Iron Mike Donahue

Mike Donahue

Michael "Iron Mike" Donahue (June 14, 1876 - December 11, 1960) was a head coach in a variety of sports at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Donahue was a college football quarterback for Yale University, where he graduated in 1903. As a head coach, Donahue was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951. Donahue Drive in Auburn, on which Jordan-Hare Stadium is located and the Tiger Walk takes place, is named in his honor.

Auburn University

Immediately upon graduating college, Donahue became the ninth Auburn football coach beginning with the 1904 season. His coaching career saw immediate success, as his first team went undefeated at 5–0. Iron Mike's Auburn teams won two Conference Championships were retroactively awarded two National Titles during his tenure (1913, 1914) and were known for their big linemen, strong defense and power offense. His 1913 and 1914 teams went undefeated, with the 1914 squad allowing zero points to be scored all year (outscoring opponents 193-0). From 1913 into 1915, Donahue went 22 consecutive games without a loss. His 1920 team averaged 36.9 points per game. In 18 seasons at Auburn, Coach Donahue amassed a record of 106–35–5 and had three squads go undefeated with four more suffering only one loss. His 74.3% career winning percentage is the highest in Auburn history, surpassing Tiger coaches John Heisman, 'Shug' Jordan, Pat Dye, Terry Bowden, and Tommy Tuberville. During his tenure, 38 players were named as All-Southern Conference.

Donahue also served as Athletic Director, basketball coach, baseball coach, and track coach while at Auburn. The school's first official varsity basketball team (1906) was started by him and went 3–1–1, including victories over Georgia Tech and Tulane, a two point loss to the Columbus (Georgia) All-Stars and a tie with the Birmingham Athletic Club. Under Donahue, basketball practice was a contact sport; a former player once lamented "He never bothered calling fouls-said it slowed up the game".

AU basketball record

Season Won Lost
1905-06 5 1
1906-07 4 2
1907-08 6 5
1908-09 4 3
1909-10 4 3
1910-11 4 3
1911-12 4 3
1912-13 4 3
1913-14 4 3
1914-15 4 3
1915-16 4 3
1916-17 4 3
1917-18 4 3
1918-19 4 3
1919-20 4 3
1920-21 4 3
''†Source -

Louisiana State University

Donahue went on to become the seventeenth head football coach of LSU in 1923 and had a 23–19–3 record over 5 seasons before retiring from coaching after the 1927 season. Donahue also served briefly as the head men’s tennis coach (1946-1947 0-7) as well as the Tigers baseball coach (1925-1926 15-15-3).

See also


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