John Varnell

From Wikitia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John Varnell
Add a Photo
Born (1941-05-13) May 13, 1941 (age 83)
Kermit, Texas
  • Football Player
  • Educator

John Varnell (born May 13, 1941 in Kermit, Texas) was an American football player and educator who played defensive end and many other positions under fabled coach Joe Kerbal at West Texas State University. Varnell was elected captain of the 1962 WTSU team that went 9-2 and eventually winning the Sun Bowl 15-14 over Ohio University. [1] [2]

After playing in the Southwest Challenge Bowl in Corpus Christi, Texas, and the East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco, California, he entered the 1964 pro-football draft where he was selected with the 33rd pick by the Houston Oilers in the American Football League (AFL) and the 91st pick in the National Football League (NFL) by the Los Angelos Rams. [3] [4]

After the 1964 season, there was a coaching change in Houston and Varnell chose to move to the NFL and play for the Rams who had also drafted him in the previous year. He broke his neck in the preseason and never played in a regular season game for the Rams. While recovering from the neck injury, and still under contract by the Rams, Varnell was recruited by the Toronto Argonauts to play in the CFL. An arrangement was made to compensate the Rams to release Varnell from his contract and Varnell went to Canada. The Argonauts finished 5-9 that year and Varnell had an unfortunate career ending knee injury. [5] [6]

After an injury plagued professional football career in 1966, Varnell returned to Texas to complete his Bachelors of Science at WTSU. Later he completed his Masters of Science at Sul Ross in 1976. He coached football and other sports teaching mathematics, geometry, and physics in many Texas High Schools and one College including Amarillo High, Springlake-Earth, Tulia, Big Spring, Ector High School in Odessa, Thomas Jefferson, Spruce, Woodrow Willson, and South Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas. While teaching and coaching at Woodrow Wilson in 1996, Varnell was inducted to the Who's Who Among America's Teachers." [5]

Varnell passed away on October 30, 2011 in Denton, Texas leaving his loving wife, Janice whom he married on June 5, 1964. He is also survived by two children and two grandchildren.


  1. Tony the Tiger, Sun Bowl. "Sun Bowl Recap". The Sun Bowl Game. The Sun Bowl. Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  2. "via Sports About logos 1964 Los Angeles Rams Draftees". PRO FOOTBALL REFERENCE. PRO FOOTBALL REFERENCE. Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  3. WTSU. "John Varnell". West Texas State University. Retrieved July 7, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "1964 Houston Oilers Draftees". PRO FOOTBALL REFERENCE. PRO FOOTBALL REFERENCE. Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 THE HEARALD STAFF. "Varnell often over-looked pro from Plainview 03-14-2004". MyPlainview. The Plainview Herald. Retrieved March 12, 2004.
  6. "Pro Football Archives Johnny Varnell". Pro Football Archives. Pro Football Archives.

External links

Add External links

This article "John Varnell" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.