McMillin during his stint at Indiana
|Born||January 12, 1895|
Prairie Hill, Texas
|Died||March 31, 1952 57) (aged|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|1948–1951||Detroit Lions (GM)|
|Head coaching record|
|Overall||140–77–13 (college football)|
26–28 (college basketball)
|Accomplishments and honors|
2 LIAA (1922–1923)
1 Big Ten (1945)
3x All-American (1919, 1920, 1921)
All-time Centre team (1935)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1945)
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (1952)
| College Football Hall of Fame |
Inducted in 1951 (profile)
Alvin Nugent "Bo" McMillin (January 12, 1895 – March 31, 1952) was an American football player and coach at the collegiate and professional level. He played college football at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he was a three-time All-American at quarterback, and led the Centre Praying Colonels to an upset victory over Harvard in 1921. McMillin was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player as part of its inaugural 1951 class.
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.
Centre College is a private liberal arts college located in Danville, Kentucky, a community of approximately 16,000 in Boyle County, about 35 miles (55 km) south of Lexington, Kentucky. Centre is an undergraduate four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 1,400 students. Centre was founded by Presbyterian leaders, and it maintains a loose affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). It was officially chartered by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1819. The college is a member of the Associated Colleges of the South and the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.
McMillin was the head football coach at Centenary College of Louisiana (1922–1924), Geneva College (1925–1927), Kansas State University (1928–1933) and Indiana University (1934–1947), compiling a career college-football coaching record of 140–77–13. In 1945, he led Indiana to its first Big Ten Conference title and was named AFCA Coach of the Year.
Centenary College of Louisiana is a private, four-year arts and sciences college located in Shreveport, Louisiana. The college is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Geneva College is a Christian liberal arts college in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1848, in Northwood, Ohio, the college moved to its present location in 1880, where it continues to educate a student body of about 1400 traditional undergraduates in over 30 majors, as well as graduate students in a handful of master's programs. It is the only undergraduate institution affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.
Kansas State University (KSU), commonly shortened to Kansas State or K-State, is a public research university with its main campus in Manhattan, Kansas, United States. Kansas State was opened as the state's land-grant college in 1863 and was the first public institution of higher learning in the state of Kansas. It had a record high enrollment of 24,766 students for the Fall 2014 semester.
After graduating from Centre, McMillin played professionally with the Milwaukee Badgers and Cleveland Indians—two early National Football League (NFL) teams—in 1922 and 1923. He later returned to the NFL, coaching the Detroit Lions from 1948 to 1950 and the Philadelphia Eagles for the first two games of the 1951 season before his death. McMillin's career NFL coaching mark was 14–24.
The Milwaukee Badgers were a professional American football team, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that played in the National Football League from 1922 to 1926. The team played its home games at Athletic Park, later known as Borchert Field, on Milwaukee's north side. The team was notable for having a large number of African-American players for the time.
The Cleveland Bulldogs were a team that played in Cleveland, Ohio in the National Football League. They were originally called the Indians in 1923, not to be confused with the Cleveland Indians NFL franchise in 1922. However, after team owner Samuel Deutsch purchased the Canton Bulldogs in 1924, he merged the Canton team with his Indians and renamed his franchise the Cleveland Bulldogs. The Canton Bulldogs remained a part of the team until 1925, when they were sold back to Canton. The Cleveland Bulldogs played in the NFL until 1928 when they were relocated to Detroit and became the Detroit Wolverines. The team was later incorporated into the New York Giants in 1929. The Cleveland Bulldogs won the 1924 NFL championship.
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.
McMillin was born on January 12, 1895 to Reuben Thomas McMillin and Martha Buchanan Reilly in Prairie Hill, Limestone County, Texas. The family moved in 1897 to Waco and in 1901 to Fort Worth.McMillin's father was a meat packer. As a child, Bo was known to pick fights, but was also known all his life as one who never drunk nor smoked nor swore. He spoke with a distinctive Texas drawl. He was an Irish Catholic.
Prairie Hill is an unincorporated community in western Limestone County, Texas, United States. It lies along U.S. Route 84 northwest of the city of Groesbeck, the county seat of Limestone County. Its elevation is 594 feet (181 m). Although Prairie Hill is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 76678.
