Theodore W. McIntyre, 72, who had coached many of the championship teams of the old Armstrong High School in Washington, died of a heart ailment Sunday at Howard University Hospital.

He became an assistant coach at Armstrong in 1935 and was made head coach two years later. When Armstrong closed in 1958, he became football coach at Eastern High School, retiring in 1972.

Mr. McIntyre also taught biology at both schools.

He was coach at Armstrong in 1953 when the football team of that all-black high school played John Carroll High School, a predominantly white school, in a secret scrimmage. It was the first such encounter in this city.

The Supreme Court still had another year to go before it handed down its Brown vs. Board of Education decision ordering desegregation of the schools.

The scrimmage took place at Carroll. The Armstrong players were piled on a flat-bed truck and carted off to Carroll without knowing where they were going.

Everyone agreed later it was a memorable morning.No score was kept but Armstrong was called the better of the two teams.

Many years later, Bob Dwyer, who was Carroll athletic director at the time and had arranged the scrimmage, said Mr. McIntyre "was the best high school football coach of his era . . ."

In 1976, Mr. McIntyre was selected to make the presentation when the late Len Ford became the first Washington native to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ford, who played with the Cleveland Browns. had honed his skills as an Armstrong player under the tutelage of Mr. McIntyre.

Numerous plaques, trophies and awards also had gone to Mr. McIntyre over the years.

He was born and grew up in Montgomery, Ala. He graduated from Morgan State College in Baltimore, where he played end on the football team and guard on the basketball team. He earned a master's degree from Columbia University.

Before coming to Washington, he was a teacher and coach at Bluefield Institute in West Virginia.

Mr. McIntyre, who lived in Washington, was active in the Metropolitan Police Boys Club and St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church.

He is survived by a brother, Bradford, of Cape May, N.J.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Heart Association.