|Born||August 16, 1862|
West Orange, New Jersey
|Died||March 17, 1965 102) (aged|
|Position(s)||End, fullback, halfback|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1890–1891||Williston Seminary (MA)|
|1947–1952||Susquehanna (associate HC)|
|1953–1958||Stockton College (ST)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Overall||314–199–35 (.605) (college football)|
14–6 (.700) (basketball)
266–158–3 (.626) (baseball)
|Accomplishments and honors|
7 Western / Big Ten (1899, 1905, 1907–1908, 1913, 1922, 1924)
5 NCAC (1936, 1938, 1940–1942)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1943)
| College Football Hall of Fame |
Inducted in 1951 (profile)
| Basketball Hall of Fame |
Inducted in 1959 (profile)
Amos Alonzo Stagg (August 16, 1862 – March 17, 1965) was an American athlete and college coach in multiple sports, primarily American football. 314–199–35 (.605). His undefeated Chicago Maroons teams of 1905 and 1913 were recognized as national champions. He was also the head basketball coach for one season at Chicago (1920–1921), and the Maroons' head baseball coach for nineteen seasons (1893–1905, 1907–1913).He served as the head football coach at the International YMCA Training School (now called Springfield College) (1890–1891), the University of Chicago (1892–1932), and the College of the Pacific (1933–1946), compiling a career college football record of
At Chicago, Stagg also instituted an annual prep basketball tournament and track meet. Both drew the top high school teams and athletes from around the United States.
Stagg played football as an end at Yale University and was selected to the first All-America Team in 1889. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach in the charter class of 1951 and was the only individual honored in both roles until the 1990s. Influential in other sports, Stagg developed basketball as a five-player sport. This five-man concept allowed his 10 (later 11) man football team the ability to compete with each other and to stay in shape over the winter. Stagg was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in its first group of inductees in 1959.
Stagg also forged a bond between sports and religious faith early in his career that remained important to him for the rest of his life.
Stagg was born in a poor Irish neighborhood of West Orange, New Jersey, and attended Phillips Exeter Academy.
Stagg entered Yale University in 1884 and received his bachelor's degree in 1888. He spent two additional years at Yale studying in the Divinity School under William Rainey Harper before deciding he could have more influence on young men through coaching than through the pulpit. He was very active in the Yale YMCA where he served as general secretary during his last two years.
Stagg was as a pitcher at Yale; he declined the offers to play for six different professional baseball teams. nonetheless influenced the game through his invention of the batting cage.He
Stagg played on the 1888 team, and was an end on the first All-America Team in 1889.
Stagg later gave up his desire for the ministry and decided to become a coach and athletic director. He spent two years at the International YMCA Training School , now known as Springfield College, from 1890 to 1892.
Basketball had been invented in 1891 by James Naismith, a teacher at the YMCA School in Springfield. On March 11, 1892, Stagg, still an instructor at the YMCA School, played in the first public game of basketball. A crowd of 200 watched as the student team defeated the faculty, 5–1. Stagg scored the only basket for the losing side. He popularized the five-player lineup on basketball teams.
Stagg became the first paid football coach at Williston Seminary, a secondary school, in 1890. This was also Stagg's first time receiving pay to coach football. He coached there one day a week while also coaching full-time at the International YMCA Training School.Stagg then coached at the University of Chicago from 1892 to 1932. He was the head football coach and director of the Department of Physical Culture. Eventually, university president Robert Maynard Hutchins forced out the 70-year-old Stagg, who he felt was too old to continue coaching.
At age 70, Stagg moved on to the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California,where he led the Tigers for 14 seasons, from 1933 through 1946, then was asked to resign. One of his players at Pacific in 1945-46 was Hall of Fame coach of Navy and Temple Wayne Hardin.
In the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, Stagg served as a coach with the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team. He played himself in the movie Knute Rockne, All American , released in 1940. From 1947 to 1952 he served as co-coach with his son, Amos Jr., at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. Stagg's final job was as kicking coach at the local junior college in Stockton, California, which was then known as Stockton College. "The Grand Old Man of Football" retired from Stockton College at the age of 96 and died in Stockton six years later.
