Posts Tagged ‘Texas A & M’

Coaches Who Got in on the Action

June 2, 2009

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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Researching the 1909 Aggies

April 29, 2009

I’m writing an article about the 1909 Texas A & M football team for the College Football Historical Society August newsletter and am making some interesting discoveries. Now you may be asking how this article relates to Carlisle Indian School. After being on the Carlisle team in 1908, Victor Kelley (backup quarterback) and Charlie Moran (assistant coach) left for College Station after a year in Carlisle bringing Mike Balenti (starting quarterback) with them. The three led the Aggies to an undefeated season and won the Southwest Championship. The article is the story of that team’s season, but writing it isn’t as easy as it first seemed.

That a fire destroyed many of A & M’s old records is unfortunately not an unusual circumstance that researchers encounter. The library does have a copy of the yearbook – always a good place to get an overview but often not as accurate as one would expect – and a librarian graciously scanned the section on the championship team into a PDF for me. The A & M library has incomplete sets of school and local newspapers on microfilms that aren’t available for inter-library loan, something else that is not uncommon.

Everything I previously read credited Charlie Moran with being the team’s head coach, but the yearbook stated that someone else started the season in that position and quit after the second game, at which time Moran was elevated into the position. The mystery is: why did the first coach quit. CFbDataWarehouse.com listed one more game – a game with Dallas University – that the yearbook didn’t include. One Wiki site listed this game but another listed a game on the same date with the same score with Trinity. David DeLassus of CFbDataWarehouse.com bailed me out. The Aggies beat Holy Trinity College 47-0 on 11-13-1909 at College Station. His source? The 1910 Spalding Football Guide. He also explained that Trinity changed its name to the University of Dallas in 1910.

Membership in the College Football Historical Society is a modest $17.00 a year. Send a check to: Ray Schmidt, PO Box 6460, Ventura, CA 93006 Subscriptions also make great gifts.

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