Posts Tagged ‘Washington University’

Carlisle Indians as Coaches

June 8, 2012

While preparing the 1911 Spalding’s Guide for printing, I noticed that some former Carlisle players could be seen in the numerous 1910 team photos to be found in that volume.  That brought to mind an old newspaper article that I can’t lay my hands on now in which the writer opined as to why there were so few football coaches at a time when Carlisle Indian School players were grabbing headlines.  I don’t recall his reasoning or conclusions but do remember having read the article.

The truth is that several Carlisle Indian School players tried their hands at coaching with varying success.  The names that come quickly to mind are Bemus Pierce, Frank Cayou, Albert Exendine, Caleb Sickles, Lone Star Dietz, James Phillips, Joel Wheelock, Victor “Choc” Kelley, Mike Balenti, and Gus Welch (I keep adding names as they come to me while writing this article).  I’m sure there were others. Given enough time to research this issue, I’m sure that I could come up with more. But I don’t have the time right now because I must get the 1901 Spalding’s Guide ready to print.

The lengths of their careers varied, but Exendine, Welch and Dietz all had long coaching careers.  Of these, Lone Star Dietz had by far the most success and, as an acknowledgement of that success, was honored by the Helms Foundation many years ago. Next month, the College Football Hall of Fame will honor him. It is highly unlikely that any other Carlisle Indian will receive this honor because only a few had long careers and only Dietz, as far as we know, had a Hall of Fame worthy career as a coach.  Also, Exendine and Welch were already inducted as players. My immediate concern is not about the Hall of Fame but with 1910 team photos that include former Carlisle players.

Follows are two of the 1910 team photos.  I’ll leave it to the reader to find the Carlisle Indians in them, but here’s a hint: both wore their Carlisle letter sweaters.  I take that as an indication of how proud they were of having been part of those great teams.

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1904 Olympic Football Champions

February 23, 2012

It is well known that Carlisle Indian School shellacked Haskell Institute at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. What isn’t widely known is that the St. Louis University team was deemed the Olympic Champions that year by virtue of playing, and winning, all their home games at the fair site which doubled as the location of the 1904 Olympics. The 1905 Spalding’s Guide includes a photo of the team titled “St. Louis University, Olympic World’s Champions.” While the pre-Billiken St. Louis U. footballers went undefeated, untied, and unscored upon through their eleven-game schedule, they were probably not even the second or third best team to play in front of an Olympic audience that year. The only major schools played were Kentucky, Arkansas and Missouri.

The Haskell Institute Fighting Indians were also undefeated in regular season play that year but gave up six points each to Nebraska and Kansas. They had also beaten Texas and Missouri. At that time, comparative scores were considered but Haskell and St. Louis had only one common opponent: Missouri. St. Louis shut them out 17-0 where Haskell humiliated them 38-0. Additionally, Haskell played a much tougher schedule, mostly on the road. Martin A. Delaney, Coach of St. Louis University’s football team, wrote about the World’s Fair/Olympics impact on football in the region:

During the season of 1904 football in the Southwest received a stimulus which did more to develop the game in this section than ten years of independent effort on the part of the various teams could possibly have done. This stimulus was given by the Physical Culture Department of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The department took charge of the schedules of St. Louis’ principal teams—those of Washington and St. Louis Universities—furnished them grounds, and brought the best teams in the section to meet them. As a consequence, these teams and the teams who played them had a season of unexampled success and development.

 

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