Homer Woodson Hargiss: Wikis


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H. W. "Bill" Hargiss
BillHargiss1917 small.jpg

Sport Football
Track and Field
Born September 1, 1887
Place of birth Cherokee County, Kansas
Died October 15, 1978[1]
Career highlights
Overall 102-53-16 (football)[2]
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
Playing career
1905-1909 Emporia State
Position fullback[3]
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
College of Emporia (football)
Kansas (asst)
Emporia State (football)
Oregon State (football)
Oregon State (basketball)
Emporia State (football)

Homer Woodson "Bill" Hargiss (September 1, 1887–October 15, 1978) was an American college football, basketball, and track coach. He was an early innovator in football and was known to be one of the first coaches to use the forward pass and the huddle.


Achievements as an athlete

Hargiss participated in sports at Kansas Normal College, now Emporia State University. He was a standout at the college in football, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, boxing, and track & field. Emporia State honored him in 1982 by inducting him into their "Athletic Hall of Honor" -- the first year the honor was available[4], as a distinguished alumni in 1970 [5], and for the all-Centennial Team in 1997[6]. Hargiss would later return to the college as a coach.

Coaching years


College of Emporia

Hargiss's first coaching job came as the head coach of the College of Emporia (C of E) in Emporia, Kansas. The school had a well-developed rivalry with Kansas State Normal School, where Hargiss played quarterback the previous year, and would later coach.[7]

At C of E, Hargiss developed plays using talented quarterback Arthur Schabinger that most had never seen before, namely the forward pass and the option pass.

Hargiss and Arthur Schabinger reminisce about the early days of the forward pass at a C of E reunion

Forward pass

In the team's 1910 game at Washburn University, Arthur Schabinger has been credited by some to have thrown the first legal forward pass in college football history.[8] While this claim is widely disputed by other colleges (there are multiple claims dating back to 1906), College of Emporia most certainly was one of the first innovators of the play particularly to throw "overhand" forward passes instead of the more common "underhand" passes.[9] The school was using the forward pass as a regular play three years before Knute Rockne and Notre Dame Football.[10]

For the second to last game in 1910, Schabringer scored seven touchdowns in a 107-0 win over Pittsburg Normal. The forward pass played a major role in the game as well.[11]

Option pass

Hargiss also ran the option pass play (possibly the first of all time) at the College of Emporia in 1910. The "option pass" play was a sweep to the end with halfbacks that would either pass or run depending on how the defensive play would develop. [12]

Oregon State University

Hargiss was the head football, basketball, and track coach at Oregon State University from 1918 to 1919[13]. During his tenure there, he compiled a 6-8-1 record.[14] From 1918–1920 he also coached the Oregon State Beavers basketball team.[15]

Emporia State University

Hargiss was the ninth and twelfth head football coach for Emporia State University (called Kansas Normal School at the time) in Emporia, Kansas and he held that position for twelve seasons, from 1914 until 1917 and then returning from 1920 until 1927. His overall coaching record at ESU was 61 wins, 23 losses, and 11 ties. This ranks him third at ESU in terms of total wins and first at ESU in terms of winning percentage.[16]

While at Kansas Normal, Hargiss coached the 1926 team to an undefeated season and outscored their opponents 144 to 3. The closest game of the season was a 6-0 battle against Hargiss's former team, the College of Emporia.[17]

University of Kansas

From 1928 to 1932 he served as the head football coach at University of Kansas. His record there was 18-16. Overall, he is one of only a handful of football coaches who ended their career with a .500 record going 24-24-3.

Football Developments

Use of the huddle

Oregon State was one of the very first schools nationally to use the huddle formation in a game. It happened against the University of Washington in Seattle in 1918. Beaver Head Coach "Bill" Hargiss instructed the starters that once they returned to the field, they were to stand 10 yards behind the ball before the beginning of each play and whisper to one another what they were going to do next.[18]

An eyewitness to the game was veteran Seattle sports columnist Royal Brougham, whose stories of the contest give testimony today to OSU's early use of this pioneering new formation. [19]

Forward pass

While coaching at the College of Emporia, Hargiss would regularly use the forward pass and records show that it was used as early as 1910, three years before Knute Rockne began to regularly call the play.[20][21]

Honors and legacy

Personal life

Hargiss graduated from Kansas Normal School in Emporia, Kansas. His brother, Floyd Daniel Hargiss was a football coach at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas.[35]


  1. ^ Ancestry.com, Homer Woodson Hargiss
  2. ^ Overall football coaching record for H. W. "Bill" Hargiss
  3. ^ Hargiss playing football at KSN
  4. ^ Emporia State University Athletic Hall of Honor
  5. ^ Bill Hargiss selected Emporia State University Distinguished Alumnus, 1970
  6. ^ Bill Hargiss selected to the Emporia State University Centennial Team, 1997
  7. ^ Hargiss and football at the College of Emporia
  8. ^ Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Arthur Schabinger
  9. ^ Homer Hargiss History Definitive use of forward pass
  10. ^ Emporia Gazette, "The Emporia Gazette Give Credit to C. of E." by E. T. Lowther
  11. ^ Emporia Gazette, "First Hargiss Team Set Scoring Mark" by Ed Shupe, January 23, 1974
  12. ^ Oberheide.org Hargiss's Option Play
  13. ^ New football coach for OAC
  14. ^ "2006 Football Media Guide - Year-By-Year Results" (PDF). Oregon State University. http://www.osubeavers.com/pdf4/39515.pdf?ATCLID=153842&SPSID=27968&SPID=1952&DB_OEM_ID=4700. Retrieved 2006-11-14.  
  15. ^ "2005-06 Men's Basketball Media Guide - OSU Team History" (PDF). Oregon State University. pp. 18. http://osubeavers.nmnathletics.com//pdf5/21240.pdf?SPSID=27770&SPID=1954&DB_OEM_ID=4700. Retrieved 2006-11-14.  
  16. ^ http://www.emporia.edu/athletics/football/07ESUFBmediaguide.pdf#87
  17. ^ Oberheide.org, ESU 1926 season
  18. ^ http://www.aafla.org/SportsLibrary/CFHSN/CFHSNv11/CFHSNv11n2c.pdf#2
  19. ^ Offensive huddle
  20. ^ Emporia Gazzette, 1910 Forward Pass
  21. ^ Definitive use of forward pass and the option pass in 1910 by Bill Hargiss
  22. ^ a b c Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
  23. ^ NAIA Hall Fame
  24. ^ Home page for H. W. " Bill" Hargiss
  25. ^ Bill Hargiss at KU 1928
  26. ^ John Kuck
  27. ^ Glenn Cunningham
  28. ^ Jim Bausch
  29. ^ Clyde Coffman
  30. ^ 1926 ESU football
  31. ^ College 1905
  32. ^ Bill Hargiss' youth, 1887
  33. ^ Recovered letters describe Dole's life at KU and in WWII
  34. ^ Crash of Notre Dame legend left its mark in Kansas | Topeka Capital-Journal, The | Find Articles at BNET.com
  35. ^ Ancestry.com Floyd Daniel Hargiss

External links


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