Harry Keough, this state’s legendary soccer icon, who coached Saint Louis University to five NCAA championships, died Tuesday of natural causes after suffering from Alzheimer’s. He was 84.
Keough, a St. Louis native, was a member of the U.S. National Team that upset England 1-0 in the 1950 World Cup. He won eight national titles as a player and took over the SLU men’s soccer program in 1967 and led the Billikens to five NCAA titles and a program-record 213 wins before retiring in 1982.
Keough played right fullback for the U.S. National Team in the 1950 World Cup, and played for every U.S. National and Olympic team from September 1949 to July 1957. He captained the United States Olympic teams in 1952 (Helsinki, Finland) and 1956 (Melbourne, Australia).
He began coaching on the college level in 1966, leading Florissant Valley Community College in St. Louis to a 12-2-2 record and a runner-up finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament.
Keough was hired at SLU the next season in 1967, taking over for the legendary Bob Guelker. The Billikens won their sixth NCAA title in Keough’s first year. He directed the Billikens in what was widely considered their greatest era, when SLU went unbeaten in 45 consecutive matches and won four NCAA titles (1969, 1970, 1972 and 1973) in five years.