Coach Dick Voris (Memorial Scholarship))

Coach Dick Voris (Memorial Scholarship))

Dick Voris was all football long before he became head coach of the legendary Hartnell College 1952 Junior Rose Bowl squad.

He played center for the Santa Cruz High football team and continued his playing career for what was then called Salinas Junior College before graduating in 1942. Voris spent the next four years with the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII in the Marshall Islands.

Voris continued his education at San Jose State and was center on the football team. He was inducted into the San Jose State Hall of Fame in 1998.

He later became the head football coach at Hanford High and then James Lick High in San Jose. In 1952 Voris was named head football coach at Hartnell College, andthus began perhaps the greatest two-year run in school history. The Panthers went a combined 20-0-1 in 1952, 1953.

Hartnell became the only Northern California team to ever be invited to play in the historic 1952 Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena – a game that became the stuff of legends. The Panthers went about 80 yards in a do-or-die drive to score the tying touchdown after time expired. A penalty kept the drive alive in a game that ended in an exhilarating 20-20 tie that kept nearly the entire city of Salinas in suspense while listening to it on the radio.

His two unbeaten years at Hartnell caught the attention of the Los Angeles Rams, who hired him as an assistant coach. The next year he became the defensive line
coach at Army. In 1958 NFL Hall of Famer Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers hired Voris to coach the receivers and tight ends and become the Director of Personnel. The Pack won back-to-back NFL titles in 1961-1962 and their dynasty was off and running.

Voris went on to coach with the San Franciso 49ers, St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Colts, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He retired as an NFL coach in 1981, but continued to coach high school football in Florida for several more years.

He passed away on Dec. 26, 2008.


The Coach Dick Voris Memorial Scholarship, established in 2008, is awarded to football players with 2 or more years of participation in a program who demonstrate financial need and athletic ability, in order to support their academic success.