Former Fresno State Football Coach Passes at 86 Print
News - Sports
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 15:02

Boone coached the Fresno State football team from 1973-75 - JR Boone, Fresno State's head football coach from 1973-75, passed away in his sleep on Sunday at his home in Selma. He was 86.

Boone, a native of Clinton, Okla., enjoyed a successful athletic and coaching career. The former NFL player was inducted into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame in 1972 and is also a member of the University of Tulsa Hall of Fame, the Reedley College Hall of Fame, the California Junior College Hall of Fame and the YMCA Hall of Fame.

After graduating from Sand Springs (Okla.) High School in 1943, Boone went on to the University of Tulsa where he earned nine varsity letters, four in football, two in basketball, two in track and one in baseball. He was the captain of the football team and selected to several All-America teams in football.

Boone was drafted in two different sports, by the Chicago Bears and New York Yankees. He choose football and played four years with the Bears (1948-51) and one season apiece with the San Francisco 49ers (1952) and the Green Bay Packers (1953). Boone was a running back and safety.

After his playing days is when he started a long career of coaching in the San Joaquin Valley.

Starting as an assistant football coach at Selma High School in 1955, Boone moved to Lindsay High School in 1956 as head coach where he won a league championship in his first season. In 1958, Lindsay went undefeated and won another championship.

Boone then coached Sanger High School from 1959-65, where his teams won league championships in 1959, `60, `61, `63 and `64.

In 1966, Boone became the head coach at Reedley Junior College and coached there until he took the job as Fresno State's head coach in 1973. Reedley won four conference championships under Boone, including the state championship in 1971 when he was named the JC Coach of the Year, and he posted a 56-15-3 record.

In three seasons at Fresno State, Boone went 10-24 and he retired in 1975.

Boone continued to give back to the Valley after his retirement, volunteering as an assistant for his son, Jim, at Memorial High School in Fresno from 1996-03.

He is survived by his sons, Jim of Fresno and Bobby of Kingsburg, his daughter Katie McGill of Selma, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Fresno State Assistant Director Athletic Communications