Don Faurot: Wikis


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Don Faurot

Title Head Coach
College University of Missouri
Sport Football
Born June 23, 1902(1902-06-23)
Place of birth Mountain Grove, Missouri
Died October 19, 1995 (aged 93)
Place of death Columbia, Missouri
Career highlights
Overall 163-93-13
Bowls 0-4
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
MIAA: 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1934
MIAA (basketball): 1927
MVIAA: 1939, 1941, 1942
1964 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award
Playing career
1922-24 Missouri
Position Halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Kirksville State
Iowa Pre-Flight
College Football Hall of Fame, 1961 (Bio)

Don Faurot (June 23, 1902 – October 19, 1995) was the head football coach at the University of Missouri from 1935 to 1956 and is credited with inventing the split-T formation. Faurot Field at Missouri's Memorial Stadium is named in his honor.


Early life

Donald Burrows Faurot was born in Mountain Grove, Missouri on June 23, 1902 to parents Frederick W. Faurot and Charlotte Burrows Faurot. He lost two fingers on his right hand in a boyhood farming accident, yet still became an accomplished multi-sport athlete.[1]

Faurot’s association with the University of Missouri started when he was a young boy who would sneak into old Rollins Field to watch the Tigers play and practice. He was the eldest of four brothers to win a football letter at MU. Faurot was a three-sport letterman from 1922-1924. A lightweight 145-pound fullback in football, he also captained the basketball team and was an infielder in baseball. He was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity while attending the University of Missouri.

Kirksville State Teachers College

After college, Faurot was appointed head coach at Kirksville State Teachers College (now Truman State University), where he spent nine years, from 1926 through 1934, with a record of 63 wins, 13 losses and 3 ties. From 1932 to 1934, his teams had a 26-0 record, the best small-college record in the country. During the run the team was the MIAA champion in 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1933 and 1934.

He also coached the basketball team to the 1927 MIAA championship.

University of Missouri

In 1935, Faurot was named head coach of the Missouri Tigers, where he would remain until 1956 - with three years out for service in the United States Navy during World War II. At Missouri, he took over a team that had won only two games in three years and with the athletic program over $500,000 in debt. His prime contribution to football was his innovation of the Split-T offense at Mizzou in 1941. In the post-World War II era, countless universities adopted the Faurot formation — most notably, Bud Wilkinson and Jim Tatum, who learned the offense first-hand while serving as his assistant coaches with the Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks during World War II. More than 60 years later, it is still in vogue today at all levels of football. Several of football’s most notable formations — the Wishbone, Wingbone, Veer or I-attack and others — utilize Faurot’s option play as their basic concept.

In 19 years as the Tiger football coach, Faurot’s record was 101 wins, 79 losses and 10 ties. His 1939 team, featuring All American Paul Christman, won Faurot’s first Big Six title and a bid to the Orange Bowl. His 1941 team also won the Big 6 and played in the Sugar Bowl. In 1956, he stepped down as head coach and became athletic director. Under him, the Tigers won three conference titles and went to four bowl games. When he retired as athletic director in 1967, the program was in the black and the capacity of the football stadium's capacity had doubled to more than 50,000.


Faurot was a member of the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame, the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor, the Blue-Gray Game Hall of Fame, past president of the American Football Coaches Association, and recipient of the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award for his distinguished service in the advancement of the best interests of football. In 1972, the Tigers’ football playing surface was officially named Faurot Field — something he said probably rated as his greatest personal honor[citation needed]. As a graduate student in agriculture in 1926, Faurot helped lay the sod on the field, prior to the opening of Memorial Stadium that fall. In 1995, he placed the final square of sod as MU successfully converted the stadium’s floor back to natural grass. Right up through 1994, Faurot was active as a talent procurer and coach for the annual Blue-Gray Football Classic in Montgomery, Alabama He was secretary of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame for many years, and was also the executive secretary of the Missouri Senior Golf Association. He spent a term after his retirement as assistant director in charge of special events for the MU Alumni Association. Though he stepped down as athletic director in 1967, he never really found a way to retire, maintaining an office at the Tom Taylor Building where he spent several hours nearly every day. He was a regular attendee at football practice until shortly before his death. He died October 19, 1995 in Columbia, the week of the MU Homecoming. He was 93 years old.

Head coaching record

In his Missouri career, Faurot’s record was 101 wins, 79 losses and 10 ties, winning three conference titles and going to four bowl games.

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Rank#
Kirksville State Teachers College (Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Assn.) (1926–1934)
1926 Kirksville State 7-1
1927 Kirksville State 8-1
1928 Kirksville State 7-2-1
1929 Kirksville State 5-3-1
1930 Kirksville State 5-5
1931 Kirksville State 6-1-1
1932 Kirksville State 8-0
1933 Kirksville State 9-0
1934 Kirksville State 8-0
Kirksville State: 63-13-3
University of Missouri Tigers (Big Six/Seven Conference) (1935–1956)
1935 Missouri 3-3-3 0-2-3 6th NR
1936 Missouri 6-2-1 3-1-1 2nd NR
1937 Missouri 3-6-1 2-2-1 4th NR
1938 Missouri 6-3 2-3 3rd NR
1939 Missouri 8-2 5-0 1st 6th
1940 Missouri 6-3 3-2 3rd NR
1941 Missouri 8-2 5-0 1st 7th
1942 Missouri 8-3-1 4-0-1 1st NR
1946 Missouri 4-5-1 3-2 3rd
1947 Missouri 6-4 3-2 3rd
1948 Missouri 8-3 5-1 2nd
1949 Missouri 7-4 5-1 2nd
1950 Missouri 4-5-1 3-2-1 3rd
1951 Missouri 3-7 2-4 6th
1952 Missouri 5-5 5-1 2nd
1953 Missouri 6-4 4-2 3rd
1954 Missouri 4-5-1 3-2-1 4th
1955 Missouri 1-9 1-5 7th
1956 Missouri 4-5-1 3-2-1 3rd
Missouri Tigers: 101-79-10 61-39-9
Total: 164-92-13
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.

See also




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