June 19, 2024

Reports from WVUA in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and AL.com announced the passing of Hootie Ingram on Monday morning at the age of 90. Ingram served as Clemson’s head coach from 1970 to 1972.

Ingram was appointed as Clemson’s head coach on Dec. 17, 1969, after spending three seasons as the defensive backs coach at Arkansas under Frank Broyles. During his tenure as head coach, Ingram amassed a 12-21 record before transitioning into various administrative roles at both conference and school levels.

Former Alabama Player, Administrator, Hootie Ingram Dies

Notably, Ingram’s time at Clemson coincided with the establishment of two enduring traditions. Ahead of his inaugural season in 1970, he initiated discussions with Clemson administrators to revitalize the university’s image. As a result, in July of that year, Clemson officially introduced its iconic Tiger Paw logo, which debuted on the team’s helmets that fall.

Ingram also played a role in reinstating Clemson’s Running Down the Hill tradition for the final game of his coaching tenure. This tradition had been dormant for several years following the construction of locker rooms in Clemson’s west end zone. The reinstatement culminated in a memorable 7-6 victory against South Carolina, marked by Jimmy Williamson’s crucial batted-down two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter, amidst cold rain.

Ingram, originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, graduated from the University of Alabama in 1955, where he excelled as an All-SEC defensive back for the Crimson Tide. Recognized for his achievements, he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame in 1999.

Following his playing career, Ingram ventured into athletic administration, serving as the athletic director at Florida State University from 1981 to 1989, and subsequently at the University of Alabama from 1989 to 1995. During his tenure at Alabama, one notable decision was his hiring of head coach Gene Stallings, under whom walk-on wide receiver Dabo Swinney would later flourish, leading the 1992 Crimson Tide to a national championship. Stallings, in turn, provided Swinney with his initial coaching opportunity as a graduate assistant in 1993.

According to reports from AL.com and Alabama Media Group, funeral arrangements have been scheduled for Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, with visitation from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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