 82.

Donnelly was an accomplished golfer. On August 1, 1926, he set records for nine and 18 holes at the Leicester Country Club.[5] In 1927, he won the Worcester Municipal golf championship.[6] In 1932, he finished second in the Northeastern District Knights of Columbus golf tournament in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.[7]

Donnelly served as the coach of the golf team at his alma mater, Holy Cross, between at least 1934 and 1948.[8][9][10] While there, he coached future professional golfers Paul Harney and Willie Turnesa.[11][12] In 1943, Donnelly captured the New England senior golf championship at Newtonville in an 18-hole playoff with a score of 79 strokes.[13] From 1951 to 1954, Donnelly was the president of the New England Senior Golfers' Association.[14]

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Maryland Aggies (Independent) (1911)
1911 Maryland 2–4–2
Maryland: 2–4–2
Total: 2–4–2
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Donnelly, Eastern High Coach, Signed by Maryland Aggies: Will Be Full-fledged Member of the Faculty and Coach Baseball Nine, Also Football Eleven., The Washington Herald, June 26, 1911.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Morris Allison Bealle, King of American Football: The Story of Football at Maryland Agricultural College, Maryland State College and the University of Maryland: 1890–1952, p. 66, Columbia Publishing Co., Washington, D.C., 1952.
  3. 1911 Script error, College Football Data Warehouse, retrieved October 9, 2011.
  4. "Institute Notes". The Journal of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA: Worcester Polytechnic Institute) 17 (1): 54–55. November 1913. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  5. DONNELLY BREAKS GOLF RECORDS AT LEICESTER, Boston Daily Globe, August 2, 1926.
  6. C. F. DONNELLY WORCESTER MUNICIPAL LINKS WINNER, Boston Daily Globe, September 19, 1927.
  7. BELMONT GOLFER WINS IN K. OF C. TOURNAMENT, Daily Boston Globe, August 5, 1932.
  8. Holy Cross Golfers To Play 13 Matches, The Harford Courant, April 13, 1934.
  9. Bowdoin Seeking N.E. College Golf Crown, The Lewiston Daily Sun, May 17, 1946.
  10. Yale NCAA Selection Comes On Eve of Harvard Contest Sports Here and There, The Christian Science Monitor, June 9, 1948.
  11. Holy Cross Mourns The Loss Of Paul Harney Script error, College of the Holy Cross, August 24, 2011.
  12. New Intercollegiate Golf Champion Scores Individual 69 in Oakley Four-Ball Event; TURNESA AND COACH TAKE OAKLEY GROSS Willie Gets Sub-Par 69 to Carry Donnelly to Win--Whittemore And Sides Runners-Up, Daily Boston Globe, May 22, 1936.
  13. Ten Years Ago Today, The Evening Gazette, June 4, 1953.
  14. Past President Script error, New England Senior Golfers' Association, Inc., retrieved October 11, 2011.

External linksEdit

Template:Holy Cross Crusaders quarterback navbox

Template:WPI Engineers football coach navbox

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