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Robert Cook "Bob" Folwell, Jr.
College United States Naval Academy
Sport College football
Born 1885
Place of birth Mullica Hill, New Jersey
Died January 8, 1928
Career highlights
Overall 107-38-18 (.775) (College)
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
Playing career
 ?-1907 University of Pennsylvania
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Washington & Jefferson
United States Naval Academy
New York Giants
Philadelphia Quakers
Atlantic City Roses

Robert Cook "Bob" Folwell, Jr. was an American football player and coach.



He was born Mullica Hill, New Jersey in 1885.[1] He attended Haverford Grammar School, where he made prep football All-American. He married Elizabeth Pennock in 1913 and had three sons: Robert III, George P. and William Nathan.[1] He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he set several school football records that stand to this day.[2][3]

College coaching career


Lafayette Maroons

Folwell coached Lafayette College from 1908 through 1911, amassing a 22-4-1 record.[1]

Washington & Jefferson Presidents

After hearing rumors that Folwell was unhappy at Lafayette, Robert "Mother" Murphy personally recruited him to coach for the Washington & Jefferson College, where he would coach from 1912-1915 and post a 35-4-3 record and be named coach of the year in 1913.[1]

In Folwell's first season, W&J held the legendary scorer Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indians to a scoreless tie. In 1913, the team posted a 10-0-1 record and were the highest scoring team in the nation. That season featured a scoreless tie of Yale, a 100-0 defeat of Grove City College, and a 17-0 victory over Penn State that broke the Nittany Lions' 19 game winning streak, earning the entire school a day off to celebrate. Sportswriter Walter Trumbull of the The New York Sun suggested that the Michigan Aggies, Washington & Jefferson, Chicago University, and Notre Dame were the new "Big 4 of College Football" instead of the traditional grouping of Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and Penn.[4] Folwell's 1914 squad lost at Harvard University in front of 15,000 fans by a score of 10-9.[4] If not for an errant kick that hit the crossbar, W&J would have won the same and at least a share of the mythical national championship.[4] That squad saved face by becoming only the 7th team to ever defeat Yale University, with a decisive 13-7 victory.[4] The game received national press coverage, and the team received a personal note of congratulations by Theodore Roosevelt.[4]

Penn Quakers

Folwell then coached at University of Pennsylvania from 1916-1919, where posted a 26-11-2 overall record.[1][5][6]

Navy Midshipmen

Folwell was the 17th head college football coach for the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen located in Annapolis, Maryland and he held that position for five seasons, from 1920 until 1924. His coaching record at United States Naval Academy was 24 wins, 12 losses, and 3 ties. As of the conclusion of the 2007 season, this ranks him ninth at United States Naval Academy in total wins and 15th at United States Naval Academy in winning percentage (0.654).

Professional Career

He was the first head coach of the New York Giants in 1925. The following season he took the same position for the Philadelphia Quakers of the first American Football League and led the team to the championship of the short-lived league. He coached the Atlantic City Roses of the Eastern League of Professional Football in 1927, but was forced to retire to his farm in New Jersey after 1 season.[1] His hip infection, which began while coaching the Philadelphia Quakers, worsened, forcing him to walk with a cane.[1] In January 1928, he had a hip operation at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.[1] The surgery was initially successful, but he took a turn for the worse and died January 8, 1928.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i E. Lee, North (1991). "Chapter 7: Battling the Indians, Panthers, and Mountaineers". Battling the Indians, Panthers, and Nittany Lions: The Story of Washington & Jefferson College's First Century of Football, 1890-1990. Daring Books. pp. 85–96. ISBN 9781878302038. OCLC 24174022.  }
  2. ^
  3. ^ Lippincott, Horace Mather (2008). The University of Pennsylvania, Franklin's College. BiblioBazaar, LLC.,M1.  
  4. ^ a b c d e E. Lee, North (1991). "Chapter 5: The Folwell Years.. Among Football's Best". Battling the Indians, Panthers, and Nittany Lions: The Story of Washington & Jefferson College's First Century of Football, 1890-1990. Daring Books. pp. 62–74. ISBN 9781878302038. OCLC 24174022.  }
  5. ^ "Penn Team Starts Work.;Bob Folwell, the New Coach, Puts Men Through Hard Practice.". The New York Times (New York Times). 1916-09-12. Archived from the original on 1916-09-12.  
  6. ^ "Folwell Cast Off As Coach at Penn; "Did Little Character Building," Is Faculty Committee Head's Explanation.". The New York Times (New York Times). 1917-01-30. Archived from the original on 1917-01-30.  

External links

Preceded by
New York Giants Head Coach
Succeeded by
Joe Alexander


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