Former college football coach Jim Carlen dies

Associated Press Modified: July 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm •  Published: July 22, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Jim Carlen, who coached South Carolina's only Heisman Trophy winner and also led West Virginia and Texas Tech to success, died Sunday. He was 79.

Carlen died in Columbia, according to Dale Morton at Dunbar Funeral Home. He did not know the cause of death.

Carlen was 107-69-6 in his 16-year coaching career and had just three losing seasons. He led his teams to eight bowl games.

Carlen was a punter and linebacker for Georgia Tech and was an assistant for the Yellow Jackets before he got his first head coaching job in West Virginia in 1966. He's credited with bringing West Virginia football to the big stage, convincing the school's leaders to leave the Southern Conference and become an independent.

The Mountaineers went 25-13-3 in Carlen's four years, including their second 10-win season in the program's history in 1969 that ended with a 14-3 win over South Carolina in the Peach Bowl.

"Jim was very instrumental in the overall growth of our football program, and even after he left, he still remained interested in the Mountaineers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Carlen family and friends," West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck said in a prepared statement.

Carlen went on to Texas Tech, where he went 37-20-2 in five seasons, including the second ever 11-win season for the Red Raiders in 1973. He was named Southwest Conference Coach of the Year twice and led Texas Tech to four bowls.

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