USC Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Jim Carlen was born in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Carlen coached the Gamecocks from 1975 through 1981, and was also the AD during his tenure. He compiled a 45-36-1 record during his run as head coach at USC. The 45 victories are second only to Rex Enright’s 64 in USC history. He also led Carolina to three bowl appearances, the ’75 Tangerine, the ’79 Hall of Fame, and the ’80 Gator Bowls. Carlen led the program to its most memorable achievement when George Rogers walked away with the 1980 Heisman Trophy under his watch.
Carlen accumulated 107 wins at his three head coaching stops, West Virginia (1966-69), Texas Tech (1970-74), and South Carolina. Ironically, his West Virginia team defeated Carolina in the 1969 Peach Bowl, his last game at WVU before his offensive coordinator Bobby Bowden took over as HC.
He was nominated for induction into the College Football Hall-of-Fame in 2011.