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The King Is Dead–Terrapin Legend King Corcoran Dies of Cardiac Arrest


University of Maryland Legend James King Corcoran has passed away. Corcoran attended the University of Maryland starting in 1962. He played as a back-up quarterback behind Dick Shiner and Alan Pastrana. An injury benched Corcoran for the 1963 season.[1] In 1964, he led the Terps to a 27-22 victory over Navy in the 1964 Crab Bowl Classic against Roger Staubach. In 1969, Corcoran signed a 3 year, $125,000 contract with the Pottstown Firebirds. Corcoran would lead the Firebirds to back to back championships in 1969 and 1970. His last NFL experience was with the Philadelphia Eagles, which released him in 1971. Tune in to TerpTalk Thursday night for much more on why the King was the most flamboyant QB ever at College Park.

King Corcoran, Maryland Football
27 Responses to this post.

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  1. By: Steve Johnson | On: June 28, 2009

    Yes King was the King!!!!!! I spent alot of time with the Kingman the last ten years. He did have a heart of gold and if he could help it, He would never leave you ‘broke starving and hungry’ In his own words. He was my friend and I will miss him,
    Steve Johnson



  2. By: jim gibson | On: June 28, 2009

    King was a character that I met when he judged a beauty pageant that I hosted. He was beyond a doubt one of the craziest guys I’ve ever met. But his heart was a big as his ego…(pretty big) and he was someone I consider a friend that I’m grateful for knowing. May he rest in peace….



  3. By: Ron Carreno | On: June 29, 2009

    King certainly had a heart of gold, and he will be sorely missed. He died on June 19, 2009 at the Washington Adventist Hospital. There will be a memorial service for him at Sligo SDA Church on Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at 7 pm. This is located at 7700 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. There phone is 301-270-6777. Donations towards his funeral arrangements can be sent to them, c/o King Corcoran arrangements.



  4. By: ron perlman | On: June 29, 2009

    I too met king at many beauty pageants. He was such a character, and added many laughs. He could do anything straight that most people could only do when inebriated. Nothing impressed him until I took him to a biker bar in Alabama and we were frisked instead of being carded. He was one of a kind and will be missed. May he rest in peace.



  5. By: Lee Whitehead | On: June 29, 2009

    I knew King for many years through my brother
    Jim. They broke the mold when the made him.
    He was one crazy guy with a million stories.
    Long Live the King. May he rest in peace.y



  6. By: Kelly Rankin | On: June 30, 2009

    I knew King through my mother, who worked for Jim Whitehead (Lee Whitehead’s brother) years ago. Even though I was only a preteen then, I remember King stopping by the office with stories and jokes. Each time I saw him, he always had a smile and was laughing. He was a man with such a great and big personality. Even to this day, my mother and I reminisce about the King. You are one of a kind and will truly be missed!



  7. By: Dan Lane AKA "The Gunny" | On: July 2, 2009

    I have known The “Kingman” for almost 15 years and have had the pleasure to travel around with him (Vegas, Dream Girls, Hawaiin Tropic) and there is ONE thing for sure HE was ONE of a KIND. His stories were as big as his HEART. I will miss him, especially his “Guys, Guys, Guys” with a him tapping on your shoulder the whole time. There will be Tribute/Memorial for him on July 18th
    Date: Saturday July 18th, 2009
    Time: 1:00PM
    Location: Silver Spring Masonic Temple
    410 University Blvd, West
    Silver Spring, Md 20901

    **There will be food and drink at the event.
    ** If interested please contact me
    **Any donations can be made out to Dan Lane and mailed to the following address:

    Dan Lane
    1221 Devere Drive
    Silver Spring, MD 20903
    301-439-8604
    gunnydan98@yahoo.com

    I will miss you Big Guy!



  8. By: ROn Rice | On: July 8, 2009

    Hi everyone- Thanks to Jim Whitehad for keeping me updated on the death of our old friend King Corcoran. I created and hosted willingly, the King to our Miss Hawaiian tropic internation l beauty pageants in many locations and through the years. He was a fun guy and a pleaseure to be around- maybe he had too big a love , personality and heart as he went away too soon- until I read his accomplishments from you guys I had no idea he did all those things. He will be missed by me and all who knew him-
    RR



  9. By: Emmett "Dick" Melcher | On: July 12, 2009

    My brother, Mickey and I played football
    at Maryland with the ” King”. I am so
    sorry for his passing. All of us “old Terps”
    are on a limited time frame!! Let us all
    get together, on Letter Winners day,
    for one more Win for the Terps!!

