Former PSFCA Director John Durham left his mark on high school football in PA

Written by: Billy Splain on January 7, 2022. Photo from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Long time PSFCA board member and 1988 Director John Durham passed away Thursday. Durham spent 32 years coaching at the high-school level. He spent 21 years at Keystone Oaks and 11 years at Bradford before joining the college ranks in 1997. Durham compiled a 158-144-15 record as a head coach. His high school coaching career ended in 1996 at KO.

After his high school coaching career Durham worked as a defensive consultant and secondary coach at Washington & Jefferson College, a perennial Division III powerhouse in nearby Washington, Pa. In five of his six seasons at W&J, the Presidents won the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship. He then moved on to Cal U where he worked with the defensive backs and was a defensive consultant.

According to Mike White from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, “John Durham was one of most colorful characters in WPIAL football coaching history.  He once made Sports Illustrated for a quote on an opponent’s 2-point conversion off fake kick: “I told my players, ‘Watch the fake,’ and that’s what they did. They watched the fake.”

Durham was 84 years old at the time of his passing.