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1918 Football Season > J. Thomas Keady

J. Thomas Keady

Bio: One of the toughest things to do is coach. An even more difficult task is to coach two sports. Tom Keady's versatility took coaching to another level as he not only coached three sports, but he was also extremely successful on the fields and the basketball court.

Keady holds the record for best winning percentage (.706) of any Lehigh football mentor and the best winning percentage (.566) of any baseball coach who coached for more than five years. He was Lehigh's first ever paid basketball coach and he guided the team to a 12-2 mark in his only season at the helm.

Keady's football squads accumulated a 55-22-3 mark during a nine-year span, and those teams never had a losing season. The worst year came in 1918 when the Brown and White registered a 3-3 season. The best year on the football field came in 1914 when Lehigh was 8-1 with the only loss coming to a powerhouse Yale team. Keady helped develop and coached "Pat" Pazzetti '15, Lehigh's initial First Team All-American football player.
On the diamond, Keady passed the 100-win mark over an 11-year period. The team was 105-80-3 with eight seasons above the .500 mark. At one point, the baseball team was 41-16, topped by a 15-5 mark in 1916. In 1917, his club beat out Holy Cross for the mythical national collegiate championship.

As the same still stands for most Lehigh coaches today, Keady's record against Lafayette is still used as a benchmark. His football teams were an impressive 6-3 on the gridiron and 15-18 in baseball. He was the head coach of the 1917 Lehigh football team that ran up the most lopsided victory in the nation's most-played rivalry. That team pounded the Leopards by a 78-0 count. Keady was a 1905 graduate of Dartmouth College where he starred in football and baseball and began his coaching career. He coached at all levels from high school and college to the professional ranks of baseball.

A minor league baseball player and collegiate umpire, Keady is also known for authoring Dartmouth's famed football fight song, "As the Backs Go Tearing By."

A native of Wakefield, MA, Keady passed away in February of 1964. He is survived by six grandchildren: J. Thomas Ready, Michele Ready, Deidre Ready, Sally Blakey, Sheila Ready, and Rathleen O'Leary.

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