Donnelly to be added to College Football Hall of F...

Donnelly to be added to College Football Hall of Fame

Former Middle Tennessee football head coach James “Boots” Donnelly was announced on Thursday as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, becoming the first such honoree in university history.

Boots Donnelly

Donnelly, an MTSU alumnus, started his head coaching career at Austin Peay, taking a program that had never won a football championship to an Ohio Valley Conference title in his first season on the job.

After two seasons and a 14-7 record, he left APSU for his alma mater, where he would spend the next 20 years leading the Blue Raiders to unprecedented success.

Donnelly led MT to nine top 20 regular-season finishes and seven NCAA I-AA playoff appearances, guiding Middle Tennessee to a 31-game home winning streak from 1987-93. He won or shared the Ohio Valley Conference title five times, was named the OVC Coach of the Year four times and is the only coach in OVC history to win a conference title at two different schools.

He later served as MTSU’s athletics director and was inducted into the Blue Raider Hall of Fame in 1993.

The 2013 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class will be honored in Atlanta, Ga., during enshrinement ceremonies in August.

For the complete story on Donnelly’s honor, visit