Coaches Who Got in on the Action

Lest some think the following story about Pop Warner’s toughness is apocryphal, I will share a similar story about another coach of that era. Warner was not happy with his new prospect’s development as a player and pulled him out of his place at a practice. Pop told James that he was not playing nearly aggressively enough and said, “Now get down there and show me how it should be done.” Warner lined up opposite Phillips as he did when trying to demonstrate a technique to a player. When the signal was given, Phillips charged so hard that he knocked Pop unconscious. When he came to and cleared his head, Warner just said, “Now, that’s the way it’s done!”

In Dutchman on the Brazos, Caesar “Dutch” Hohn shared an experience he had with his coach at Texas A & M, Charlie Moran. Moran was teaching the offense a new play but it wasn’t working due to Hohn’s interference. Hohn was lined up across from a guard named “Fatty” Lilliard and on every snap of the ball, “I’d hit Fatty in the face with the heel of my hand, knock him off balance, and break up the play.”

Moran snorted, “Who’s letting that damn Dutchman through here?” Lilliard responded, “There’s nothing you can do when a man hits you in the face with his hands.” “Is that so?” said Moran just before pushing Lilliard aside and taking his position. He then told the quarterback to call the same play.

Seeing that Moran was cocked live a Colt 45 ready to hammer him, Hohn remembered what his Coach told the team earlier: “Don’t spare me, because I expect to knock the hell out of you.”

Hohn recalled, “I had the reach on him, and he wasn’t any heavier than I was. Remember, also, that I was able to use my hands. There was one more fact Moran must have forgotten; I knew the starting signal. I timed myself, and when the ball was snapped I got the jump on him, bowling him over, and broke up the play. That was the day I made the team.”

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