Stagg was reportedly an activist for vegetarianism and banned his players from using alcohol and tobacco.In 1907, he trained his Chicago football team on a strict vegetarian diet. This was widely reported in newspapers and vegetarian literature. Stagg had spent time at the vegetarian Battle Creek Sanitarium in 1907 and was inspired by John Harvey Kellogg's vegetarian diet. Although Stagg was cited in vegetarian literature as advocating a strict vegetarian diet throughout his life, in his memoir he stated that he was a vegetarian for only two years and did it in an attempt to relieve his chronic sciatic pain. Stagg did not consume alcohol, coffee, or cigarettes and promoted the consumption of vegetables over red meat.
Stagg was married to the former Stella Robertson on September 10, 1894.The couple had three children: two sons, Amos Jr. and Paul, and a daughter, Ruth. Both sons played for the elder Stagg as quarterbacks at the University of Chicago and each later coached college football. In 1952, Barbara Stagg, Amos' granddaughter, started coaching the high school girls' basketball team for Northern Lehigh High School in Slatington, Pennsylvania.
Two high schools in the United States, one in Palos Hills, Illinois, and the other in Stockton, California, and an elementary school in Chicago, Illinois, are named after Stagg.The NCAA Division III National Football Championship game, played in Salem, Virginia, is named the Stagg Bowl after him. The athletic stadium at Springfield College is named Stagg Field. The football field at Susquehanna University is named Amos Alonzo Stagg Field in honor of both Stagg Sr. and Jr. Stagg was also the namesake of the University of Chicago's old Stagg Field. At University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, one of the campus streets is known as Stagg Way and Pacific Memorial Stadium, the school's football and soccer stadium, was renamed Amos Alonzo Stagg Memorial Stadium on October 15, 1988. Phillips Exeter Academy also has a field named for him and a statue. A field in West Orange, New Jersey on Saint Cloud Avenue is also named for him. The Amos Alonzo Stagg Award is awarded annually to the "individual, group, or institution whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football." The winner of the Big Ten Football Championship Game, started in 2011, receives the Stagg Championship Trophy, named in his honor.
At the College of William and Mary, the Amos Alonzo Stagg Society was organized during 1979–1980 by students and faculty opposed to a plan by the institution's Board of Visitors to move William and Mary back into big-time college football several decades after a scandal there involving grade changes for football players. The Society was loosely organized but successful in combating, among other plans, a major expansion of the William and Mary football stadium.
Collections of Amos Alonzo Stagg's papers are held at the University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center and at the University of the Pacific Library, Holt Atherton Department of Special Collections.The Alonzo Stagg 50/20 Hike goes through Arlington, Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland.
The Stagg Tree, a giant sequoia in the Alder Creek Grove and the fifth largest tree in the world, is named in honor of Amos Alonzo Stagg.
The Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, otherwise known as the NCAA Division III Football Championship Game since 1973, is competed annually as the final game of the NCAA Division III Football Tournament. The Stagg Bowl can be traced back to 1969, prior to the inception of the D-III national championship. At that time—from 1969 to 1973—the Stagg Bowl was one of two bowls competed at the College Division level—the Knute Rockne Bowl and the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl. In 1973, the NCAA instituted the D-III national championship, and the Stagg Bowl was adopted as the moniker for that game.
The first 10 Stagg Bowls were played in Phenix City, Alabama, from 1973 to 1982. Wittenberg University (Ohio) won the inaugural game via a 41–0 result over Juniata College (Pa.). The game moved to Kings Island, Ohio, for the 1983 and 1984 editions, with Augustana College (Ill.) winning the first two of its four straight NCAA titles.
The Stagg Bowl returned to Phenix City for five more years, before spending three seasons in Bradenton, Florida.
In 1993, the Stagg Bowl moved to Salem, Va., where it remained until 2017.The University of Mount Union (formerly Mount Union College) won the first of its NCAA Division III-record 13 football national championships in 1993. The Championship was held in Shenandoah, TX, in 2018 and 2019.
