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Nash Higgins

Nash Higgins
Higgins in the Seminole c. 1929
Sport(s) Track and field/Football
Biographical details
Born (1896-02-29)February 29, 1896
Joliet, Illinois
Died October 29, 1984(1984-10-29) (aged 88)
Tampa, Florida
Alma mater Wabash College
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Track and field:
Earlham (assistant)
Joliet High School
Earlham (assistant)
Hillsborough High
Florida (assistant, scout)
1933–1940 Tampa
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Wabash (assistant)
Head coaching record
Overall 36–39–5 (.481)
Accomplishments and honors
Florida Sports Hall of Fame
Tampa Athletic Hall of Fame
NAIA Football Hall of Fame

Alfred Nash Higgins (February 29, 1896 – October 29, 1984) was a college football and track and field coach as well as athletic director, the first in the history of the University of Tampa. He later worked as superintendent of recreation for the Hillsborough County Defense Council and the county's school department athletic facilities planner.[1][2]


  • Early years 1
  • Coaching career 2
    • Earlham 2.1
    • Wabash 2.2
    • Hillsborough High 2.3
    • University of Florida 2.4
    • Tampa Spartans 2.5
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Early years

Higgins attended Wabash College.[3]

Coaching career


Higgins was an assistant under coach Ray B. Mowe at Earlham College.


Higgins coached track and field at his alma mater.[4] The 1923 track team tied for 11th place in the NCAA meet at Stagg Field.[5]

Hillsborough High

Higgins coached at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida in 1926, leading his team to the state championship.[6][7] On the team were Jimmy Steele and Carlos Proctor. Proctor gave rival St. Petersburg High School its only loss with a field goal.[8]

University of Florida

Higgins came to the University of Florida after coaching football at Hillsborough.[9][10] He was an assistant football coach, holding the title of chief football scout,[11] and head track coach under Charlie Bachman for the Florida Gators. The 1928 Florida Gators football team led the nation in scoring.

Tampa Spartans

After his time with the Gators, he was the first head coach and athletic director at the University of Tampa.[9][12] In a March 27, 1933 letter, offering the position of athletic director to Higgins, university president Frederic Spaulding wrote: "We particularly want anyone who accepts a position with us to feel enthusiastic about the school, and freely and wholeheartedly devote himself to its growth and improvement. We want men who are willing to give their best service unstintingly, and feel they are making an investment for the future."[13]

Higgins picked the school's colors of red, black, and gold; combining those of Hillsborough High (red and black) with Plant High School (gold and black).[14] His assistant while at Tampa was former fellow Gator assistant Alvin Pierson.

Tampa still holds the Nash Higgins Relays named in his honor. He was inducted into the Tampa Athletics Hall of Fame in 1962;[15] and the NAIA Football Hall of Fame in 1959.[16]


  1. ^ "Final School Addition Plan Received By Citrus Board". Ocala Star-Banner. December 21, 1962. 
  2. ^ "Nash Higgins Quits As Coach At Tampa". The Palm Beach Post. December 4, 1940. 
  3. ^ "Florida's Team of Stars Shines In South Field". Dixon Evening Telegraph. November 23, 1928. p. 9. Retrieved August 16, 2015 – via  
  4. ^ "Sport Sparks". The Crawfordsville Review. April 7, 1925. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Two Unbeaten Teams Expected To Provide Argument Over Title". The Evening Independent. November 22, 1926. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Jeff Moshier (December 10, 1938). "Playing Square". The Evening Independent. 
  9. ^ a b "Nash Higgins Quits As Coach At Tampa". The Palm Beach Post. December 4, 1940. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Vaughn Chosen On All-Southern Team By Florida U. Scout" (PDF). The Technician. December 1, 1928. 
  12. ^ e. g. Jeff Moshier (October 2, 1939). "Playing Square". The Evening Independent. p. 10. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "The Founding of the University of Tampa". 
  15. ^ "Athletic Hall of Fame". 
  16. ^ "Six Named To NAIA Hall of Fame". Ocala Star-Banner. November 27, 1959. p. 11. 

External links

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