    Go Terps
    Dickey Melcher



  10. By: jenya golubeva | On: July 13, 2009

    I have known king for several years now and can say that he was one hell of a character. I had the chance to go to bahamas and meet a lot of interesting people through king. He was always loud, fun, and occasionally inappropriate but that’s what made him THE KING. He was a blast to be around and listen to all of his truly insane and unbelievable stories. Between “recruiting” girls for him and going out in baltimore I have had many laughs with him. I will miss him with all my heart and may he rest in peace.
    ~jenya



  11. By: Rick Brown | On: July 14, 2009

    I met King when I was working as a waiter at the Embers restaurant in the summer of 1966. We had started a “midnight football ” league between the restaurants, Phillips, Embers, etc. and King wasn’t allowed to play but he taught me and others how to catch a football! Then we’d go chase women and boy, he was the best!

    I had kept in touch with him as he began his polo career and saw him around Potomac and Hunters Inn over the years. I figured he must have moved away, as he hadn’t been around for many years.

    Very sad, he will be misssed, nobody could tell a story like the king!

    Tony (Puca), if you’re seeing this call me, I can’t find you!

    Rick 301 367-4489



  12. By: Mike "Killer" Kildea | On: July 14, 2009

    As a perennial red shirt I never caught a pass or took a handoff from the “King”. But that didn’t stop him from driving me around in former Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara’s used limo — complete with siren and bull horn. Who knows how Jimmy got the car but then again, he was the KING!



  13. By: Chip Myrtle | On: July 15, 2009

    Jimmy Corcoran and I were sometime room-
    mates on the eve of a football game (while we were at Maryland) and fulltime roommates on
    the eve of a game in Denver (NFL).He was the reason I made the Broncos.I knew him to be a loving husband (Mary Lou) and loving father -Jimmy Jr. and Kelly (Kel-Kel).He was a member of the Broncos,NY Jets,Patriots,Eagles,Philada-
    delphia Bell(WFL),Pottstown Firebirds(PA), and the Canadian Football League.No one could do in Football what Jimmy accomplished without being focussed and dedicated to the Game.Foot-
    ball is too demanding and difficult.Jimmy’s Career was documented and aired as THE halftime entertainment for an early SuperBowl.
    Sonny J. Shannon (formerly Teddy Jaskawitz),
    Michael (the original) ‘Golden Boy’ Patryn (now a Big Time Attorney in California),Michael Kel-
    logg (California Supreme Court Justice), Jay Nus
    baum (Xerox), and myself owe a debt of grati-
    tude to Jim Corcoran for whatever success we may have achieved.His one ‘toy’ was a Mark III
    with a built in Loud Speaker;Jimmy had a smile on his face,while he asked the ‘riff raff’ to kindly get out of the street,while ‘The King’ drove by.
    ‘The King NEVER drank alcohol,smoked cigar-
    ettes,or used illegal drugs.NEVER! And he gave a whole lot more than he received.Jimmy is with another King today,as the Heavenly hosts welcome him to Eternity! Thanks Jimmy!
    chip myrtle



  14. By: JIm Sharrock | On: July 15, 2009

    Whane I was a kid he must have thrown me 8,000 passes in the old Tennis Courts in Pershing Field in Jersey City. He was good friends with my older brother Vinny. (that why
    I got to play catch w/ him) What an arm, what a great guy. RIP KING.



  15. By: art brzostowski | On: July 16, 2009

    King was a Jr when I entered Maryland—–He came to the locker room on “Freshman Intro nite” welcomed me to Maryland——–told me he’d look after me &if I needed help see him–(I’m from the next town to Jersey City–BAYONNE) Well he steered me in the right direction , bought cokes whenever he ‘d meet me off campus. I remember my sophmore year, King was next to me on the bench with sunglasses on—-“just being the King”——I remember when Coach Nugent asked Jim if he was dressed well for the PSU game on TV—King said wear the Chesterfield coat—he did.And I remember the bull horn & him telling Namath in Jet camp that he was the KING———-I could go on & on —–We lost a great teamate & friend—-RIP, Jimmy——you’ll always be the King.



  16. By: thom loverro | On: July 20, 2009

    My name is Thom Loverro, and I am a sports columnist with The Washington Times. I am interested in writing a column about King Corcoran and would like to talk to a few of his friends for some stories. In particular, I would like to talk to anyone who was at the tribute on Saturday. My phone number is 443-745-5491 and my email is hitmejb@aol.com



  17. By: Tony Puca | On: July 20, 2009

    I was entering the University of Maryland just as Jimmy Corcoran was leaving but we lived a few blocks away from each other in Potomac and I met him in 1972 and became his friend. The term met him is actually wrong as it shoud be said I became his friend and being King’s freind was quite different from being other persons friends. You see other people had classifications of frineds but the King had ony one kind. A friend of the King’s was a friend for life, a friend he met with a hugh bear hug when he saw you even after a few years, a friend he made feel as the most important person in he world and while he thought a great deal about himself he thought more of every ones of his frineds.

