Clarence Spears

Clarence Spears
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1894-07-24)July 24, 1894
De Witt, Arkansas
Died February 1, 1964(1964-02-01) (aged 69)
Jupiter, Florida
Playing career
1914–1915 Dartmouth
Position(s) Guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1917–1920 Dartmouth
1921–1924 West Virginia
1925–1929 Minnesota
1930–1931 Oregon
1932–1935 Wisconsin
1936–1942 Toledo
1943–1944 Maryland
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1936–1942 Toledo
Head coaching record
Overall 148–83–14
Bowls 1–0
Accomplishments and honors
1 Big Ten (1927)
All-American, 1914
All-American, 1915
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1955 (profile)

Clarence Wiley "Doc" Spears (July 24, 1894 – February 1, 1964) was an American football player, coach, and doctor. He was an All-American guard at Dartmouth College (1914–1915) and served as the head football coach at Dartmouth (1917–1920), West Virginia University (1921–1924), the University of Minnesota (1925–1929), the University of Oregon[1] (1930–1931), the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1932–1935), the University of Toledo (1936–1942), and University of Maryland, College Park (1943–1944), compiling a career college football record of 148–83–14. Spears was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1955.

Playing career

Spears attended Dartmouth College, where he played guard and was selected to the College Football All-America Team in 1914 and 1915.

Coaching career

Spears was the head coach for the Dartmouth Indians football team from 1917 to 1920. From 1921 to 1924, he coached the West Virginia Mountaineers football team, winning 79.5% of the games he coached during his tenure there. Following that, Spears coached the Minnesota Golden Gophers from 1925 to 1929, leading the team to a 6–0–2 record and a share of the Big Ten Conference title in 1927. He had a 28–9–3 record at Minnesota.

Spears was the coach at Oregon in 1930 and 1931. From 1932 to 1935 he coached the Wisconsin Badgers. From 1936 to 1942, Spears was Toledo's coach. Finally, he was the coach at Maryland in 1943 and 1944, tallying a mark of 5–12–1.

Spears had two undefeated seasons as a coach, 1922 at West Virginia and 1927 at Minnesota. In 1955, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Medical career

While coaching, Spears studied medicine at the University of Chicago and the Rush Medical College. Following his football career, he maintained a medical practice for many years.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall ConferenceStanding Bowl/playoffs
Dartmouth Indians (Independent) (1917–1920)
1917 Dartmouth 5–3
1918 Dartmouth 3–3
1919 Dartmouth 6–1–1
1920 Dartmouth 7–2
Dartmouth: 21–9–1
West Virginia Mountaineers (Independent) (1921–1924)
1921 West Virginia 5–4–1
1922 West Virginia 10–0–1W San Diego East-West Christmas Classic
1923 West Virginia 7–1–1
1924 West Virginia 8–1
West Virginia: 30–6–3
Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big Ten Conference) (1925–1929)
1925 Minnesota 5–2–11–1–1T–4th
1926 Minnesota 5–32–2T–6th
1927 Minnesota 6–0–23–0–1T–1st
1928 Minnesota 6–24–23rd
1929 Minnesota 6–23–2T–3rd
Minnesota: 28–9–313–7–2
Oregon Webfoots (Pacific Coast Conference) (1930–1931)
1930 Oregon 7–23–14th
1931 Oregon 6–2–23–1–13rd
Oregon: 13–4–26–2–1
Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten Conference) (1932–1935)
1932 Wisconsin 6–1–14–1–13rd
1933 Wisconsin 2–5–10–5–110th
1934 Wisconsin 4–42–3T–5th
1935 Wisconsin 1–71–4T–9th
Wisconsin: 13–17–27–13–2
Toledo Rockets (Ohio Athletic Conference) (1936–1942)
1936 Toledo 2–62–1T–6th
1937 Toledo 6–30–0Did not compete
1938 Toledo 6–3–10–0–1T–10th
1939 Toledo 7–31–02nd
1940 Toledo 6–31–1T–9th
1941 Toledo 7–42–03rd
1942 Toledo 4–4–11–0–14th
Toledo: 38–26–27–2–2
Maryland Terrapins (Southern Conference) (1943–1944)
1943 Maryland 4–52–02nd
1944 Maryland 1–7–11–16th
Maryland: 5–12–13–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. McCann, Michael C. (1995). Oregon Ducks Football: 100 Years of Glory. Eugene, OR: McCann Communications Corp. ISBN 0-9648244-7-7.
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