Skip to main content

College coaching veteran Joe Lee Dunn has passed

The coaching profession lost a legend with the passing of Joe Lee Dunn, a forty year veteran with four SEC stops as a defensive coordinator.

Joe Lee Dunn, a veteran college defensive coordinator whose career spans over four decades, has sadly passed on.

Considered by many in the coaching profession as one the of the Godfathers of the 3-3-5, Dunn coordinated defenses at eight different colleges, including four different SEC stops at South Carolina, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Mississippi State. 

While he was one of the most well respected defensive coordinators in the game, Dunn spent a total of four seasons as a head coach. First at New Mexico from 1983-86, Dunn went 17-30 overall, with his best season coming in year one when they finished 6-6.

He got a second shot after two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Ole Miss when he was promoted to head coach in 1994 when the school decided to move on from Billy Brewer just before the start of the season. In one season with the Rebels, he went 4-7.

In 1999, while the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State, Dunn was a finalist for the Broyles Award that is given annually to the best assistant coach in college football. 

Dunn last two coaching stops were with Hal Mumme as his defensive coordinator, first at New Mexico State and then at McMurry (D-III - TX) before he stepped away from the sideline.

Other coaching stops for Dunn include Chattanooga (where he also played), Memphis, and Ridgeway HS (TN).

The coaching community lost a true legend today, please join us in praying for his family.