    There have been a lot of stories about how great a person he was and they are all true as his love and concern for others and his pride and self promoting of himself so I will not continue to write what has already been said.

    Instead I will say that there is a saying that he was as good as they came, but in Kings case he was even better.

    I’ll be very simple and to the point while Jimmy though a great deal about himself and being the center of attention the truth be told he thought more about every person he knew and wanted to make them all better than him.

    Jimmy was a kind, sweet considerate human being who purpose was to make himself happy and his friends ever happier.

    If there is a heaven I envision King making his entrance exactly as he did at one of my New Yera’s Even parties in the late 70’s when he opened the front door at after 1:00AM and announced at the top of his lungs, ” The King is here, ther party can now begin.”

    That is how I see him entering Heaven. And when he does he will finally be home.

    Jimmy Corcoran was a sweet, kind, considearte and loving human being who made every body better just be knowing them.

    May god bless you Jimmy.

    Your friend,

    Tony Puca



  18. By: Don Gordon | On: July 22, 2009

    Jimmy and I were very close friends and occasional business partners back in the ’70s. We spent a lot of time, in his own words, “terrorizing” the nightclubs of Philly, D.C. & Lauderdale, but also spent quieter, more serious business & social time together.
    Looking back now, with regret, we lost contact by the mid ’80s. I’m not one to reminisce, but after just now hearing of his death, all the thoughts of the old times are bringing both a smile to my face & a tear to my eyes.
    Rest in Peace,
    Don Gordon



  19. By: Phil Petry | On: July 23, 2009

    I was there when the King was at Maryland and he did bring a lot of color to every place he appeared. I believe your facts are a bit s cued re: The MD-Navy game. The King never played in that game. I am sorry he has passed at such a young age, I am glad I got to know him for the brief time we were together at Md. I still hear stories about the “King” 45 years later.



  20. By: Eileen McNicholas | On: August 5, 2009

    I knew king when I lived in Baltimore ,in fact he became my room mate and one of my closest friends.
    I have lost contact with him since I moved to Washington DC over the last 5 years. I was planning on going to visit Baltimore out of the blue and perhaps find him and surprize him. H e was such a character. I had his scrap book in my home for years because he was never settling down anywhere and when he finally got his own apartment I gave it back to him.
    King was a legend and a great friend. I heard the news last week that he died and it broke my heart.
    If there is anyone out there who spent some time with him over the last year or two please e-mail me.
    I am truly sad that I had left it so long without contacting him and now its too late.



  21. By: Bob Schnebly | On: August 22, 2009

    The “King” is dead… May he rest in peace! All of us in the Mid~Atlantic region will miss you. Long after you wonderful Semi~Pro Football career ended you were still the “King” to so many of us.

    Thank you for being you…

    Bob



  22. By: Bob Schnebly | On: August 22, 2009

    The “King” is dead… May he rest in peace! All of us in the Mid~Atlantic region will miss you. Long after your wonderful Semi~Pro Football career ended you were still the “King” to so many of us.

    Thank you for being you…

    Bob



  23. By: Eileen McNicholas | On: September 30, 2009

    I realize that in the above post , I did not leave an e-mail address. As I said , unfortunately I did not get to see “Kingman”, before he died and it is too late now. If there is anyone out there who spent time with him in the last two years or so please e-mail me , it would truly mean so much to me. My e-mail is: eileenirish@comcast.net



  24. By: Alan Pastrana | On: September 1, 2010

    The King approached me immediately after Freshman Football orientation night in 1964 at The University of Maryland and said to me after our first scrimmage, “kid, you throw the ball well, you’re gona be a good quarterback”. That really was the only positive feedback i received during my freshman football season.I have nothing but admiration and respect for a senior player that “gave me inspiration on the field of football”. Thank you Jim…I will never forget you and your kindness to a “totally lost freshman kid”.



  25. By: Chuck Mannix | On: September 19, 2010

    The King pledged KA at the Univ. of MD in 1963 and while never initiated he played on our fraternity sports teams and was a remarkable athlete. I was vice pres. and pledge trainer when Jim was a pledge and I can only describe him as larger than life! He was incorrigible but I loved the guy and spent a lot of time covering for him. I last saw him in Wash. DC in 1977. He said he was trying out for the Redskins. I am sorry to hear about his death. I live now in the Phila. area and he is still a legend around here.



  26. By: Joan Palmer | On: October 13, 2012

    I went to Md from 1964 to 1970. I remember these great guys and it was an exciting time.
    I took off to be a stew in 67 and when I came back Kenny Ambrusko gave me a job at the Vous as a bartender. All the team would come in and I do still remember Jimmy.



  27. By: Raymond Humphrey | On: October 17, 2012

    In which game in the 1962 season did King Corcoran throw his two TD passes in? Any help would be appreciated!

    Ray Humphrey



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