April 01, 2018
James W. Garrett, former head coach of the Susquehanna University football team and namesake of the James W. Garrett Sports Complex, was inducted posthumously into the Middle Atlantic Conference Sports Hall of Fame in May. He will be recognized for this honor at halftime of the football home opener Sept. 8 vs. Johns Hopkins University.
The MAC Hall of Fame honors student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty or staff from the Middle Atlantic Conferences who have demonstrated success in athletics, academics and the community. Susquehanna was a member of the MAC until 2007.
Jim Garrett holds a very special place in the proud tradition of Susquehanna athletics. He was athletic director at Susquehanna from 1960-65, coached the football team from 1960-65 and the baseball team from 1962-65 and also led the track and field team in 1961.
After his tenure at Susquehanna, he went on to a successful coaching and scouting career in the National Football League (NFL). From 1987 to 2004, Garrett was a scout for the Dallas Cowboys. He was a part of four Dallas Super Bowl teams, including three Super Bowl championships (1992, 1993 and 1995). As a college scout for the club, he wrote the franchise’s take on Tony Romo and the original report on Troy Aikman, whom Dallas selected as the first overall pick in the 1989 NFL draft.
A native of Rutherford, N.J., Garrett attended Rutherford High School, where he was a member of the first induction group of the school’s Hall of Fame in 1996. He was an all-conference fullback at Utah State University and went on to play for Philadelphia (1954), the British Columbia Lions (1955), N.Y. Giants (1956) and Ottawa Rough Riders (1957). Garrett also loved baseball. Following his rookie season in the NFL, he went to spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In addition to the Cowboys, Garrett also served as an assistant coach with the N.Y. Giants (1969-1973), New Orleans Saints (1976-77) and Cleveland Browns (1978-84). He also coached collegiately at the Coast Guard Academy (1958) and Lehigh University (1959). Through the mid-1970s, he was the head coach at Millburn High School in New Jersey before becoming the head coach at Columbia University (1985).
Garrett was inducted into the Crusader Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981. In 2001, Susquehanna named its newly constructed athletics facility the James W. Garrett Sports Complex. His remarkable life was commemorated in the Dallas Cowboys’ documentary Deep Blue: The Jim Garrett Story.
News of Garrett’s passing in February was reported nationwide, including by the Cowboys, ESPN andUSA Today.