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John Toner
Sport(s)Football
Biographical details
Born(1923-05-04)May 4, 1923
Nantucket, Massachusetts
DiedSeptember 23, 2014(2014-09-23) (aged 91)
Savannah, Georgia
Playing career
Position(s)Quarterback
Head coaching record
Overall20–24–3 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
2 Yankee (1968, 1970)
Awards
NFF Distinguished American Award (1986)

John L. Toner (May 4, 1923 – September 23, 2014) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at the University of Connecticut (UConn) from 1966 to 1970 and as the school's athletic director from 1969 to 1987. During his 18-year tenure as athletic director Toner also served in several roles with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), including as its president from 1983 to 1985. Toner was responsible for several momentous decisions in his time as athletic director at UConn, including UConn becoming a founding member of the Big East Conference in 1979, as well as the hiring of future Hall of Fame coaches Geno Auriemma and Jim Calhoun. He also oversaw the funding and construction of Gampel Pavilion.

Personal lifeEdit

Toner was born in 1923 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.[1][2] He died at the age of 91 in 2014.[3]

Football coachEdit

Toner became UConn's 21st head football coach in 1966.[4] In five seasons under Toner the Huskies compiled a 20–24–3 record.[5] Toner resigned as football coach at the end of the 1970 season to concentrate on his position as athletic director.[6]

Athletic directorEdit

Toner became UConn's athletic director in 1969, continuing a tradition of elevating someone from the football program to that position.[6] He served in that position for 17 years until he resigned in 1987 except to oversee the construction of Gampel Pavilion.[7]

Joining the Big East ConferenceEdit

Toner was first approached about Connecticut becoming a founding member of the Big East Conference in May 1979, but was uncertain. On May 26, UConn was given a 24-hour deadline to decide whether they would join. Toner, unable to reach the university president, unilaterally accepted the invitation.[8]

NCAAEdit

Toner served as president of the NCAA from 1983 to 1985. During his tenure, he was involved in implementing Title IX in collegiate athletics, splitting college football into Divisions I-A and I-AA, and passing new freshman eligibility rules.[9] He also was involved in Herschel Walker's leaving college early to join the United States Football League.[10]

Honors and awardsEdit

  • In 1997, the National Football Foundation inaugurated its John L. Toner Award, with Toner as the first recipient.
  • On February 28, 2009, Toner was inducted as the 29th member of the UConn Huskies of Honor.[11]

Head coaching recordEdit

CollegeEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Connecticut Huskies (Yankee Conference) (1966–1970)
1966 Connecticut 2–6–1 2–2–1 3rd
1967 Connecticut 5–4 4–1 2nd
1968 Connecticut 4–6 4–1 T–1st
1969 Connecticut 5–4 3–2 T–2nd
1970 Connecticut 4–4–2 4–0–1 1st
Connecticut: 20–24–3 13–8–1
Total: 20–24–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Toner, John L. "United States Public Records, 1970-2009". FamilySearch. https://familysearch.org. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
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  3. http://www.norwichbulletin.com/article/20140923/SPORTS/140929788/2000/NEWS
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  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named UConnPRJohnToner

External linksEdit

Template:Boston University Terriers quarterback navbox

Template:Connecticut Huskies athletic director navbox

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