Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Arlanson, Harry, 1909-1998
Harry Arlanson (1909-1998), E1931, served as Director of Physical Education at Tufts from 1954 to 1974, although he is perhaps best remembered for his prowess as a football coach, compiling a 217-59-15 lifetime record.
Arlanson, born May 4, 1909, in Lynn, Massachusetts, received his early education in Lynn schools, where he captained his high school baseball team. He entered Tufts in 1927 as an engineer, and began actively participating in Tufts' athletics. He captained the baseball team his junior and senior year, and was also captain of the football team his senior year. After receiving his degree from Tufts in 1931, Arlanson moved on to Boston University, where he received a master's in education in 1935.
Between 1935 and 1954, Arlanson worked as director of physical education and head coach of the baseball and football teams at Weymouth high school. His coaching soon earned him the nickname, "The Magician." His football accomplishments included eight undefeated teams, six class A championships, and the Gator Bowl championship in 1950. He turned Weymouth's football team from a class C team into the most feared squad in the state. In 1954, Arlanson began work as the director of physical education at Tufts. He coached the football team for twelve years, turning them into a strong and respected squad during the fifties.
Arlanson received the Tufts University Distinguished Service Key and was named New England Coach of the Year in 1959. After stepping down from coaching the football team, Arlanson devoted much of his time to administrative duties, including roles on several ECAC and NCAA committees. After his retirement in 1974, Arlanson served as an official of the Eastern College Athletics Conference. He was elected to the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame in 1974, complementing his election to the Massachusetts Coaches Association Hall of Fame ten years earlier. In 1990, the Legion football field in Weymouth was renamed Arlanson Gridiron in his honor.
Arlanson died on March 21, 1998 at his home in East Dennis, Massachusetts.