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Jock Sutherland: Never a Losing Season


Legend has it that John Bain “Jock” Sutherland played in the first football game he ever saw. He suffered defeat only once as a player, then went on to coach Pitt to five national championships.

As an All-American guard, the Scottish-born Sutherland played on Panther teams that went undefeated during his final three seasons and won national championships in 1915 and 1916. Incredibly, he was even more successful as a coach.

Under Sutherland’s leadership from 1924 to 1938, Pitt compiled a record of 111 wins (including 79 shutouts), 20 losses, and 12 ties, going undefeated four times; playing in four Rose Bowls; and winning national championships in 1929, 1931, 1934, 1936, and 1937. The Sutherland-coached Panthers fielded 21 All-American players, beat Penn State a dozen straight times, and in five victories over powerhouse Notre Dame held the Fighting Irish to 15 points.

Pitt’s Sutherland Hall student housing facility and nearby Sutherland Drive were named after him.