Haskell Visits Carlisle

A few days ago a friend who collects Carlisle memorabilia showed me a photo of the 1933 Haskell Institute football team that was said to have been taken at Carlisle Barracks. The team’s coach, Gus Welch, was easily recognizable and, from past research, I knew that 1933 was his first year at Haskell. The background was clearly identifiable as Indian Field. The goalposts, which appeared to have been made of galvanized pipe, were surely replaced over the years and I already knew that the wooden grandstand had been rebuilt using concrete long ago. So, the photo was very likely legitimate. But why was Haskell visiting Carlisle?

A quick search through old newspapers uncovered a few articles about their visit. A photo accompanying one of the pieces is included in this post. They were here sure enough but why? The Harrisburg Evening News reporter answered that question when he wrote “[T]he Haskell Institute football team, which will meet Temple University in a night game tomorrow evening. This game has been an annual meeting for the past five years.” It made perfect sense for Haskell to visit Carlisle on the way to Philadelphia. It’s a wonder Lone Star Dietz didn’t bring one of his Haskell teams to Carlisle when he was coaching them and playing Temple. The reporter had one thing wrong. 1933 was only the third time Haskell played Temple. This time Welch would be taking on his mentor, Pop Warner. Given their relationship, why would either of them agree to play each other?

Not only was 1933 Welch’s first year at Haskell, it was Warner’s first year at Temple. But that doesn’t completely answer the question. On November 29, 1932, U.P. circulated a story that Temple University had offered Pop Warner the job of coaching the Owls. Stanford officials called the rumors that Warner would step down as their head coach “utterly impossible.”

<end of part 1>

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