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium at Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls in Canton, Ohio, was originally awarded the 2020 and 2021 Stagg Bowls; however, the 2020 Championship was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The 2021 Stagg Bowl will be held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium December 2-4, 2021.
The following is a list of innovations Stagg introduced to American football. Where known, the year of its first use is annotated in parentheses. Stagg is noted as a 'contributor' if he was one of a group of individuals responsible for a given innovation.
In addition to Stagg's championships and innovations, another aspect of his legacy is in his players and assistant coaches who went on to become head football and basketball coaches at other colleges and universities across the countries.
Assistant coaches who became head coaches:
Former players who went on to become head coaches
|Springfield YMCA (Independent)(1890–1891)|
|Chicago Maroons (Independent)(1892–1895)|
|Chicago Maroons (Western Conference / Big Ten Conference)(1896–1932)|
|Pacific Tigers (Far Western Conference)(1933–1942)|
|Pacific Tigers (Independent)(1943–1945)|
|Pacific Tigers (Far Western Conference)(1946)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
|Chicago Maroons (Big Ten Conference)(1920–1921)|
James Naismith was a Canadian-American physical educator, physician, Christian chaplain, sports coach, and inventor of the game of basketball. After moving to the United States, he wrote the original basketball rule book and founded the University of Kansas basketball program. Naismith lived to see basketball adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904 and as an official event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, as well as the birth of the National Invitation Tournament (1938) and the NCAA Tournament (1939).
The NCAA Division III Football Championship began in 1973.
Herbert Orin "Fritz" Crisler was an American college football coach who is best known as "the father of two-platoon football," an innovation in which separate units of players were used for offense and defense. Crisler developed two-platoon football while serving as head coach at the University of Michigan from 1938 to 1947. He also coached at the University of Minnesota (1930–1931) and Princeton University (1932–1937). Before coaching, he played football at the University of Chicago under Amos Alonzo Stagg, who nicknamed him Fritz after violinist Fritz Kreisler.
Frederick Mitchell Walker, nicknamed "Mysterious", was an American athlete and coach. He was a three-sport athlete for the University of Chicago from 1904 to 1906 and played Major League Baseball as a right-handed pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Superbas, Pittsburgh Rebels and Brooklyn Tip-Tops.
Harold Jonathan Iddings was an American football player and coach of football, basketball and track and field. A 1909 graduate from the University of Chicago, he served as head football coach at Miami University from 1909 to 1910, at Simpson College from 1911 to 1913, at Otterbein College in 1916, and at Penn College—now known as William Penn University—in Oskaloosa, Iowa in 1921, compiling a career college football record of 16–26–1. Iddings was also the head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky (1910–1911), Simpson (1911–1914), Otterbein (1916–1917), and the Carnegie Institute of Technology (1920–1921).
Herman James Stegeman was a player and coach of American football, basketball, baseball, and track and field athletics, and a college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Beloit College (1915), Monmouth College (1916–1917), and the University of Georgia (1920–1922), compiling a career college football coaching record of 29–17–6. At Georgia, Stegeman was also the head basketball coach (1919–1931), head baseball coach (1919–1920), and head track and field coach (1920–1937).
Norman Carr Paine was an American football and basketball player and coach, college athletics administrator, and physician. He served as the head football coach at Baylor University (1913), the University of Arkansas (1917–1918), and Iowa State University (1920), compiling a career college football coaching record of 16–11–3. Paine was also the head basketball coach at Baylor during the 1913–14 season, tallying a mark of 1–8. He was the athletic director at Baylor from 1913 to 1914. Paine later practiced medicine in Los Angeles County, California.
Dana Xenophon Bible was an American football player, coach of football, basketball, and baseball, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Mississippi College (1913–1915), Louisiana State University (1916), Texas A&M University, the University of Nebraska (1929–1936), and the University of Texas (1937–1946), compiling a career college football record of 198–72–23. Bible was also the head basketball coach at Texas A&M from 1920 to 1927 and the head baseball coach there from 1920 to 1921. In addition, he was the athletic director at Nebraska from 1932 to 1936 and at Texas from 1937 to 1956. Bible was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1951.
