Honors and Recognitions
•All his life, worked toward making football a safer game for its
participants. He served on a number of committees working towards that
end. When the game, because of the numerous injuries and fatalities
recorded each year, was in danger of being dropped as a high school and
collegiate sport, Mr. Stagg worked persistently to modify rules,
experiment with equipment and persuade the authorities to maintain the
•In a baseball game played against Princeton, as Yale’s pitcher, Amos
Alonzo Stagg struck out 20 batters. •Played on the 1889 Yale champion
football team that enroute to a 15 - 1 season, scored 655 points and
allowed its opponents 31.
•In 1890, was chosen by Caspar Whitney and Walter Camp as a right end on
football’s historic first All-American team.
•As Yale’s baseball pitcher, pitched his school to five successive
•As a student at the International Y.M.C.A. College in Springfield,
Massachusetts, organized and coached the school’s first football team.
•While attending the International Y.M.C.A. College, traveled one day
each week to Easthampton, Massachusetts to coach the Williston Seminary
football team. It was the first coaching job for which he received pay.
•In 1892, as the Director of Athletics and Physical Culture at the newly
opened University of Chicago, was the first athletic coach in the nation
to be honored with the assigned rank of associate professor.
•In 1889, invented the forerunner of today’s football blocking and
tackling dummy by rolling and tying a mattress, which was hung from a
•Made an early contribution to baseball as the innovator and developer
of the feet-first slide toward the base by a base runner.
•As a participant in athletics, excelled in baseball and football.
However, he was successful in a number of other sports. As a sprinter
in track, he ran the 100 yard dash in 10.8 seconds (on cinder tracks).
He was an outstanding golfer and consistently shot at least in the 80’s
and often in the 70’s. An outstanding tennis player, he participated in
•Known as the “Grand Old Man of Football,” “Patron Saint of the
Sidelines,” and “Mr. Football” was the master magician of the gridiron.
He is credited with constructing more than a thousand football plays.
•Was honored by football’s Hall of Fame by being inducted as a player
and a coach.
•As an innovator in football had no peer. He introduced and used the
T-formation, flanker formations, ends back formation, shoot blocking,
the unbalanced line, the hidden ball trick, the Statue of Liberty play,
the shifting backfield, triple passes, the direct snap of the ball from
center, draw plays, the man-in-motion, criss-cross pass patterns, the
fake kick, the place kick, the spiral pass, the onside kick, the first
slip proof jersey that fastened under the crotch and numbered jerseys.
Many of his offensive and defensive formations, his inventions,
innovations and coaching theory are still, today, used in modern
•As coach, took the University of Chicago football team, the Maroons,
across the continent in 1892 to play west coast teams. It was the first
time that colleges engaged in intersectional play.
•Coached the 1905 University of Chicago football team that upset the
previously unbeaten, untied and nationally heralded University of
Michigan’s “point-a-minute” team coached by the famed Fielding
“Hurry-up” Yost. Yet today, football historians signal that 2-0 victory
as one of the great upsets in collegiate football.
•When he coached the University of Chicago Maroons, seven of his teams
won the Big Ten Conference championship title; six were undefeated.
•Helped organize the original Football Rules Committee in 1904. He was
elected a life member in 1932. Through his participation and guiding
hand as a member of the Committee, college football was saved from
banishment and the game grew in stature.
•Coached many track athletes who participated in the Olympic Games. He
was a member of the United States Olympic Committee in 1908, 1912, 1920,
1924, 1928 and 1932. In 1900, as coach of the University of Chicago
track men, who qualified for participation in the Olympic Games, he
refused to permit his athletes to participate in Olympic events
scheduled for a Sunday. The other American coaches and athletes, in
support of his stand, did not participate in the Sunday scheduled
•Was the chairman of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
track and field meets for 12 years.
•Was one of the founders of the American Football Coaches Association.
•Was one of the founders of the Olympia Fields Golf Club. He served as
its first president from 1916 to 1919.
