Tom Thorp

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Tom Thorp
Tomthorp1922.png
Thorp circa 1922
Biographical details
BornMarch 6, 1884
Manhattan, New York City
DiedJuly 6, 1942(1942-07-06) (aged 58)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Playing career
1903–1904 Columbia
Position(s) Tackle
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1912–1913 Fordham
1922–1924 NYU
Head coaching record
Overall21–17–4

Thomas Joseph Thorp (March 6, 1884 – July 6, 1942) was an American football player and coach, sports writer, and football and horse racing official. He served as the head football at Fordham University from 1912 to 1913 and at New York University from 1922 to 1924, compiling a career college football record of 21–17–4.

Contents

Early years

He was born on March 6, 1884 in Manhattan, New York City in the neighborhood known as the Roaring Forties.

He enrolled at Columbia University where he played at the tackle position for the school's football teams in 1903 and 1904. He was among the first non-Ivy League players to be named to Walter Camp's All-America team, [1] and was selected as an All-American in both 1903 and 1904. In October 1905, amid the movement to eradicate professionalism from college football, Columbia's faculty dropped Thorp from the university. The New York Times wrote that Thorp had been "the backbone" of the team and reported that Thorp's expulsion was "the worst blow that Columbia football has received" and a move that "cast the gloom of despair" over the prospects for the Columbia football team in 1905. [2] Upon being expelled from Columbia, Thorp sought admission to Cornell, but he was not able to acquire advance standing. Thorp next went to the University of Virginia, where he was enrolled and played football. [3] [4]

Sports writer

In the late 1900s, Thorp was hired as a sports writer for the New York Journal . He also worked for a time for the New York American and the New York World . [1] He continued to work as a journalist until 1936, when he became employed as a full-time official at horse racing tracks. [3] Following his death in 1942, he was remembered as "a bona fide newspaperman, which is to say ... he was an able, news-chasing, news-writing reporter." [5]

Coaching and officiating

Fordham

Thorp was head football coach at Fordham University for the 1912 and 1913 seasons, compiling a record of 7–7–2. [6]

NYU

Thorp was the 18th head football coach a New York University (NYU), serving for three seasons, from 1922 to 1924, and compiling a record of 14–10–2. [7] This ranks him fourth at NYU in total wins and third at NYU in winning percentage. [8]

Officiating

When he was not coaching, Thorp also worked as an official for college football games. He officiated at many of the significant eastern games and was the first easterner to be invited to officiate at a Rose Bowl Game. He continued officiating at football games until 1940. [3]

Horse racing steward

In his later years, Thorp lived in Rockville Centre, New York. When pari-mutuel was permitted in New England in 1933, Thorp became employed in the horse racing business. [1] He served as the presiding steward at several race tracks, including Suffolk Downs, the Pagodas at Rockingham Park, Narragansett Park, and Tropical Park in Florida. [3] He was also the general manager at the Empire City track in Yonkers, New York for a time. [3] When Seabiscuit was matched against War Admiral, Thorp was the presiding steward at the race. When post time passed for the race, a crowd of reporters gathered, and it was Thorp who finally delivered the news that "Seabiscuit scratched." [5]

In late June 1942, after presiding over the races at Suffolk Downs, Thorp suffered a heart attack at a Boston hotel; he died a week later at Wyman House in Cambridge, Massachusetts. [3] Thorp was unmarried and was survived by his mother and two brothers. [3]

Head coaching record

YearTeamOverallConferenceStandingBowl/playoffs
Fordham Maroon (Independent)(1912–1913)
1912 Fordham 4–4
1913 Fordham 3–3–2
Fordham:7–7–2
NYU Violets (Independent)(1922–1924)
1922 NYU 4–5
1923 NYU 6–2–1
1924 NYU 4–3–1
NYU:14–10–2
Total:21–17–4

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The 1913 Fordham Maroon football team was an American football team that represented Fordham University as an independent during the 1913 college football season. In its second and final year under head coach Tom Thorp, Fordham claims an 18–9–2 record. College Football Data Warehouse (CFDW) lists the team's record at 3–3–2.

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The 1918 NYU Violets football team was an American football team that represented New York University as an independent during the 1918 college football season. In their first year under head coach Appleton A. Mason, the team compiled a 0–4 record.

The 1922 NYU Violets football team was an American football team that represented New York University as an independent during the 1922 college football season. In their first year under head coach Tom Thorp, the team compiled a 4–5 record. Prior to the start of the season, the Violets trained for ten days at Fort Slocum. In their final day of practice at the Fort, they played against a team of the Second Army Corps to a scoreless tie on September 25.

The 1923 NYU Violets football team was an American football team that represented New York University as an independent during the 1923 college football season. In their second year under head coach Tom Thorp, the team compiled a 6–2–1 record.

The 1924 NYU Violets football team was an American football team that represented New York University as an independent during the 1924 college football season. In their third year under head coach Tom Thorp, the team compiled a 3–3–1 record.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "Tom Thorp, Turf and Grid Official, Dies". Wisconsin State Journal (UP story). July 7, 1942.
  2. "Columbia Is Crippled By Football Verdicts: Capt. Thorp Dropped and Carter and Starbuck Cannot Play". The New York Times. October 12, 1905.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Death Takes Tom Thorp From New England Racing Scene". Lowell Sun. July 7, 1942.
  4. "'Tom' Thorp at Virginia: Columbia's Ex-Captain Played on 'Scrub' in Yesterday's Practice". The New York Times. October 31, 1905.
  5. 1 2 John F. Kenney (1940-07-08). "The Lookout: Tom Thorp Leaves ... a Fond Memory". Lowell Sun.
  6. College Football Data Warehouse Fordham Coaching Records
  7. The Ultimate Guide to College Football, James Quirk, 2004
  8. New York University Violets coaching records