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All-America selection, North Carolina coach Barclay dead at 87

October 7, 1997

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ George Barclay, North Carolina’s first All-America football selection and a former Tar Heels coach, died Sunday night at his Asheville home. He was 87.

Barclay’s cause of death was not immediately known Monday, although a family member said it appeared to have been heart failure.

A native of Natrona, Pa., Barclay played offensive guard and linebacker at North Carolina and later became the head coach of the Tar Heels, posting a record of 11-18-1 from 1953 to 1955.

Barclay was a third-team Associated Press All-America selection at guard in 1933, and earned first-team honors with the AP and several other All-America teams the following year.

Barclay played briefly with the Brooklyn Dodgers of the old professional National League after graduation before a knee injury ended his career during his first season.

He decided to return to the college ranks, where he coached at several schools over the next 30 years.

He was an assistant at Virginia Military Institute, North Carolina, Dartmouth and Oberlin before heading to Maryland, where he joined the coaching staff of former Tar Heels teammate Jim Tatum in 1947.

He worked in College Park for three years before getting his first head coaching job at Washington & Lee. He won the Southern Conference title in his first year with the Generals in 1950.

He returned to Chapel Hill in 1952 to help coach Carl Snavely work with the new Split-T offense at North Carolina. When Snavely left after the 1952 season, Barclay was promoted to Snavely’s head coaching position.

Tatum took over for Barclay after he stepped aside following the 1955 season, but Tatum rehired him as an assistant. He worked under Tatum and later Jim Hickey through the 1966 season.

Barclay’s No. 99 uniform at North Carolina was recently retired.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete Monday night.

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