|Sport(s)||Football, ice hockey, track & field|
October 28, 1899|
April 30, 1962 (aged 62)|
Los Angeles, California
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Notre Dame (Asst.)|
Notre Dame (Asst.)
Loyola Los Angeles
|Head coaching record|
|Overall||Football: 67–59–5 (.531)|
|Olympic medal record|
|Competitor for the 23x15px United States|
|Bronze medal – third place||1924 Paris||Discus throw|
Thomas John Lieb (October 28, 1899 – April 30, 1962) was an American Olympic track and field athlete, an All-American college football player and a multi-sport collegiate coach. Lieb was a Minnesota native and an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, where he played college football. He was best known as the head coach of the Loyola Marymount University and University of Florida football teams.
College sports career
Tom Lieb was born in Faribault, Minnesota in 1899. In high school, Lieb excelled at baseball, football, hockey, and track and field. He attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where he lettered in all four sports and twice received All-American football honors. During the 1922 season, Lieb broke his leg in the game against Purdue. While doing his graduate studies at the university, he coached the Notre Dame hockey and track & field teams, and also coached the linemen for the Fighting Irish football team under head coach Knute Rockne.
Lieb was a two-time National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) national collegiate champion in the discus in 1922 and 1923, and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national open champion in 1923 and 1924. He is widely credited with introducing the modern spin delivery that is still used today. At the 1924 Summer Olympics held in Paris, France, Lieb competed for the United States in the discus throw and won the bronze medal, but did not equal the distance of his qualifying throw. Several weeks after the Olympics ended, Lieb broke the discus world record with a throw of 47.61 meters (156 feet 2½ inches).
Following his graduation, Lieb accepted an offer to coach the linemen for the Wisconsin Badgers. In 1929, Lieb returned to Notre Dame as the assistant football coach, and was instrumental in directing the Irish to a national championship as Knute Rockne spent most of the season recovering from complications due to thrombophlebitis, a crippling infection of Rockne's leg.
Lieb's coaching success was recognized when he was offered the head coaching position at Loyola University in Los Angeles, California, where he remained from 1930 to 1938. Lieb relished his role as the Loyola Lions head football coach, posing with lion cubs in publicity photographs, and posted an overall record of 47–33–4. Lieb also started Loyola's ice hockey program as an off-season conditioning program for his football players, but quickly built the team into a powerhouse with an annual rivalry with the University of Southern California. From 1935 to 1938, Lieb's hockey Lions won four consecutive Pacific Coast Intercollegiate League titles and compiled a 38–3–2 record. Lieb quit his coaching job at Loyola during his wife's illness in 1939, and then decided to leave California after she died.
In 1940, Lieb succeeded Josh Cody as the head football coach at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, with high expectations based on his prior successes with Notre Dame and Loyola. He also served as Florida's athletic director. Lieb, however, was unable to duplicate the same level of success with the Gators that he had at Notre Dame and Loyola. In his five seasons of coaching the Florida Gators football team from 1940 to 1945, Lieb compiled a 20–26–1 record, and his contract was not renewed after the 1945 season. Thereafter, Lieb worked as the assistant Crimson Tide football coach and head track & field coach at the University of Alabama, where his old Notre Dame teammate Frank Thomas was the head football coach, from 1946 to 1951.
Life after football
When Lieb retired in 1951, he returned to Los Angeles, where he became a public speaker. He died of an apparent heart attack in 1962 at age 62. He was elected to the Loyola Marymount Hall of Fame posthumously in 1987.
Head coaching record
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- Florida Gators
- Florida Gators football, 1940–1949
- History of the University of Florida
- List of Olympic medalists in athletics (men)
- List of University of Notre Dame alumni
- List of University of Notre Dame athletes
- Loyola Marymount Lions
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- University Athletic Association
- "Notre Dame Loses Lieb; Tackle Who Broke Log In Purdue Game Is Out of Football for Season," The New York Times, p. 22 (October 16, 1922). Retrieved March 20, 2010.
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish Athletics, Men's Track & Field, Tom Lieb. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
- Sports Reference, Olympic Sports, Tom Lieb. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- Associated Press, "Lieb Named Florida Grid Mentor: Former Irish Coach Signs For 3 Years," St. Petersburg Times, p. 1 (April 1, 1940). Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- United Press International, "Thomas J. Lieb Dead; Ex-Football Coach, 62," The New York Times, p. 38 (May 1, 1962). Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- Associated Press, "Rockne's Double Keeps Ramblers in Front," The Reading Eagle, p. 14 (November 25, 1929). Retrieved January 20, 2013.
- College Football Data Warehouse, All-Time Coaching Records, Thomas J. "Tom" Lieb Records by Year. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
- Chris Warner, "Hockey Goes Hollywood:L.A.'s hottest ice show in the 1930s was USC vs. Loyola," Sports Illustrated (November 9, 1987). Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- Alan Drooz, "Loyola Recalls Glory Days, Stars of Yore: University to Put Players, Coaches, Administrators Into Hall of Fame," Los Angeles Times (March 26, 1987). Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- See, e.g., Associated Press, "Tom Lieb Wants to Provide Grid Fans Real Show," Sarasota Herald-Tribune, p. 6 (April 22, 1940). Retrieved March 20, 2010.
- Associated Press, "Tom Lieb Takes Job At Alabama," St. Petereburg Times, p. 13 (May 8, 1946). Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- 2012 Florida Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 109, 115, 116 (2012). Retrieved September 16, 2012.
- LMULions.com, Traditions, Loyola Marymount Athletics Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- Southeastern Conference, All-Time Football Standings 1940–1949. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
- 2012 Florida Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida (2012).
- Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
- Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
- McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
- McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
- Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.
- Proctor, Samuel, & Wright Langley, Gator History: A Pictorial History of the University of Florida, South Star Publishing Company, Gainesville, Florida (1986). ISBN 0-938637-00-2.
September 14, 1924 – May 2, 1925
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