Skip to main content

Athletic Department Records

Identifier: Series-0040

Scope and Content Note

This series contains the files of the Athletic Department of Clemson University. The series contains correspondence, memoranda, general files, sports contracts, strength training records of varsity sports (a five percent sampling), blueprints and photographs.

The bulk of the files is correspondence of the Athletic Director Bill McLellan, 1971-1985, Associate Athletic Director and Golf Coach Robert "Bobby" Robinson, 1973-1985; IPTAY Executive Secretary Joe Turner, 1980-1983; and Head Football Coach Danny Ford, 1981-1989.

Other correspondents include George Bennett and Robert Ricketts, Assistant Athletic Directors for Business; Associate Athletic Director for Public Relations Len Gough, and Head Soccer Coach I.M. Ibrahim.

Major topics in the files of the Director are letters from IPTAY members and sports fans regarding coaching staff, parking locations, seat locations, ticket priorities, distribution of ACC basketball tournament tickets, USC tickets, and bowl tickets. Much of the correspondence deals with the operations of the department. Interoffice memoranda pertain to policies and procedures for department personnel.

The correspondence of Bobby Robinson includes information about stadium operations, games, visiting teams, academic advising, scheduling, contracts, officials, traveling plans, NCAA rule interpretations and facilities. His correspondence related to his tenure as golf coach is also included.

The correspondence of Joe Turner includes letters from IPTAY members regarding parking locations, seat assignments, ticket priorities, bowl game information, IPTAY Representatives and Clemson Club meetings.

The correspondence of Danny Ford include letters from fans and IPTAY members; information on ACC and NCAA policy, interpretations, rulings, and officiating.

The correspondence files of George Bennett and Robert Ricketts reflect the business/financial operations of the department, such as revenues, expenses, transfer of funds, adjustments to revenue, and refunds.

The correspondence of Len Gough (and all remaining correspondents) concern such topics as media relations, the licensing program, the courtesy vehicle program, executive suites, corporate sponsors, television and radio operations, and special promotions.


  • 1947 - 1996
  • 1972 - 1989


Historical Sketch

Intercollegiate athletics were first played at Clemson Agricultural College in 1896 when Professor Walter Merritt Riggs coached the first Tiger athletic team in football. In the years that followed, other sports were introduced: baseball, 1900; track, 1905; basketball, 1911; tennis, 1919; golf and cross country, 1921; swimming, 1924; soccer, 1967; men's fencing, 1970-1971, wrestling, 1975-1976. In 1955 Clemson became coeducational and sports for women were added. Other sports for women achieved varsity status years later: swimming, 1974-75; basketball, fencing and tennis, 1975-1976; volleyball, field hockey, and cross country, 1977-1978.

Throughout its history, the athletic program at Clemson University was aided substantially by the organization IPTAY. This organization, whose acronym means "I Pay Ten A Year," was established on August 20, 1934, by a group of men led by Dr. Rupert Fike, a physician and 1908 Clemson graduate. This group collected $10 dues from the first 162 members. For the next twenty years, Fike and his successors, Jess Neely, Frank Howard, and E.P. Willimon, guided the organization. Annual dues for IPTAY members increased to $20 in 1969 and to $30 in 1976. Other increases followed. IPTAY contributions topped one million dollars in 1977 and in 1994 totaled over six million dollars. At that time membership was 18,500. In terms of money raised for scholarships, it was not until 1972 that IPTAY raised enough money to cover the total scholarship and operating expenses that had previously been paid by the athletic department

Since 1978, IPTAY has assisted with the funding of numerous improvements: the football stadium, the baseball stadium, the indoor tennis facility, the soccer stadium, the outdoor track, the weight room, the golf practice area, a cross country course, the Banks McFadden building, and Vickery Hall Academic Learning Center. IPTAY also provided funds for scholarships and to the Tiger Band for travel, uniforms, and equipment.


28.15 Cubic Feet (and 15 folders of photographs; 1 folder of blueprints and oversize material)

Language of Materials



The files are arranged alphabetically by topic.


Athletic Department. The files were transmitted through the Records Management Center to the University Archives in 1988 (Accession 88-127); in 1989 (Accession 89-15); in 1990 (Accession 90-34); in 1994 (Accession 94-90); and in 1995 (Accession 95-117).

Separated Material

The following items have been separated for purposes of preservation.


