Born in Selma, Alabama, Jordan was nicknamed "Shug" as a child because of his love for sugar cane. A 1932 graduate of Auburn, he lettered in football, baseball, and basketball while there and was voted the Most Outstanding Athlete in 1932. He was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity. After graduation, he became the head basketball coach, and an assistant football coach at Auburn. In ten seasons (1934-1942, 1945-1946) as the head basketball coach, he compiled a record of 95-77. In addition to being the winningest football coach in Auburn history, Jordan ranks fifth in wins among Tigers basketball coaches.
During World War II, he saw significant action in North Africa and Sicily before being wounded in the invasion of Normandy and receiving a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He continued in action in the Pacific theater after recovering.
Prior to being hired as Auburn's head football coach in 1951, he spent one season as an assistant coach of the Miami Seahawks of the All-America Football Conference, then four years as an assistant at the University of Georgia. In his first season, he coached the Tigers to a 5-5 record improving on the previous five straight losing seasons. After six years of Jordan's leadership, Auburn won its first SEC and AP national championships in 1957 with an undefeated record.
In 1971, Jordan's tutelage led quarterback Pat Sullivan to the Heisman Trophy. The next year, Jordan's Tigers upset heavily-favored, arch-rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl - a victory which became known by the nickname "Punt Bama Punt". In 1973, the university renamed Cliff Hare Stadium to Jordan-Hare Stadium in his honor making it the first stadium in the U.S. to be named for an active coach. When Jordan retired after the 1975 season he had amassed an enviable record of 176-83-6 for a .675 percentage and 22 winning seasons out of the 25 he had coached.
|Auburn University Head Football Coach
|Auburn University Head Men's Basketball Coach
Basketball Coaching Record
|CAREER TOTAL (BASKETBALL)||10 years||95||77|
Football Coaching Record
|TEAM||YEAR (Bowl Game)||WINS||LOSSES||TIES|
|Auburn University||1953 (Gator Bowl)||7||3||1|
|Auburn University||1954 (Gator Bowl)||8||3||0|
|Auburn University||1955 (Gator Bowl)||8||2||1|
|Auburn University||1957 (SEC and National Co-Champions)||10||0||0|
|Auburn University||1963 (Orange Bowl)||9||2||0|
|Auburn University||1965 (Liberty Bowl)||5||5||1|
|Auburn University||1968 (Sun Bowl)||7||4||0|
|Auburn University||1969 (Bluebonnet Bowl)||8||3||0|
|Auburn University||1970 (Gator Bowl)||9||2||0|
|Auburn University||1971 (Sugar Bowl)||9||2||0|
|Auburn University||1972 (Gator Bowl)||10||1||0|
|Auburn University||1973 (Sun Bowl)||6||6||0|
|Auburn University||1974 (Gator Bowl)||10||2||0|
|CAREER TOTAL (FOOTBALL)||25 years||176||83||6|
Honors and awards
- SEC Coach of the Year: 1953, 1957 (split with Wade Walker), 1963 (split with Paul Davis), 1972
- Alabama Sports Hall of Fame: 1969
- Alabama Academy of Honor: 1972
- National Football Foundation Hall of Fame: 1982
- Senior Bowl Hall of Fame: 1993
- "Ralph Jordan (February 17, 2007) Wikipedia - accessed February 20, 2007