William Hilton Sargent (February 25, 1907 – March 18, 1963) was an American college, high school, and professional football coach. He served as the head coach at Loyola Marymount University from 1947 to 1948. Sargent also coached the Los Angeles Bulldogs and Hollywood Rangers, professional teams that played in California-based leagues. He led those clubs to capture the Pacific Coast Professional Football League and the American Football League championships, respectively.
|Born||February 25, 1907|
|Died||March 18, 1963 56) (aged|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1931–1936||Loyola (CA) (freshmen)|
|1937–1938||Loyola HS (CA)|
|1939–1940||Loyola (CA) (line)|
|1941–1946||Loyola HS (CA)|
|1945–1946||Los Angeles Bulldogs|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1 American Football League (1944)|
1 Pacific Coast Professional Football League (1946)
3 Catholic League (H.S.) (1944–1946)
Sargent attended Loyola Marymount University, where he played on the football team as a left end from 1928 to 1930, including a year under head coach Mike Pecarovich. In 1930, he played alongside two of his brothers on the Loyola line; Ted and George Sargent played at left tackle and left guard, respectively.
After college, Sargent remained at his alma mater as its freshman team coach, a role in which he served through the 1936 season. Sargent resigned in April 1937 to take over as head coach at Loyola High School, also in Los Angeles, California, "where he built up an enviable record," according to the Spokane Daily Chronicle.
In November 1938, Loyola Marymount head coach Tom Lieb stepped down, and some favored Sargent as his replacement. The Loyola newspaper described him as a popular choice on campus due to his reputation as one of the best ends in school history, his experience as the freshman coach, and because many students had attended Loyola High. However, the position ultimately went to Mike Pecarovich, his former college coach who returned for a second stint at the school. The following February, Pecarovich hired Sargent as a line coach.
In 1941, Sargent was again coach at Loyola High School. In February, he was mentioned as a candidate for the vacant head coaching position at Ventura Junior College. He led the Loyola High Cubs to three consecutive Catholic League championships from 1944 to 1946.
California professional teams
In 1944, Sargent also coached the Hollywood Rangers in the short-lived American Football League of the Pacific Coast. He led the team to a perfect 11–0 record for the best finish in the eight-team league during its only season. The United Press credited some of the success to Sargent's decision to move former USC end Bob Winslow to quarterback, which it called a "brilliant stroke of genius."
In June 1945, Sargent took over as head coach for the Los Angeles Mustangs, formerly of the AFL, which continued to play as an independent. By November, Sargent was coach of the Los Angeles Bulldogs, a member of the Pacific Coast Professional Football League. That month, the club signed Frankie Albert, famed former Stanford quarterback. Sargent held that position through the 1946 season. On January 19, 1947, Los Angeles beat the Tacoma Indians, 38–7, to capture the league championship.
Around this time, boxer Joe Louis organized an all-star game intended to pit a collegiate team of recently graduated players—possibly to feature such stars as Charley Trippi, Buddy Young, Alex Agase, and Burr Baldwin—against a team of professional players. The game was scheduled for January 26, and the pros were to be coached by Sargent. In response, the PCPFL announced that it would bar its players from participating. Rufus J. Klawans, the league president, threatened to "blacklist" any of the league's players who participated in the unsanctioned event. However, members of the Bulldogs vowed to play in the all-star game anyway. Sargent devised a remedy for the situation: he would release the players before the game and re-sign them shortly afterward. The organizers ran into difficulty when the league players demanded more money after they learned Buddy Young, former University of Illinois star halfback, would be paid $5,000 for his professional debut in the contest. The Friday before the game, Sargent instructed his players not to participate. The game was cancelled due to the financial difficulties, which caused Louis to lose the $7,500 he had invested.
Return to college
In February 1947, Loyola Marymount hired Sargent as its head coach and athletic director, and awarded him a five-year contract. He said that he aimed to field the best possible team immediately and to rebuild the program for the future. The Lions managed only three wins in each of his two seasons, and Sargent compiled a 6–12–1 record. He did accomplish his second goal, however, and was credited with recruiting an excellent class in 1948. He resigned both of his athletic posts mid-season on November 10, 1948 at the recommendation of his physician.
Sargent later worked in the petroleum industry and traveled extensively. He was a vice president and the director of oil tool sales for the Sargent Engineering Corp.
