Amos Alonzo Stagg and John L. Rothacher
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This picture shows Amos Alonzo Stagg (left) and John L. Rothacher (right) standing together in suits. An All-American Yale player, Amos Alonzo Stagg (1862-1965) brought football to Springfield College and coached the institution’s first team in 1891. After arriving as a graduate student and instructor in 1890, Stagg posted a notice inviting students and faculty to play football for the institution. The first year ended with a 5-3 record, highlighted by a 26-0 defeat of Amherst and a contest against Yale at Madison Square Garden, the first-ever indoor football game. Yale fielded a team of five varsity players, two substitutes, and a group of Yale graduates. Springfield College, at this time, had less than fifty students from which to draw. Stagg was the only experienced player on the Springfield College squad and found his team outsized by an average of twenty pounds per man. In a great game, Springfield College showed true courage and pride, but ultimately lost 16-10. The newspapers labeled Stagg’s team the “Stubby Christians,” commending the team for the surprise they gave everyone in attendance and how they outplayed the giants from New Haven. After coaching for fifty-seven years at number of different institutions, he became the dean of college football coaches. Stagg pioneered the huddle, the man in motion, the end-around, and the Statue of Liberty play, among others. During October 2006, the refurbished Benedum Field was renamed the Amos Alonzo Stagg Field. In The Fireside Book of Football, Edwin Pope describes Stagg as “football’s Ben Franklin, Alexander Bell, and Thomas Edison all rolled into one.” John L. Rothacher, Springfield College class of 1914, was inducted into the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1975. He coached the Springfield College football team from 1924-1936. The image is secured to thick poster board.
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
|Springfield College--Alumni and alumnae|
Stagg, Amos Alonzo, 1862-1965
Rothacher, John L
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