TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Tom Nugent, a College Football Hall of
Famer who was credited with developing the I formation at Virginia
Military Institute and later coached at Florida State and Maryland,
died Thursday. He was 92.
Nugent died of congestive heart failure at a local nursing home,
his family said.
Nugent was also credited with creating the "typewriter" huddle
where players stood in two rows rather than a circle while plays
were being called. He was a head coach for 17 years, posting a
89-80-3 record before turning to broadcasting and public relations.
He was 19-18-2 at VMI from 1949-52. During his six years at
Florida State in the mid-1950s, he also served as the school's
athletic director and coached ESPN college football analyst Lee
Corso and actor Burt Reynolds.
"He put FSU on the map in the early years," Reynolds said
Thursday. "He was an innovator, who brought a whole new style of
football with the I formation. I love him and I'll miss him."
Nugent led Florida State to a 34-28-1 record and two bowl games
during his stay from 1953-58 and coached the school's first game
Nugent took the Seminoles to their first New Year's Day game in
1955 when they were defeated by Texas Western 47-20 at the Sun
Bowl. In 1958, Florida State lost to Oklahoma State 15-6 at the
Bluegrass Bowl in Louisville as a then-relatively obscure
broadcaster named Howard Cosell did the game.
Nugent coached Maryland from 1959-65, posting a 36-34 record.
After coaching, Nugent was a sports broadcaster before working
in public relations.
Nugent was inducted into the halls of fame at Florida State and
New York's Ithaca College, where he won 10 letters in baseball,
basketball, football and track.
A captain in the Army Air Corps during World War II, Nugent
served as a fitness trainer for officers heading overseas, and
later as a director of entertainment at a base in Missouri.
A native of Lawrence, Mass., Nugent began his coaching career at
the high school level in Virginia before accepting his first
college job at VMI in 1949.
Nugent's wife of 61 years, Peg, died in 2002. He is survived by
five sons, four daughters, 15 grandchildren and five great
A memorial mass is scheduled in Tallahassee on Monday.