Francis J. McCormick

Francis J. McCormick
Francis J McCormick.jpg
McCormick pictured in The Hinakaga 1951, Carroll yearbook
Biographical details
Born 1903
Antigo, Wisconsin
Died August 13, 1958 (aged 55)
Playing career
1924–1925 Marquette
1924–1926 Marquette
Position(s) Back (football)
Forward (basketball)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1934–1942 St. Norbert
1949–1957 Carroll (WI)
1934–1943 St. Norbert
1944–1945 St. Norbert
Head coaching record
Overall 69–57–9 (football)
62–74 (basketball)

Francis J. "Mickey" McCormick (1903 – August 13, 1958) was an American football and basketball player and coach. He served as the head football coach at St. Norbert College from 1934 to 1942 and at Carroll College—now known as Carroll University—in Waukesha, Wisconsin from 1949 to 1957, compiling a career college football record of 69–57–9. McCormick was also the head basketball coach at St. Norbert from 1934 to 1943 and again during the 1944–45 season, tallying a mark of 62–74. He was one of the more outspoken coaches against the NCAA rule change on "free substitution" in 1953.

Early life

McCormick was a 1929 graduate of Antigo High School< in his hometown of Antigo, Wisconsin.ref>1929 Antigo High School Graduates</ref>[1]

Playing career


McCormick played college football[2] and was a forward on the basketball team at Marquette University.[3] The football teams won a victory over Navy by a score of 21–3 in 1924[4] and completed a 7–2 record in 1925[5] under College Football Hall of Fame head coach Frank Murray.[6]

Duluth Eskimos

After graduation at Marquette, McCormic went on to be a member of the Duluth Eskimos in the National Football League (NFL).[citation needed]

Coaching career

St. Norbert

McCormick coached at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin starting with the 1934 season until the conclusion of the 1942 season. His record with the Green Knights was a total of 32–26–8 and included a 7–1 season in 1936.[7] Also at St. Norbert, McCormick was the head basketball coach.[8][1]


McCormick the 20th head football coach for the Carroll College Pioneers[9] (now called "Carroll University") located in Waukesha, Wisconsin[10] and he held that position for nine seasons, from 1949[11] until 1957. His career coaching record at Carroll College was 37 wins, 31 losses, and 1 tie. This ranks him fourth at Carroll College in total wins and 11th at Carroll College in winning percentage.[12] Carroll would be his last coaching position as he died in August 1958 before the season began,[13] but the school would later induct him into their "Athletic Hall of Fame" for his contributions to the school and athletic programs.[14] Highlights of his coaching at Caroll included a strong offense in the 1951 season.[15]

McCormick began the 1949 season with twenty eager players that were considered "strong on talent but weak on depth" with team drills beginning in early September 1949.[16] He felt that his most talented team was 1955, a team he called the best Carroll had in ten years.[17] McCormick was selected to coach the "South" team for the 1951 Upper Peninsula All-Star Football exhibition game.[18]

Free substitution

In 1953, McCormick was outspoken among the small-college football coaches against the idea of free substitution in college football.[19] Becoming more common in professional football, the idea paved the way of the "specialist athlete" in college football where one person could focus on one position such as quarterback or punter.[20] For large colleges and professional teams, the idea of free substitution worked well. McCormick pointed out that smaller colleges would suffer under this rule. Free substitution generally prevented a player from returning to gameplay in the same quarter after he was taken out for a substitute and it required either a very large squad that could handle all the substitutions or a highly talented small squad that would not need to substitute.[21]


McCormick died on August 13, 1958, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[22]


  1. ^ a b Antigo Daily Journal "Phil Kafka, 90, local military figure, dies" November 18, 2008
  2. ^ Marquette University Special Collections and Archives – Athletics Archives
  3. ^ GoMarquette "All-Time Men's Basketball Letter Winners"
  4. ^ College Football Data Warehouse 1924 Marquette University football results
  5. ^ College Football Data Warehouse 1925 Marquette University football results
  6. ^ College Football Data Warehouse Frank J. Murray coaching results
  7. ^ St. Norbert College 2008 Football Yearbook
  8. ^ The Argus "St. Norbert Meets Titans Here Tonight" December 17, 1941
  9. ^ 2007 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin
  10. ^ Waukesha Daily Freeman "St. Norbert final Carroll Grid Foe" November 11, 1955
  11. ^ Chicago Daily Tribune "Mickey McCormick Appointed Football Coach at Carroll" July 9, 1949
  12. ^ Carroll College/University Archived May 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Football coaching records
  13. ^ Carroll College Pioneer "Guest Commentary" by Kathleen (McCormick) Ley, Winter 2008
  14. ^ Carroll University Athletic Hall of Fame
  15. ^ Cedar Rapids Gazette "Strong Carroll Offense Too Much for Rams" October 28, 1951
  16. ^ Waukesha Daily Freeman "Carroll Team Weak in Depth as Grid Drills Start Monday" September 2, 1949
  17. ^ The Argus "Titans Face Powerful Carroll College Eleven" by Jay Mercer, October 5, 1955
  18. ^ The Mining Journal (Marquette, MI) "Players on All-Star Grid Announced" July 26, 1951
  19. ^ St. Petersburg Times "Time For Sports-Belatedly, Friends of Free Substitution Cite Sobering Facts" by Bill Beck, January 18, 1953
  20. ^ Football Historian "Free Substitution Rule 1950"
  21. ^ Sports Illustrated "Lost Platoon-Free substitution had its points, but football is a better game without it" by Herman Hickman, October 18, 1954
  22. ^ "McCormick, Ex-Carroll Coach, Dies". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. August 15, 1958. p. B8. Retrieved July 14, 2019 – via Google News.

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