Pop Warner’s Last Game as Carlisle Coach

A person interested in writing a biography of Pop Warner contacted me last night with some questions that got me thinking about what is not commonly known about Warner. One thing I uncovered is his last game as head coach of the Carlisle Indians. Steckbeck didn’t cover it, most likely because the school paper didn’t say anything about it.

Warner considered the 1914 season to be a disaster and made it his last. Up through the end of November, Carlisle’s season was to end with the annual Thanksgiving game with Brown University. When writing about the Brown game in the December 4, 1915 issue of The Carlisle Arrow, Assistant Coach John McGillis announced three postseason games: 1. Former Harvard All Stars in Boston, 2. University of Georgia at Atlanta, and 3. University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Boston game, in which Carlisle lost 13-6, had already been played by that time. Then the Indians beat Alabama 20-3. It should be noted that Bama still plays some of its big games in Birmingham rather than on-campus in Tuscaloosa.

The Georgia game was never played or had been confused with Auburn because the Indians played the unscored-up Auburn team four days later. However, nothing was written about it in the Carlisle school newspaper, even after it was played. That was probably because Pop Warner had decided to take the Pitt job and leave. Later, Warner wrote that he had been approached by Pitt officials after the Carlisle-Pitt game on October 17 about the head coaching job and he decided to take it.

After the joint congressional investigation earlier in 1914, Warner’s publicity machine appears to have been shutdown, leaving the writing of articles to the coaches. Already mentally in Pittsburgh, Warner didn’t bother to write up anything about the Auburn game. More on that game next time.

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