•Was honored on October 27, 1914, as the Board of Trustees of the
University of Chicago voted to name the University’s athletic field
•Organized the first letterman’s club ever formed on an American
campus. It is the University of Chicago’s famed “Order of the C”.
•Known for his complete honesty, on the occasion of two football games
when the referee failed to appear, the opposing coaches requested that
Stagg officiate. He did so and afterward heard no complaint from the
opposing team’s bench.
•On the occasion of his last game as coach of the University of Chicago
Football team, the opponent school, the University of Wisconsin,
presented Stagg with a plaque recognizing his 40 years service in the
interest of amateur athletics.
•In 1933, upon leaving the University of Chicago, was presented with a
certificate bearing a resolution from the Chicago City Council
recognizing him as having been “...instrumental in the development of
athletes...in the development of the character, manhood and integrity of
our American youth.”
•In 1935, received the Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor. In
recognition of his high ideals and service, he was presented the Silver
•In 1938, received a certificate of tribute from Springfield College
(formerly the International Y.M.C.A. College) where he attended as a
student and organized and coached its first football team.
•In 1944, received a certificate award from the Pasadena Tournament of
Roses Association expressing the Association’s appreciation for his
“...fostering ideals of sportsmanship among the youth of our country.”
•As a founding member and over a half a century of service to the
Western Conference was presented by the Conference, in 1946, a
certificate honoring him for “...as an athletic director of vision and
integrity, a football coach of genius and a gentleman of honor, no
person has contributed more to the elevation and maintenance of high
ideals in youth through sports.”
•In 1951, as co-coach with his son, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Jr., at
Susquehanna University, the University had its first unbeaten and untied
season since 1894.
•In the 1950’s, received awards from the National Collegiate Athletic
Association, National Education Association, Chamber of Commerce of the
United States, Pacific University at Forest Grove, Oregon, Northwestern
University, City of Stockton (3 times), American Association (Alliance)
for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Lions Club of Stockton,
and Susquehanna University (Susquehanna’s football stadium is named in
•Upon completing 50 years of coaching, was honored with a plaque from
the American Football Coaches Association and the Coaches of the San
Francisco Bay area.
•In 1960, received an award from the National Physical Fitness
Association in recognition of his promotion to the nation’s youth,
through example and teaching physical fitness.
•In 1960, at age 98, received the National Football Foundation’s Hall of
Fame Gold Medal. At the time, President Eisenhower and General of the
Army, Douglas MacArthur, had been the only two recipients of the award.
•For his outstanding contribution to the recreation movement, was
presented with an award from the National Recreation Association.
•Was the recipient of a trophy from the Touchdown Club of New York in
recognition of his life-long effort promoting and contributing to the
game of football.
•Was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree from
•Was awarded a life membership in the National Parent-Teachers
Association for his dedication to education and service.
•In 1978, was inducted, posthumously, into the Drake Relays Hall of
Fame. The following information about the participation of Stagg -
coached University of Chicago relay teams in the Drake Relays was
furnished to the Stagg Special Collection Committee by the Drake Relays
Committee, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. His Chicago team
participated in the second Drake Relays in 1911 and his teams won eight
titles at Drake until Stagg gave up track coaching to concentrate on
football. His half-mile relay team won in 1914 (record) and 1915
(record), his mile unit in 1911 (record) and 1912 and again in 1913.
Later his two-mile foursome in 1918 and the Maroon four-mile team
captured the Drake titles in 1917 and again in 1919. Stagg was honored
as the referee of the 1914 Drake Relays and again in 1921, being one of
the very few named twice to this capacity in the long history of the
Drake Relays. Anecdotes
•Suggestions were requested for an official University of Chicago cheer
and one of the suggestions, submitted anonymously, was selected. Years
later, Coach Stagg admitted that he was the author of the cheer. Also,
he helped select the University’s colors.
•For Stagg’s 98th birthday, the University of the Pacific presented him
with a new power mower. He returned it stating, “I can still use the
old one and besides I need the exercise.” His old mower was not a
•Once, when notified by a neighbor that young boys had been using his
lawn for a football field, Stagg replied, “Sir, I’m not raising grass.
I’m raising boys.”