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Raymond Leamore Quigley was an American football player, track athlete, coach in multiple sports, and athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Northern Normal and Industrial School in South Dakota—now known as Northern State University—from 1910 to 1911 and at the University of Arizona for one season in 1912, compiling a career college football coaching record of 10–7. Quigley was also the head basketball coach at Arizona for two seasons, from 1912 to 1914, tallying a mark of 10–4, and the head baseball coach at the school for one season in 1913. Quigley served as the playground superintendent for the city of Fresno, California from 1914 until his retirement in 1953.
The Chicago Maroons football represents the University of Chicago in college football. The Maroons, which play in NCAA Division III, have been a football-only member of the Midwest Conference since 2017. The University of Chicago was a founding member of the Big Ten Conference and the Maroons were coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg for 41 seasons. In 1935, halfback Jay Berwanger became the first recipient of the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, later known as the Heisman Trophy. In the late 1930s, university president Robert Maynard Hutchins decided that big-time college football and the university's commitment to academics were not compatible. The University of Chicago abolished its football program in 1939 and withdrew from the Big Ten in 1946. Football returned to the University of Chicago in 1963 in the form of a club team, which was upgraded to varsity status in 1969. The Maroons began competing in Division III in 1973.
Claude J. "Jump" Hunt was an American football and basketball coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Hillsdale College (1911–1912), Carleton College, and the University of Washington, compiling a career college football record of 87–30–6.
Nelson H. Norgren was an American football, basketball, and baseball player and coach. As a coach, he led the University of Utah to a national AAU basketball championship in 1916. He later served as the basketball coach at the University of Chicago from 1921 to 1957.
Thomas Nelson "Nellie" Metcalf was an American football and basketball player, track athlete, coach of football and track, professor of physical education, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Columbia University (1915–1917) as well as his alma mater, Oberlin College, compiling a career college football record of 33–13–4. From 1924 to 1933, Metcalf taught at Iowa State University in the physical education department and served as the school's athletic director. He then moved on to the University of Chicago, where he was the athletic director from 1933 to 1956. At Chicago, he replaced Amos Alonzo Stagg, who was forced into retirement at the age of 70 after 40 years of service as the school's athletic director and head football coach.
Frederick Adolph Speik was an American football player and coach. He played for the University of Chicago from 1901 to 1904 and was selected as a first-team All-American in 1904. He was the head football coach at Purdue University from 1908 to 1909, compiling a record of 6–8.
Walter E. Marks was an American football, basketball, and baseball player, coach, college athletics administrator, sports official, and university instructor. Marks played football, basketball, and baseball at the University of Chicago. Between 1927 and 1955 he served as the head football, basketball, baseball, and golf coach at Indiana State University, with hiatuses from 1930 to 1931, when he earned a master's degree at Indiana University, and from 1942 to 1945, when he served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Marks was best known for his football and baseball coaching career(s); though his tenure as basketball coach was highlighted by the Sycamores' run to the semifinals of the 1936 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Robert S. Harris was an American football and basketball player and basketball coach. He played college football and basketball at the University of Chicago. He was the head coach of the 1908–09 Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team.
Arthur Hill Badenoch was an American football player, coach of football, basketball, and baseball, and college athletics administrator. Badenoch played college football at the University of Chicago. There he played as a tackle under Amos Alonzo Stagg. Badenoch served as the head football coach at Rose Polytechnic Institute—now Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology—in 1906 and at New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts—now New Mexico State University—from 1910 to 1913, compiling a career college football coaching record of 23–7–2. He was also the head basketball coach at New Mexico A&M from 1910 to 1913 and the school's head baseball coach in 1913. Badenoch served at the athletic director at Rose Polytechnic during the 1906–07 academic year. He held the same position the following year (1907–08) at the now-defunct Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah. From 1908 to 1910, Badenoch was the athletic director of the Illinois Athletic Club in Chicago, Illinois.
Patty Berg-Burnett is a volleyball player and coach. She played collegiately for San Joaquin Delta College and the University of the Pacific.