Fort Worth is a city in the U.S. state of Texas. It is the 15th-largest city in the United States and fifth-largest city in Texas. It is the county seat of Tarrant County, covering nearly 350 square miles (910 km2) into four other counties: Denton, Johnson, Parker, and Wise. According to the 2017 census estimates, Fort Worth's population is 874,168. Fort Worth is the second-largest city in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, which is the 4th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.
Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream. Most commonly the substance is the dried leaves of the tobacco plant which have been rolled into a small square of rice paper to create a small, round cylinder called a "cigarette". Smoking is primarily practiced as a route of administration for recreational drug use because the combustion of the dried plant leaves vaporizes and delivers active substances into the lungs where they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and reach bodily tissue. In the case of cigarette smoking these substances are contained in a mixture of aerosol particles and gasses and include the pharmacologically active alkaloid nicotine; the vaporization creates heated aerosol and gas into a form that allows inhalation and deep penetration into the lungs where absorption into the bloodstream of the active substances occurs. In some cultures, smoking is also carried out as a part of various rituals, where participants use it to help induce trance-like states that, they believe, can lead them to spiritual enlightenment.
He played football as a running back at North Side High School in Fort Worth and Somerset High School in Somerset, Kentucky. At North Side, he played with Red Weaver and was coached by Robert L. (Chief) Myers. Sully Montgomery, Matty Bell, Bill James and Bob Mathias also attended North Side. 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) and 165 pounds (75 kg).By the ninth grade, McMillin had reached his full growth at
A running back (RB) is an American and Canadian football position, a member of the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block. There are usually one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a halfback, a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back" if he is the team's starting running back.
North Side High School is a public secondary school located in Fort Worth, Texas. The school serves about 1,600 students in the Fort Worth Independent School District.
Somerset is a home rule-class city in Pulaski County, Kentucky, United States. The city population was 11,196 according to the 2010 census.
Myers obtained the coaching job at his alma mater, Centre College, and brought all the above-named players with him. McMillin and Weaver did not have sufficient high-school credits to enter college and enrolled at Somerset High School for the 1916-17 year, playing with Red Roberts."I've got a boy under my wing down here in Texas who's a football-playing fool and I want him to go to Centre. I'd like for you to get him in a high school up there, and away from his pool-playing pals in Texas." wrote Myers to a man in Somerset.
Alma mater is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one formerly attended. In US usage it can also mean the school from which one graduated. The phrase is variously translated as "nourishing mother", "nursing mother", or "fostering mother", suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students. Fine arts will often depict educational institutions using a robed woman as a visual metaphor.
James Madison "Red" Roberts was an American football player and coach. He played football for the Centre Praying Colonels in Danville, Kentucky. Roberts was thrice selected All-Southern, and a unanimous choice for the Associated Press Southeast Area All-Time football team 1869-1919 era. After college Roberts, played in the early National Football League (NFL) for the Toledo Maroons and the Akron Pros. He also played in the first American Football League for the Cleveland Panthers. He later made a run for the office of Governor of Kentucky as a Democrat in 1931, losing in the primary to Ruby Laffoon who went on to win the election.
Pool is a classification of cue sports played on a table with six pockets along the , into which balls are deposited. Each specific pool game has its own name; some of the better-known include eight-ball, eightball pool and its variant blackball, nine-ball, ten-ball, seven-ball, straight pool, one-pocket, and bank pool.
McMillin began his collegiate career at Centre College in Kentucky. McMillin was a poor student who supported himself by gamblingand liked to play football. McMillin failed all his courses during his senior year, eventually receiving his A.B. degree from Centre in 1937 with credit for military service and courses taken after he left the college. According to McMillin, he initially left Centre with $3,500 in debt.
He was a Hall-of-Fame, three-time All-American, triple-threat quarterback on the Centre Colonels football team under head coaches Chief Myers and Charley Moran. McMillin was the quarterback on Centre's all-time football team which was chosen in 1935.He was nominated for the Associated Press All-Time Southeast 1869-1919-era team. In McMillin's day of iron man football, he was also a safety man on defense and a kick returner on special teams.
He began playing football at Centre in 1917, making an impact as a freshman when his 17-yard drop kick defeated the rival Kentucky Wildcats 3–0 (his only field goal).During his freshman year, McMillin was also on the track team; on April 27, 1917, he won the 220-yard dash at a Centre interscholastic track meet.
He missed the following year to serve in the United States Navy during the final year of World War I before returning to Centre.
