|Sport(s)||Football, basketball, baseball, track and field|
June 26, 1905|
May 25, 1969 (aged 63)|
Winter Park, Florida
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
1 SoCon (as player, 1927)|
1 SIAA (as coach, 1940)
SoCon high jump record 1925-1931
NC State Athletic Hall of Fame
2x Norris Cup recipient (1925, 1926)
College Football Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 1975 (profile)
John Witherspoon "Jack" McDowall (June 26, 1905 – May 25, 1969) known as "Spindle Legs" was an American football, baseball, basketball player and track athlete at North Carolina State University. McDowall was recognized as an All-Southern football player in 1927. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975 - becoming the first player from NC State to be inducted.
Jack McDowall was born on June 26, 1905 in Micanopy, Florida to J. W. McDowall and M. D. Younglove. Jack played high school ball in Gainesville, Florida then at Rockingham HS in North Carolina. He took both schools to appearances in the state championship game. After having starred at Gainesville, he was deemed too small to ever get a scholarship to the University of Florida even though he was some 6 feet 1 inch tall. At a Gainesville pool hall J.B. "Shorty" Lawrence, a Floridian coaching in NC, walked in and offered him the chance to play at Rockingham for $25 a week, eventually leading to his chance to play for NC State.
McDowall won 11 letters at A&M. He was named the top athlete in the first half-century of NC State Athletics. McDowall is the only man to twice win the Norris Cup, and once held the North Carolina state record in the high jump. McDowall is the only man to twice win the Norris Cup, and once held the North Carolina state record in the high jump.
He led the Wolfpack to a 9–1 mark and a Southern Conference championship in 1927 under coach Gus Tebell. McDowall threw for 14 of the Wolfpack's 31 touchdowns. In the 12 to 6 win in Tampa over his hometown Florida Gators, he ran 75 yards for a touchdown after intercepting the ball off a Gator's hands. The season closed with a convincing defeat of Michigan State. He was selected to play on an All-Southern team which beat an All-Pacific Coast team on Christmas Day in Los Angeles. Georgia Tech coach Bill Alexander said of McDowall, "I have talked with a number of persons who know football well and that have seen McDowall play. They all say he is a wonder at running and passing. We expect much of him when we go to the Pacific Coast for the Christmas charity game."
He was also captain of the basketball team in 1928.
In 1952, he successfully ran as a Democrat for Orange County commissioner on a platform consisting of pro-business administration, better roads, country beautification, the Sports Fishermen’s Program, and conservation. Re-elected in 1956, McDowall held the position until 1960.
- Who's Who In American Sports.
- Tim Peeler (May 2014). "Jack McDowall Was A Multi-Sport Standout In The 1920s". The Wolfpacker: 86. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "NC State's 2014 Hall of Fame Class: Jack McDowall". August 14, 2014.
- "John Witherspoon McDowall".
- "Jack McDowell Gets Rollins College Job". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. June 23, 1929.
- T. A. Vernon (October 28, 1927). "State Wolves Invade Florida and Win 12-6". The Technician. p. 3.
- "Jack McDowall Wins Praise For Sensational Grid Play". St. Petersburg Times. December 23, 1927.
- "Jack McDowall All Praises By Georgia Tech Coach". The Technician. December 3, 1927.
- "Jack McDowell".
- "All American Player Is Given Coach Job". Altoona Mirror. July 24, 1929. p. 17. Retrieved March 13, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Rollins Grid Mentor Faces Tough Season". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. September 20, 1934.