Johns Hopkins University’s longtime football coach, Jim Margraff, has died suddenly at age 58. Having just completed perhaps his best season ever, Margraff passed away on Wednesday at home in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Daily Mail says that Coach Margraff will be remembered as the winningest coach in Johns Hopkins history, after a career at the Baltimore university which spanned 29 years. Just one month ago, Margraff was named the NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year.
But before Jim Margraff was a coach at JHU, he was the team’s quarterback — which brings his time on the Homewood Campus to 33 years. He’s survived by his wife, Alice, and three children — Megan, James, and Will.
Johns Hopkins Director of Athletics and Recreation, Alanna Shanahan, released a statement in honor of Coach Margraff.
“Jim Margraff was a thoughtful, humble, passionate, and exceptionally talented leader and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time. He left an indelible impact on all he touched, and he made us all better. We will forever be thankful for the unparalleled experiences he provided for so many over the course of his highly successful career.”
Margraff’s career statistics at Johns Hopkins were 221-89-3.
The Baltimore Sun provided additional information about Margraff’s health, indicating that the coach had a congenital heart defect which required open heart surgery in March of 2005. Margraff then had a follow-up procedure in July of the same year, to drain fluid which had accumulated around his heart and lungs. It is this heart condition that killed Margraff’s father at the age of 48.
Coach Margraff was a well-liked fixture on campus, and he was loved by his players and by his colleagues. Hopkins Blue Jays men’s lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala says that he is shocked with the loss of the coach.
“For Johns Hopkins, and in particular our athletic department and our football program, it’s devastating news. As wonderful a coach he was and as great a year as they had and as much success as they’ve had, what stands out to me about him was just what a wonderful man he was. He was kind. He had a quiet intensity. He was a great father and husband and a really caring coach.”
Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh shared a statement on behalf of his organization to express their sadness that a coach who had inspired so many with his “class, determination, and leadership” had passed.
“Our hearts go out to the entire Margraff and JHU family,” the statement read.