  1. Bookmark "A Prayer for South Carolina"


  1. Balloon Project, 5x7, B&W
  2. Balloons, 3.5x4, color
  3. Coaching Staff

    Ford, Danny/Bill Foster/unidentified man, 5x7, B&W

    Ford, Danny on sideline, 8x10, B&W

    Ford, Danny on field, 8x10, B&W

    Harper, Tom, 5x7, B&W

    Herrin, Les, 5x7, B&W

    Stokely, Nelson, 5x7, B&W

    Van Der Heyden, Larry, (2) 5x7, B&W

  4. Fans

    Aircraft, 5x7, Color

    Baby - Cuttino, Allen, 4x6, Color

    Eugene Fuller, (2), 4x6, Color

    Tiger Statues, (2) 4x6, Color

    Weatherford, Jamie, 3x5, color

    Ackerman, Wes with Coach Ford, 4x6, Color

    Kellers, Frank with Coach Ford, 4x6, Color

    Ward, Elizabeth, (Miss America 1982), 8x10, B&W

    Snapshots of Ford on TV, 1981 National Championship Game, (3) 3x5, Color

  5. Hall of Fame Inductees [1973?]

    Banks McFadden (1) 8x10, B&W

    Unidentified (3) 8x10, B&W

  6. Hall of Fame Inductees, 1977

    Adkins, Rusty, (3) 8x10, B&W

    Calvert, Jackie W.,(2) 8x10, B&W

    Fritts, George H., 8x10, B&W

    Gillespie, Frank I., 8x10, B&W

    Roy, Wallace R., (2) 8x10, B&W

    Sloan, A. Hoke, (2) 8x10, B&W

    Hall of Fame Inductee Plaques, 8x10, B&W

    Unidentified, (4) 8x10, B&W

  7. Hall of Fame Inductees, (positives) 1978

    Armstrong, F.E. “Boo”, 8x10, B&W

    Cline, Ty, 4x5, B&W

    Cline, Ty, 8x10, B&W

    Collins, Roger, 5x7, B&W

    Collins, Roger, 8x10, B&W

    Fike, Eleanor , 8x10, B&W

    Matthews, Ray, 4x5, B&W

    Matthews, Ray, 8x10, B&W

    Pressley, O.K., 8x10, B&W

    Unidentified (3)

  8. Hall of Fame Inductees, (negatives) 1978

    Armstrong, F.E. “Boo”, 4x5, B&W

    Cline, Ty, 4x5, B&W

    Mathews, Ray, 4x5, B&W

    Pressley, O.K., 4x5, B&W

  9. Hall of Fame Inductees (negatives) 1980

    Hoffman, C. Doug, 4x5, B&W

    Hudson, Robert, 4x5, B&W

    Olszewski, Harry L., 4x5, B&W

    Owens, J.C., 4x5, B&W

    Ritchie, R.R. “Red”, 4x5, B&W

    Wyndham, S.F.,4x5, B&W

  10. Hall of Fame Inductees (positives) 1981

    Berry, Joe N., 8x10, B&W

    Hamilton, R.G., 8x10, B&W

    Heisman, John, (2) 8x10, B&W

    Milford, Lee W., 8x10, B&W

    Patterson, Larry R. “Choppy”, (2) 8x10, B&W

    Waters, Charles T. (Charlie), 8x10, B&W

    White, Harvey T., 8x10, B&W

    Unidentified, 8x10, B&W

    Unidentified, (2) 8x10, Color

  11. Hall of Fame Inductees, (positives), 1982

    Hoover, Fred, accepting award, 8x10, Color

    Yockel, Vince, accepting award, 8x10, Color

    Unidentified, accepting award, 8x10, Color

    Group of inductees on the field, (2) 8x10, Color

  12. Hall of Fame Inductees (negatives), 1982

    Unidentified (5) 4x5, B&W

  13. “National Champs” Artwork

    Moore, Wayland, Artist, presenting artwork to Bill McLellan, (2) 5x7, B&W

  14. Tiger Paws and Tiger Logos

    Decorated Bicycle, (2) 3x5, Color

    National Champions Sign, 3x5, Color

    Weatherford, Jamie (age 12) Funeral Spray, 31/2x5, Color

    Swimming Pool at Anchorage Plantation, 31/2x5, Color

    Motorcycle Plate, 31/2x4, Color

    Wall Display at R.C. Edwards Junior High School, (6) 31/2x5, Color

  15. Welcome Back Dinner, 1978

    Re’generation Performance, (2) 8x10, B&W

    Group eating, 5x7, B&W, 8x10, B&W

Processing Information

Linda Ferry, LTA, Katie Lucas, student assistant, 1996-1997; Wesley Ryans, student assistant 1995.

The conversion of this finding aid to Encoded Archival Description format was made possible with a grant from the South Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board in 2009-2010. The finding aid was prepared for encoding by Carl Redd.

Athletic Department Records
2010 July 19
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Clemson University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Repository

230 Kappa St.
Clemson SC 29634 U.S.A. US