In 1919, McMillin was selected to the Walter Camp All-America first team at quarterback after helping the Praying Colonels to a perfect 9–0 record (including upsets of Indiana and West Virginia).Centre had been down 3–0 to Indiana for most of the game, scoring a touchdown to lead 6–3 with just over a minute left. Desperate to even the score, Indiana tossed a pass which was intercepted by McMillin, who returned it for a touchdown, dodging and straight arming the entire Indiana eleven. McMillin had the team pray before the West Virginia game, giving the Centre College Colonels its nickname of the "Praying Colonels". The 1919 team was selected for a national championship by MIT statistician Jeff Sagarin.
In 1920, McMillin received second-team All-America honors from Camp as Centre posted another successful season.However, the season did include a disappointing 31–14 loss to defending national champion Harvard. With the Harvard game tied 7–7, it was 4th down and 6 at the 30-yard line. Instead of punting, McMillin "defied every "don't" in the football book" and tossed a touchdown pass.
McMillin also had his only loss to a team from the South, to Georgia Tech by a 20–0 score. Tech tackle Bill Fincher reportedly tried to knock McMillin out of the game with brass knuckles or "something equally diabolical."Before the game, Fincher said "You're a great player Bo...I feel awful sorry about it because you are not going to be in there very long—about three minutes." The Atlanta Constitution reported, "McMillin's forward passes outdid anything of the kind seen here in many years, but Tech seemed to know where they were going". According to one writer, "Even the great "Bo" McMillin was powerless against the Tech players".
1921 was an exceptional season for McMillin and Centre College. He was a consensus All-American, with an extraordinary October 29 effort against Harvard. After losing the year before, McMillin had promised that Centre would beat Harvard in 1921 (despite the Crimson's undefeated record since 1918). Before 43,000 fans, McMillin dashed 32 yards for the lone touchdown in a 6–0 Centre victory which ended Harvard's 25-game winning streak. Fullback Red Roberts told him, "It's time to score—ride my hump".McMillin dodged three of Harvard's secondary on his way to the end zone. Harvard coach Bob Fisher said after the game, "In Bo McMillin, Centre has a man who is probably the hardest in the country to stop".
MIT students who attended the game to cheer against Harvard tore down the goalposts and hoisted him on their shoulders and for decades afterward, it was known as "football's upset of the century".Tulane coach Clark Shaughnessy later wrote that the win "first awoke the nation to the possibilities of Southern football." Students painted the "impossible formula" of C6H0 around Danville, and the campus post office has a last vestige of the graffiti on its side. On the return celebration in Danville on Monday, Governor Edwin P. Morrow remarked "I'd rather be Bo McMillin this moment than the Governor of Kentucky."
The week before, Centre had defeated Transylvania 98–0 in a game where Spalding's Football Guide reported that McMillin ran back a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.The season ended with a 14–22 upset loss to Texas A&M in the Dixie Classic, when Texas A&M's 12th-man tradition originated. McMillin blamed himself for the loss. The day before the game, McMillin got married.
In an attempt to name Heisman Trophy winners retroactively before 1936, the National Football Foundation selected him as its 1921 recipient.
McMillin played professional football in the early days of the NFL, with the Milwaukee Badgers and the Cleveland Indians. McMillin could only play on certain weeks when the team he was coaching traveled North. The Badgers had to mail him the plays and signals the week before, pay him in advance, and he never had any practice with the team.
Building upon his success as a player, McMillin became a coach and spent the next quarter-century compiling a 146–77–13 record. McMillin's "tactical contributions" were "both negligible," the five man backfield and the "cockeyed T."
Preferring a small school,McMillin began at Centenary College of Louisiana in 1922. Over a three-year period, he lost only three of 28 games, and won two Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles.
McMillin's success in Louisiana allowed him to move on to Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, where he was the school's 13th head football coach for three seasons (1925–1927). His coaching record at Geneva was 22 wins, 6 losses and 1 tie, and he is a member of the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame.Geneva College fans generally consider McMillin among the best coaches in school history. His teams, renowned for playing some of the best teams in college football, prided themselves on a challenging schedule. Geneva opened the 1926 season with a 16–7 upset of Harvard.
