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James Quinn Decker, 1907-1987

James Quinn Decker was born October 29, 1907 to Margaret Quinn Decker and Oscar Decker. He attended Hume Fogg High School in Nashville, where he played football. He played fullback at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville under Bob Neyland. After graduation he assisted in coaching the University of Tennessee freshman team, and later became the head coach at Central High School in Knoxville.

Decker was the head football coach for Centre College in Danville, Kentucky from 1938 to 1941, then joined the Air Force, where he was assigned to special forces and continued to coach football. He was then head coach at The Citadel from 1945 to 1953. After The Citadel, Decker returned to Knoxville and went into business with Security Mills. He was named to the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, and passed away December 20, 1987.

(Biographical sketch provided by Katherine Andrus.)

Decker’s collection at The Citadel Archives consists of:

1. 1950 Citadel vs. USC football program
2. Photographs of football coaches, 1945-1953
3. Cartoon of Jack Knox
4. Newspaper articles

This collection was donated by Decker’s family in his memory.


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