Amos Alonzo Stagg: Wikis


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Amos Alonzo Stagg
Amos Alonzo Stagg, 1906
Sport Football
Born August 16, 1862(1862-08-16)
Place of birth West Orange, New Jersey
Died February 17, 1965 (aged 102)
Place of death Stockton, California
Career highlights
Overall NCAA: 314–199–35
CFBDW: 330–190–35
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
2 National (1905, 1913)
7 Big Ten (1899, 1905, 1907–1908, 1913, 1922, 1924)
5 NCAC (1936, 1938, 1940–1942)
Playing career
1885–1889 Yale
Position End
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Williston Seminary
Springfield College
College Football Hall of Fame, 1951 (Bio)

Amos Alonzo Stagg (August 16, 1862 – March 17, 1965) was an American collegiate coach in multiple sports, primarily football, and an overall athletic pioneer. He was born in West Orange, New Jersey, and attended Phillips Exeter Academy. Playing at Yale, where he was a divinity student, and a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity and the secret Skull and Bones society,[1][2] he was an end on the first All-America team, selected in 1889.



He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach in the charter class of 1951 and was the only individual honored in both areas until the 1990s. Influential in other sports, he developed basketball as a five-player sport and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in its first group of inductees in 1959. A pitcher on his college baseball team, he declined an opportunity to play professional baseball but nonetheless influenced the game through his invention of the batting cage. He went on to earn an MPE from the Young Men's Christian Training School, now known as Springfield College.

On March 11, 1892, Stagg, still an instructor at the YMCA School, played in the first public game of basketball at the Springfield (Mass.) YMCA. A crowd of 200 watched as the student team crushed the faculty, 5–1. Stagg scored the only basket for the losing side.

Coaching career

Stagg became the first paid football coach at Williston Seminary, a secondary school, in 1890. This was also Stagg's first time receiving pay to coach football. He would coach there one day a week while also coaching full time at Springfield College. He moved on to coach at the University of Chicago (1892–1932), and then at the College of the Pacific (1932–46) after he was forced to retire from Chicago at the age of 70. During his career, he developed numerous basic tactics for the game (including the man in motion and the lateral pass), as well as some equipment. Stagg played himself in the movie Knute Rockne, All American released in 1940. From 1947 to 1952 he served as a co-head coach with his son at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. In 1924, he served as a coach with the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team in Paris. Known as the "grand old man" of college football, Stagg died in Stockton, California, at 102 years old.


In 1952, Barbara Stagg, Amos' granddaughter, started coaching the high school girls basketball team for Slatington High School in Slatington, Pennsylvania. Two high schools in the United States, one in Palos Hills, Illinois and the other in Stockton, California, and an elementary school in Chicago, Illinois, are named after him. The NCAA Division III national football championship game, played in Salem, Virginia, is named after him. The athletic stadium at Springfield College is named Stagg Field. The football field at Susquehanna University is named Amos Alonzo Stagg Field in honor of both Stagg Sr. and Jr. Stagg was the namesake of the University of Chicago's old Stagg Field where, on December 2, 1942, a team of Manhattan Project scientists led by Enrico Fermi created the world's first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction under the west stands of the abandoned stadium, as well as Stagg Memorial Stadium, Pacific's football and soccer stadium. Phillips Exeter also has a field named for him and a statue. A field in West Orange, New Jersey on Saint Cloud Avenue is also named from him.[3]

The Amos Alonzo Stagg Collection is held at the University of the Pacific Library, Holt Atherton Department of Special Collections.

The Amos Alonzo Stagg 50-mile Endurance Hike is held annually along the C&O canal outside Potomac, Maryland.

Innovations in football

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl AP#
Springfield College Pride (Independent) (1890–1891)
1890 Springfield 5–3
1891 Springfield 5–8–1
Springfield: 10–11–1
Chicago Maroons (Independent) (1892–1895)
1892 Chicago 1–4–2
1893 Chicago 6–4–2
1894 Chicago 11–7–1
1895 Chicago 7–3
Chicago Maroons (Big Ten Conference) (1896–1932)
1896 Chicago 11–2–1 3–2 4th
1897 Chicago 8–1 3–1 2nd
1898 Chicago 9–2–1 3–1 2nd
1899 Chicago 12–0–2 4–0 1st
1900 Chicago 7–5–1 2–3–1 6th
1901 Chicago 5–5–2 0–4–1 9th
1902 Chicago 11–1 5–1 2nd
1903 Chicago 10–2–1 4–1 4th
1904 Chicago 8–1–1 5–1–1 3rd
1905 Chicago 10–0 7–0 1st
1906 Chicago 4–1 3–1 4th
1907 Chicago 4–1 4–0 1st
1908 Chicago 5–0–1 5–0 1st
1909 Chicago 4–1–2 4–1–1 2nd
1910 Chicago 2–5 2–4 7th
1911 Chicago 6–1 5–1 2nd
1912 Chicago 6–1 6–1 2nd
1913 Chicago 7–0 7–0 1st
1914 Chicago 4–2–1 4–2–1 3rd
1915 Chicago 5–2 4–2 3rd
1916 Chicago 3–4 3–3 5th
1917 Chicago 3–2–1 2–2–1 5th
1918 Chicago 0–6 0–5 10th
1919 Chicago 5–2 4–2 3rd
1920 Chicago 3–4 2–4 8th
1921 Chicago 6–1 4–1 2nd
1922 Chicago 5–1–1 4–0–1 1st
1923 Chicago 7–1 5–1 3rd
1924 Chicago 4–1–3 3–0–3 1st
1925 Chicago 3–4–1 2–2–1 7th
1926 Chicago 2–6 0–5 10th
1927 Chicago 4–4 3–3 5th
1928 Chicago 2–7 0–5 10th
1929 Chicago 7–3 1–3 7th
1930 Chicago 2–5–2 0–4 10th
1931 Chicago 2–6–1 1–4 8th
1932 Chicago 3–4–1 1–4 8th
Chicago: 224–112–27 115–74–12
Pacific Tigers (Northern California Athletic Conference) (1933–1946)
1933 Pacific 5–5
1934 Pacific 4–5
1935 Pacific 5–4–1
1936 Pacific 5–4–1 4–0 1st
1937 Pacific 3–5–2
1938 Pacific 7–3–0 4–0 1st
1939 Pacific 6–6–1
1940 Pacific 4–5 2–0 1st
1941 Pacific 4–7 3–0 1st
1942 Pacific 2–6–1 2–0 1st
1943 Pacific 7–2 19
1944 Pacific 3–8
1945 Pacific 0–10–1
1946 Pacific 5–7 L Optimist
Pacific: 60–77–7
Total: 314–199–35
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
#Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ Alexandra Robbins, Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power, Little, Brown and Company, 2002, page 126
  2. ^ Robin Lester,He also received a MPE from (Young Men's Christian Training School now know as (Springfield College)in 1891 Stagg's University: The Rise, Decline, and Fall of Big-time Football at Chicago, University of Illinois Press, 1995, page 9.
  3. ^ West Orange Recreation

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Springfield College Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chicago Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Clark Shaughnessy
Preceded by
Erwin Righter
Pacific Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Larry Siemering

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