BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Johns Hopkins head football coach Jim Margraff died suddenly in his Baltimore-area home on Wednesday.
The university’s athletic department confirmed in a statement that Margraff passed away at the age of 58.
Margraff just finished his 29th season as head coach, and he was the all-time winningest coach in Johns Hopkins football history.
Johns Hopkins released a statement following Margraff’s death:
“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,” Johns Hopkins Director of Athletics Alanna W. Shanahan stated. “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.”
A 1982 Johns Hopkins graduate, Margraff is survived by his wife, Alice, and children Megan, James and Will. Alice Margraff is a 1989 Johns Hopkins graduate, while Megan Margraff graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2017.
He left behind his immediate family and players including quarterback David Tammaro, who looked up to him like a father.
“He was always looking out for my best interest. He really cared so much more about his players than just winning games,” Tammaro said.
Margraff’s record was one for the books. Under his tenure, Hopkins had 221 wins- the most in state history.
He was also recently named the Division III football coach of the year, after coaching at Johns Hopkins for almost three decades.
“It’s sad, it breaks your heart,” said Chris Ely.
Chris Ely, a game announcer for Hopkins football, said the coaches integrity will live on.
“That perhaps is what will mark his legacy was that he was a good man that cared about his kids that did his job right and was very successful,” Ely said.
Tributes have appeared from colleagues and competitors.
“So sad at the loss of a close friend, terrific person and outstanding football coach,” said Hopkins’ baseball coach.
University of Mount Union head coach called him a “first-class person and great football coach,”
Terps Football wrote in a statement, “We are incredibly saddened to learn of coaching legend Jim Margraff’s passing,”
Not only was Margraff the head football coach for 29 years, but Johns Hopkins was also his alma mater. His wife and daughter also graduated from Johns Hopkins.
The Bluejays won their division and advanced to the NCAA semifinals. The team will now have to move forward with the coach’s legacy.
“Coach Margraff is Hopkins football and everyone will tell you that. And I know that he won’t be on the sidelines with us, but will be in all of our minds,” Tammaro said.
Margraff leaves behind his wife and three children. Once finalized, a memorial will be held on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus.