The Chatter

Longtime Hopkins Football Coach Jim Margraff Dies at 58

He led the Blue Jays less than a month ago to their first NCAA Division III semifinal.

By Corey McLaughlin | January 3, 2019, 8:00 am

Jim Margraff during a game against Ursinus College in Baltimore. -Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun via AP
The Chatter

Longtime Hopkins Football Coach Jim Margraff Dies at 58

He led the Blue Jays less than a month ago to their first NCAA Division III semifinal.

By Corey McLaughlin | January 3, 2019, 8:00 am

Jim Margraff during a game against Ursinus College in Baltimore. -Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun via AP

Johns Hopkins football coach Jim Margraff, the program’s all-time winningest coach and the recently named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year, died Wednesday at his home in Timonium. He was 58, and less than a month removed from leading the Blue Jays to their first-ever D-III national semifinal game and a program-best 12-2 record.

School officials did not release a cause of death, but said it came suddenly.

Margraff had just completed his 29th season coaching at his alma mater, where he played quarterback and graduated in 1982 as the program’s career leader in passing yards and touchdowns. After a few assistant coaching stops, he took over as head coach at Johns Hopkins in the summer of 1990.

“Jim Margraff was a thoughtful, humble, passionate, and exceptionally talented leader and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time,” Johns Hopkins athletic director Alanna W. Shanahan said in a statement. “He left an indelible impact on all he touched and he made us all better. We will forever be thankful for the unparalleled experiences he provided for so many over the course of his highly successful career.”

Margraff completed the 2018 season with a career record of 221-89-3, as the Blue Jays ended the year with a 28-20 loss to 13-time national champion Mount Union. At Hopkins, Margraff won a Centennial Conference-record 14 league championships and advanced to the playoffs 10 times. His 221 wins are also the most by any college football coach in Maryland state history. He was inducted to the Johns Hopkins Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

In 2015, we profiled the Blue Jays football team, which ran through the regular season undefeated and was in search of a deep playoff run.

Friends, fellow coaches, and admirers shared their public condolences upon release of the sad news on Wednesday, including the Ravens and coach John Harbaugh, who praised Margraff as a “highly respected member of the Baltimore community and an icon at Johns Hopkins.”

A memorial service will be held on Johns Hopkins’ Homewood campus, with more details to be announced by the school.

Additionally, Margraff is a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year award, which will be announced Tuesday.

Margraff was originally from the north shore of Long Island, where he was a standout high school quarterback and baseball player before heading south to Baltimore. He broke many of his passing records at Johns Hopkins while throwing to Bill Stromberg, now the president and CEO of T. Rowe Price.

Margraff is survived by his wife, Alice, and children Megan, James, and Will. Alice Margraff is a 1989 Johns Hopkins graduate, and Megan Margraff graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2017.




Meet The Author

Writer and editor Corey McLaughlin has contributed to Baltimore since 2015. He's also written for The New York Times, Newsday, and several other outlets.



You May Also Like

The Chatter

American Ninja Warrior Taking Over Rash Field This Weekend

Hopefuls from the area are excited to compete in front of a raucous hometown crowd.

The Chatter

Loyola Lacrosse’s Pat Spencer Readies for One Last NCAA Tournament Ride

One of the game’s all-time scoring greats plays at home for the last time Saturday.

On The Town

Preakness Parties and Drinks to Celebrate the Big Race

From frozen drinks to bus parties, here are the best ways to toast the middle jewel.


The Chatter

Gino Marchetti Was Feared on the Gridiron and Beloved in Baltimore

The legendary Colts defensive end is remembered fondly by those in the Italian community.

Sports

The Bid & The Kid

In 1979, a 19-year-old kid from Dundalk rode Spectacular Bid to Preakness glory.

The Chatter

Maryland’s “Bmore Guys” Welcome Us to March Madness

Mount Saint Joseph’s alums Jalen Smith and Darryl Morsell powered the Terps’ first-round NCAA win.

Connect With Us