Former Centre player Swede Anderson followed McMillin to Centenary and Geneva. Mack Flenniken also followed coach McMillin, as well as Cal Hubbard, the only person inducted into the Pro Football and Baseball Halls of Fame and Centenary's first All-American, at both schools.Georgia Tech coach Bill Alexander once watched Centenary when it was in Atlanta to play Oglethorpe. "Bo, this Oglethorpe bunch has fast backs, but the line is light and green. If you turn that Hubbard loose, he might kill some of them. Have Cal 'hurt his knee', why don't you, and let him sit on the bench?"
In 1928, McMillin was hired by Kansas State University to replace Hall of Fame coach Charlie Bachman. He coached successfully at Kansas State for six years, including an 8–2 season in 1931, which after a 5–0 start and Rose Bowl aspirations had the Wildcats suffer close losses to Iowa State and Nebraska.In his final season at the helm in 1933, Kansas State "had an unexpectedly fine season," including an upset of Oklahoma.
Elden Auker (McMillin's all-conference quarterback at Kansas State) wrote in his book, Sleeper Cars and Flannel Uniforms, "McMillin was a great psychologist. He really knew how to give us talks that fired us up ... The normal routine for McMillin was to bring us out onto the field to loosen up and then take us back into the locker room for a pep talk. By the time he was through talking, we believed we could take on the world".
McMillin's success at Kansas State propelled him into his most noteworthy achievements, coaching at Indiana University for 14 years, beginning in 1934. He helped improve the nondescript program to an undefeated season in 1945.That year was the first in which the Hoosiers won the Big Nine Conference and the school's only outright conference title. McMillin received the Coach of the Year Award. "I haven't seen Blanchard," said McMillin at the award ceremony's dinner, "but until I do, I'll settle for Pete Pihos any time."
McMillin was successful at the annual College All-Star game, winning in 1938 and 1946 against the defending NFL champions.
Indiana was reportedly at another Big Ten stadium when McMillin sought entrance several hours before the game, only to find the gates locked and guarded. He coaxed the guards to open one gate so they could discuss the problem and announced, "This is the Indiana football team. We've been marching around this place long enough, and, suh, we are not wearying ourselves before we get our suits on".
Despite becoming the school's athletic director and earning apparent lifetime security, with seven years remaining on his most-recent contract the 53-year-old McMillin sought new challenges after the 1947 season.He accepted a five-year contract to coach the National Football League's Detroit Lions on February 19, 1948.
McMullin's coaching success disappeared with the Lions as the team dropped its first five games in 1948 and finished with a 2–10 record. In addition to many on-field changes, he briefly changed the team's colors from the familiar Hawaiian blue to maroon (similar to the color worn by his Indiana teams).
The Lions also struggled in 1949, with a 4–8 record, but picked up the rights to future star Doak Walker and brought in quarterback Bobby Layne and Heisman Trophy winner Leon Hart the following year.Continued conflict with players led to McMillin's departure after the end of the 1950 NFL season, which saw the Lions finish with a 6–6 record.
He then took up the challenge of returning the Philadelphia Eagles to their previous glory when he was hired on February 8, 1951, succeeding Earle (Greasy) Neale.After two games, both victories, McMillin underwent surgery for what was thought to be stomach ulcers. The findings were far worse: stomach cancer, which ended his coaching career. On March 31, 1952 (exactly 21 years after the death of Knute Rockne), McMillin died of a heart attack; his funeral was attended by many fellow coaches and former players.
In November 1951, during the last months of his life, McMillin was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for his success as a player. Two months later, he received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award from the American Football Coaches Association for his contributions to the sport. In 2013 McMillin was posthumously inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame,and he is also a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1923 a horse named Bo McMillin, owned by J. Pendergast, ran in the Kentucky Derby. At odds of 12–1, the horse (ridden by D. Connelly) finished 12th in the 21-horse field.
McMillin’s grandson, the son of his daughter Kathryn Jane Bubier, Craig McMillin Bubier, was an All-American lacrosse player at Johns Hopkins University in 1986.The next season, Bubier's senior year, was capped by Bubier scoring the winning goal to secure his third national championship. His championship streak continued in the 1990 World Games.
|Centenary Gentlemen (Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association)(1922–1924)|
|Geneva Covenanters (Independent)(1925–1927)|
|Kansas State Wildcats (Big Six Conference)(1928–1933)|
|Indiana Hoosiers (Big Ten Conference)(1934–1947)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
|DET||1948||2||10||0||.167||5th in NFL Western|
|DET||1949||4||8||0||.333||4th in NFL Western|
|DET||1950||6||6||0||.500||4th in NFL National|
|PHI||1951||2||0||0||1.000||5th in NFL American|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bo McMillin .|
Robert Calvin Hubbard was a professional American football player and Major League Baseball (MLB) umpire. After playing football at Centenary College and Geneva College, Hubbard played in the National Football League (NFL) between 1927 and 1936 for the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Pirates, playing the bulk of his career with the Packers. Hubbard is credited as being one of the inventors of the football position of linebacker.