Sargent died on March 18, 1963 in Lynwood, California at the age of 56. Sargent suffered an apparent heart attack while at St. Francis Hospital.
Head coaching record
- Pecarovich Installs Rockne System at Loyola College; LIONS UNDERGO GRID REVAMPING New Coach Uses Notre Dame Methods on Squad Thirteen Letter Men Back on Pigskin Machinc No Sensational Results Are Expected This Year, The Los Angeles Times, October 1, 1928.
- Brothers Star on Lot Grid Teams, Herald-Journal, December 12, 1930.
- LOYOLA FROSH TO USE SYSTEM OF GRAY FOG, The Los Angeles Times, October 22, 1931.
- Sargent Honored, The Los Angeles Times, November 9, 1936.
- Byrne New Loyola Coach; Grid Star of 1936 Replaces Sargent; Rozier Also Signed, The Los Angeles Times, April 15, 1937.
- Loyola Cubs Smother Foes; Sargent's Gridders Annex Catholic Title in 19-to-0 Game, The Los Angeles Times, November 26, 1937.
- Bill Sargent, Loyola High Coach, Will Be Assistant To Mike Pecarovich at Loyola University, Spokane Daily Chronicle, February 22, 1939.
- Pacific Coach Coaches Hit By Wolves' Howl, The Telegraph-Herald, November 23, 1938.
- Button, Button, Who's Going To Be Next Coach At Ventura Jaysee, Oxnard Press-Courier, February 25, 1941.
- Loyola Scout High in Praise of Undefeated San Jose Team; Spartans Boast Strong Backs Prune-land Fans Rate Squad as One of Best on Pacific Coast, The Los Angeles Times, November 15, 1939.
- Scouts Plan Honor Court Here Friday, Oxnard Press-Courier, June 2, 1941.
- Bill Sargent Named Coach at Loyola U., The Los Angeles Times, Feb 5, 1947.
- Coast Pro League Tilts Lid Sunday, The Milwaukee Journal, August 31, 1944.
- PCPFL: 1940-45 By Bob Gill Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Coffin Corner, Vol. 4, No. 7, 1982.
- Coaches Moan Rangers' Luck In Grid Pool, Oxnard Press-Courier, September 19, 1944.
- Matthews To Coach Hollywood Pros, San Jose News, June 25, 1945.
- ALBERT SIGNS WITH BULLDOGS; Local Pros Get Famed Indian Ace, The Los Angeles Times, November 14, 1945.
- Bulldog Gridders Fly to Honolulu, The Los Angeles Times, Sep 17, 1946.
- Bulldogs Capture Coast Grid Title; Los Angeles Concludes Marathon Season by Topping Tacoma, 38-7, The Los Angeles Times, January 20, 1947.
- All-Star Grid Game Troubled by 'Blacklist', Times Daily, January 18, 1947.
- Young Pro Debut Off, Louis Loses $7,500, The Milwaukee Sentinel, January 26, 1947.
- Hurdle Hitch to Playing, The New York Times, Jan 22, 1947.
- Klawans Bars Players From All-Star Game, The Los Angeles Times, Jan 20, 1947.
- Raps Planned Coast Pro Star Grid Tilt, The Milwaukee Sentinel, January 19, 1947.
- Bulldogs Revolt, Will Play Sunday, The Los Angeles Times, January 21, 1947.
- Buddy's Debut as Pro Delayed, The Afro American, February 1, 1947.
- Ill Will Flares Over Canceled Grid Contest, The Los Angeles Times, January 26, 1947.
- Lions Start Rebuilding Under Bill Sargent, The Los Angeles Times, Sep 21, 1947.
- William H. "Bill" Sargent Coaching Records By Year, College Football Data Warehouse, retrieved June 10, 2011.
- Old Lions Recall the Passing Years : In 1949, three years before football ended for good at Loyola, Coaches Jordan Olivar and Jerry Neri arrived to lead the school to its last gridiron glory with an aerial attack ahead of the times., The Los Angeles Times, September 17, 1989.
- Bill Sargent Resigns Loyola Athletic Jobs, The Los Angeles Times, November 11, 1948.
- Pacific Oil World, Volume 56, p. 13, Petroleum Publishers, 1963.
- Rosary Services Slated Tonight for Bill Sargent, The Los Angeles Times, March 20, 1963.
- SARGENT, EX-GRID COACH, DIES AT 56, The Los Angeles Times, March 19, 1963.