John Jacob Hallum, whose football coaching career spanned six decades and included a stop at the University of Kentucky, died Thursday. He was 76.
Hallum, who went by Jake, was the offensive line coach under Jerry Claiborne at UK for eight years after 10 seasons holding the same position at Maryland under Claiborne.
He became a professional scout in 1992. Hallum was a national scout for the Eagles for five seasons before joining the Patriots as a regional scout.
His last official stop in the NFL was with the Cleveland Browns, but Todd Hallum said his father continued to do freelance scouting work.
"He never really retired," Todd Hallum said of his father, who last season was an offensive line coach at Georgetown College.
Todd said that his dad was always full of positive energy and loved every player he coached — from the first string to the fourth string — equally. And he never ended his commitment to football.
"There were numerous times he would stay up late at night to be sure he got all of his reports done," Todd said. "Doing all the behind-the-scenes work and talking to assistant coaches. That's part of what he enjoyed most was the camaraderie he had."
One of the players Hallum helped develop was former UK lineman Dermontti Dawson, who went on to a Hall of Fame career with the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Coach Hallum was a great guy and a heck of a coach," Dawson told the Herald-Leader. "He was always on my side. Even when I went to the pros, he was so proud of me. ... Coach Hallum would do anything for you. He would do anything to help any of his guys out."
Dawson said Hallum taught him a controlled toughness, which he obviously put to good use.
"He was always on me about not trying to knock guys out and kill people," Dawson said. "He'd say 'You gotta be patient. You're strong and athletic enough to handle these guys but you just can't try to kill 'em in one shot.'"
A four-year stint as head coach at Morehead State marked the beginning of Hallum's college coaching career.
Before joining those ranks Hallum coached high school football at his alma mater, Pickens, in South Carolina. He was an assistant at Hopkinsville for four seasons before taking over at Ashland Blazer for two years.
In 1967, Hallum guided the Tomcats to their first state championship game appearance and only title, taking the Class 2A trophy in a 19-14 win over Elizabethtown.
Hallum is survived by his wife, Mable, and two sons, Todd and Bart. A visitation is scheduled from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday at Milward Funeral Home on Southland Drive in Lexington.
A second visitation is planned in Hallum's home state on Aug. 17 at Dillard's Funeral Home in Pickens, S.C., to be followed by a private graveside service on Aug. 18.