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24 Club: Harry Vaughan coached the Buckeyes for a season, then quit to go to law school

Vaughan coached the Buckeyes to a winning record but became the second consecutive coach to leave after a single season.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There have been 24 head coaches in the history of Ohio State football. Each has a story and legacy. This offseason, Land-Grant Holy Land’s new series 24 Club will help you get to know the coaches from past and present who built the program. Today we look at the 10th head coach in OSU football history Harry Vaughan, who coached the Buckeyes for a season then quit to go to law school.

Name: Harry Vaughan
Seasons Coached: One (1911)
Overall Record: 5-3-2

Where Does He Rank in the 24 Club?
Overall Wins: Tied No. 20 out of 24 OSU Coaches
Winning Percentage: No. 19 out of 24 OSU Coaches

Ohio State liked what it saw at Yale. In 1910, the Buckeyes hired Howard Jones, who starred and coached at Yale. When Jones left to pursue a business opportunity at the end of the season, he recommended another Yale alum take his place — Harry Vaughan.

Like Jones, Vaughan starred at Yale. He was an All-American end on the 1909 team coached by Jones that went undefeated and unscored upon en route to a national championship. Vaughan’s 1911 team at OSU would not live up to that level of success.

The Buckeyes finished the year with a 5-3-2 record, with losses to Syracuse, Case, and Michigan. The loss against the Wolverines, a 19-0 defeat, extended OSU’s winless streak in The Game to 0-11-2. At the end of the year, Vaughan left OSU to go to law school at Yale.

Coach Vaughan left Ohio State after a single season as coach in 1911 to study law at Yale.
The Lantern

Vaughan was part of the revolving door coaching era at Ohio State. He was the second coach in a row to leave after a single season at the helm. The Buckeyes were entering their 23rd season of play in 1912, and had seen 11 head coaching changes in that time. OSU had established itself as a winning program, but to build a future — to take that next step — they needed to hire a coach that would stick.

The “one and done” model that Harry Vaughan represented was hurting the Buckeyes. Unfortunately, OSU’s next head coach would not be the answer they were looking for either.