Banks McFadden

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James "Bonnie Banks" McFadden (d. June 4, 2005) was one of Clemson's earliest sports stars, winning the Associated Press All-American title in 1938 and 1939, only the second Clemson All-American. Recruited to Clemson by Coach Jess Neely, McFadden would letter in three sports, football, basketball, and track, and would provide outstanding play in the Tigers' New Years Day upset of favored Boston College in the 1940 Cotton Bowl. After graduation in 1940, he was Clemson's highest NFL draft choice, picked at number four, and he played professionally for the Brooklyn Dodgers football team for a year before deciding to return to South Carolina.

From 1946 to 1956, McFadden served as Clemson's thirteenth basketball coach, the second of two alumni to hold the position. McFadden coached the Tigers for 10 years, tied for the longest tenure in Clemson basketball history. He was Clemson’s coach when the Tigers entered the ACC and he had an 85-131 overall record. His best season was in 1951-1952 when the Tigers had a record of 17-7, a 71 percent winning percentage.

McFadden would serve in the Clemson Athletic Department for many years. In the 1970s he was intramural director. He is buried in the Woodland Cemetery located behind Memorial Stadium.

McFadden was married to Agnes “Aggie” Rigby for 55 years before her death in 2001. He is survived by his four daughters, Lil, Patsy, Marcia, and Jan.

McFadden's achievements[edit]

  • Named All-American in both basketball (1938-1939) and football (1939).
  • Was voted the nation's most versatile athlete (1938-1939).
  • Led Clemson to its first conference basketball championship (1939).
  • Led Clemson to its first bowl game and victory over Boston College in the 1940 Cotton Bowl.
  • Won three events in the State Track Meet in one afternoon, setting records in all three of them. Earlier in the same year placed first in five events in a dual meet, scoring 25 points while the opposing team's total score was 28 points.
  • Was Clemson's first 1st round draft choice (1939 Brooklyn Dodgers).
  • Tied for longest rushing play in Clemson history (90 yards versus Presbyterian in 1939).
  • Has the most punts for over 50 yards in a game (six versus Tulane, 1939) and in a season (22 on 65 punts in 1939).
  • Held Clemson punting record (43.5) for forty years, (1939-1979).
  • First Clemson player invited to participate in the College All-Star game in Chicago.
  • Charter member in the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame and Clemson Ring of Honor.
  • Charter member in the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
  • First Clemson player ever chosen for the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.
  • Highest NFL draft pick in Clemson history (number 4 in entire 1940 draft). Defensive end Gaines Adams ties McFadden in the 2007 NFL draft when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select him fourth in the first round.

External Links[edit]


Preceded by: Rock Norman Clemson University Basketball Coaches Succeeded by: Press Maravich