Jack Bicknell
Biographical details
Born (1938-02-20) February 20, 1938 (age 82)
North Plainfield, New Jersey
Playing career
Head coaching record
Overall77–90–2 (college)
71–74–1 (WLAF/NFL Europe)
28–6–2 (high school)

Jack Bicknell (born February 20, 1938) is a retired American football coach, most recently known for his long involvement in NFL Europa and its predecessor, the World League of American Football (WLAF). He served as the head football coach at the University of Maine from 1976 to 1980 and at Boston College from 1981 to 1988, compiling a career college football record of 77–90–2. In 1984, Bicknell coached his Boston College Eagles team to a 10–2 mark including a victory in the Cotton Bowl Classic. His quarterback that season, Doug Flutie, was awarded the Heisman Trophy.

A native of North Plainfield, New Jersey, Bicknell played quarterback at North Plainfield High School, graduating in 1955 and earning a scholarship to attend Rutgers University.[1][2]

Coaching careerEdit


Bicknell was the head football coach at the University of Maine from 1976 to 1980, earning an 18–35–1 record. After that, he went to coach at Boston College, where he stayed for ten years. At Boston College, he was 59–55–1, and was head coach in 1984 when Heisman Trophy-winner Doug Flutie completed his famous Hail Mary pass to Gerard Phelan to beat the Miami Hurricanes as time expired. Bicknell son, Jack Jr., was the center for BC at the time of Flutie's miracle pass.

NFL EuropeEdit

Bicknell was named the head coach of the Barcelona Dragons at their inception in 1991, and served there until October 2003, when he was named head coach of the Scottish Claymores. He has an overall record of 59–55 in his NFL Europe career. Bicknell made four World Bowl appearances, and had been to three title games in six years. In 1991, he led the Barcelona Dragons to an 8–2 mark and a berth in the first World Bowl. In 1997, his Dragons won the first half of the season and went on to win World Bowl '97 in Barcelona. In 1999, the Dragons posted a league-best 7–3 mark before losing to Frankfurt in the World Bowl. Also posted a league-best 8–2 record in 2001 before losing World Bowl IX to the Berlin Thunder in Amsterdam. On March 28, 2007, Bicknell stepped down as head coach of the Hamburg Sea Devils, citing health issues as the reason for his resignation.

Personal lifeEdit

Bicknell is nicknamed "Cowboy Jack" because of his love for country music and horse riding. He and his wife, Lois, have three children, Jack, Jr., Wendy and Bob and five grandchildren. Both of his sons played for him at Boston College and are currently coaches in the National Football League.

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Maine Black Bears (Yankee Conference) (1976–1980)
1976 Maine 6–5 2–3 T–3rd
1977 Maine 3–7 1–4 T–3rd
1978 Maine 3–7–1 0–4–1 6th
1979 Maine 2–9 0–5 6th
1980 Maine 4–7 1–4 5th
Maine: 18–35–1 4–20–1
Boston College Eagles (NCAA Division I-A independent) (1981–1990)
1981 Boston College 5–6
1982 Boston College 8–3–1 L Tangerine
1983 Boston College 9–3 L Liberty 20 19
1984 Boston College 10–2 W Cotton 4 5
1985 Boston College 4–8
1986 Boston College 9–3 W Hall of Fame 18 19
1987 Boston College 5–6
1988 Boston College 3–8
1989 Boston College 2–9
1990 Boston College 4–7
Boston College: 59–55–1
Total: 77–90–2
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Barcelona Dragons (WLAF) (1991–1992)
1991 Barcelona Dragons 8–2 2nd European L 0–21 World Bowl I
1992 Barcelona Dragons 5–5 1st European L 15–17 WLAF Playoffs
Barcelona Dragons (NFL Europe) (1995–2003)
1995 Barcelona Dragons 5–5 3rd
1996 Barcelona Dragons 5–5 4th
1997 Barcelona Dragons 5–5 4th W 38–24 World Bowl V
1998 Barcelona Dragons 4–6 4th
1999 Barcelona Dragons 7–3 1st L 24–38 World Bowl VII
2000 Barcelona Dragons 5–5 3rd
2001 Barcelona Dragons 8–2 1st L 24–17 World Bowl IX
2002 FC Barcelona Dragons 2–8 6th
2003 FC Barcelona Dragons 5–5 4th
Barcelona Dragons: 61–55
Scottish Claymores (NFL Europe) (2004)
2004 Scottish Claymores 2–8 6th
Scottish Claymores: 2–8
Hamburg Sea Devils (NFL Europe) (2005–2006)
2005 Hamburg Sea Devils 5–5 4th
2006 Hamburg Sea Devils 3–6–1 5th
Hamburg Sea Devils: 8–11–1
Total: 71–74–1
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.

Coaching treeEdit

Assistants under Jack Bicknell who have become NCAA or NFL head coaches:


  1. Gildea, William via The Washington Post. "Bicknell Found His Place--Boston College", Los Angeles Times, September 15, 1985. Accessed July 5, 2018. "Having played quarterback for North Plainfield High School in New Jersey, Bicknell received a scholarship to Rutgers."
  2. Lewis, Brian. "Bicknell interested in Rutgers coaching job", Courier-News, December 7, 1995. Accessed July 5, 2018. "Now, North Plainfield native Jack Bicknell would love nothing more than to come home as the next Rutgers football coach.... A 1955 North Plainfield grad, and a former Watchung Hills assistant, Bicknell's roots are strictly Central Jersey."
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