Peter Louis Pihos was an American football player and coach.
Charles Barthell Moran, nicknamed "Uncle Charley", was an American sportsman who gained renown as both a catcher and umpire in Major League Baseball and as a collegiate and professional American football coach.
William Enoch Fincher was an American college football player and coach. He played the end and tackle positions for the Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football team of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Fincher was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1974.
Carl Rudolph Frederick "Swede" Anderson IV was an American college football coach at Western Kentucky University and Howard Payne University. Anderson graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in 1924, where he played in the backfield with legendary alumnus Bo McMillin. Anderson then followed McMillin to Centenary College of Louisiana and Geneva College. Anderson then served one year as the head football coach at Western Kentucky, before moving to Kansas State as its freshman team coach in 1930. Anderson returned to Western Kentucky as its head coach from 1934 to 1937. He was the backfield coach under McMillin at Indiana from 1938 to 1945. He then returned to his alma mater, Centre College, where he coached the Praying Colonels until 1950. The following season, Anderson became the seventh head football coach at the Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas and held that position from 1951 to 1952. His coaching record at Howard Payne was 7–10.
The 1921 Centre vs. Harvard football game, played October 29, 1921, was a college football game between Centre College and Harvard University. Centre beat Harvard 6–0, in what is widely considered one of the greatest upsets in college football history.
The Centre Colonels football team, historically also known as the Praying Colonels, represents Centre College in NCAA Division III competition. The Colonels currently play in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), which was established in 2011. Before the establishment of the SAA, Centre played 50 seasons in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Despite the school's small size, the football team has historically had success and possesses a strong tradition. At the end of the 2008 season, the school ranked as the 12th winningest school in Division III with an all-time record of 509–374–37.
Phillip Norris "Army" Armstrong was an American football player and coach.
The 1921 Centre Praying Colonels football team represented Centre College of Danville, Kentucky in the 1921 college football season. Led by coach Charley Moran, the Praying Colonels compiled a 10–1 record, scoring 334 points while allowing 28 points.
The 1919 Centre Praying Colonels football team represented Centre College in the 1919 college football season. The Praying Colonels scored 485 points, leading the nation, while allowing 23 points and finishing their season with a perfect record of 9–0. The team was retroactively selected by Jeff Sagarin as national champion for the 1919 season.
James Redwick "Red" Weaver was an American football player and coach.
Carmel Arthur "Tim" Temerario was a high school, college and professional American football coach and executive. He was an assistant coach for the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins, and served as the Redskins' director of player personnel between 1965 and 1978.
Herbert Hunt "Flash" Covington, also called "The Mayfield Flash", was an American football, basketball, and baseball player for the Centre Praying Colonels of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
William James was an American football player and coach.
The 1921 College Football All-Southern Team consists of American football players selected to the College Football All-Southern Teams selected by various organizations for the 1921 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football season. This was the last year before many schools left the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) for the Southern Conference (SoCon).
Hall Terry Snoddy also known as Terry Snowday was a college football player.
Robert Lee "Chief" Myers was an American football coach and athletic director foundational in the success of the Centre Praying Colonels football programs of Centre College in the period from 1917 to 1924. This era included the 1921 Centre vs. Harvard football game, one of the sport's greatest upsets.
The 1936 Indiana Hoosiers football team represented the Indiana Hoosiers in the 1936 college football season. The participated as members of the Big Ten Conference. The Hoosiers played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. The team was coached by Bo McMillin, in his third year as head coach of the Hoosiers.
The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame is a sports hall of fame for the U.S. state of Kentucky established in 1963. The hall "recognizes athletes and sports figures who were born in, or who played their respective sport, in the state of Kentucky." Individuals are inducted annually at a banquet in Louisville and receive a bronze plaque inside Louisville's Freedom Hall.