Amos Alonzo Stagg
|Amos Alonzo Stagg|
Stagg in 1906
|Sport(s)||Football, basketball, baseball, track and field|
August 16, 1862|
West Orange, New Jersey
|Died||March 17, 1965
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Williston Seminary (MA)
Susquehanna (associate HC)
Stockton College (ST)
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Overall||314–199–35 (college football)
College Football Data Warehouse
|Accomplishments and honors|
2 National (1905, 1913)
7 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 pioneering college coach in multiple sports, primarily American football. He served as the head football coach at the International Young Men's Christian Association 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 314–199–35. His Chicago Maroons teams of 1905 and 1913 have been recognized as national champions. He was also the head basketball coach for one season at the University of Chicago (1920–1921), and the head baseball coach there for 19 seasons (1893–1905, 1907–1913).
At University of Chicago, Stagg also instituted an annual prep basketball tourney 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 College Football 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 and 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 on in his career that remained important to him for the rest of his life.
Playing career 
Stagg was born in West Orange, New Jersey and attended Phillips Exeter Academy. Playing at Yale University, where he was a divinity student, and a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity and the secret Skull and Bones society, he was an end on the first All-America team, selected in 1889.
A pitcher on his college baseball team, he declined an opportunity to play professional baseball but nonetheless influenced the game through his invention of the batting cage. He went on to earn an MPE from the Young Men's Christian Training School, now known as Springfield College. On March 11, 1892, Stagg, still an instructor at the YMCA School, played in the first public game of basketball at the Springfield YMCA. A crowd of 200 watched as the student team beat the faculty, 5–1. Stagg scored the only basket for the losing side.
Coaching career 
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 would coach there one day a week while also coaching full-time at Springfield College. Stagg then coached at the University of Chicago from 1892 to 1932. University president Robert Maynard Hutchins forced out the septuagenarian 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 coached from 1933 to 1946. In 1946 Stagg was asked to resign as football coach at Pacific. During his career, he developed numerous basic tactics for the game (including the man in motion and the lateral pass), as well as some equipment. Stagg 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. In 1924, he served as a coach with the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team in Paris. 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 later died in Stockton, California, at 102 years old.
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 Slatington 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 the namesake of the University of Chicago's old Stagg Field where, on December 2, 1942, a team of Manhattan Project scientists led by Enrico Fermi created the world's first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction under the west stands of the abandoned stadium. 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 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.
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.
The Amos Alonzo Stagg Collection is held at the University of the Pacific Library, Holt Atherton Department of Special Collections. The Amos Alonzo Stagg 50-mile Endurance Hike is held annually along the C&O Canal outside Potomac, Maryland.
Innovations in football 
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.
- 7–2–2 defense (1890)
- center snap (1894; John Heisman and Walter Camp claimed to have invented it in 1893)
- onside kick (1894; possibly contributor)
- quick kick (1896)
- spiral snap (1896; contributor alongside Walter Camp and George Washington Woodruff)
- placement kick (1897; Stagg believed Princeton used it earlier)
- tackling dummy (1899)
- Statue of Liberty play (1908)
- T formation (contributor)
- forward pass (contributor alongside Eddie Cochems and Walter Camp)
- man in motion
- unbalanced line
- line shift
- sleeper play
- quarterback keeper
- delayed buck
- linebacker position
- hip pads
- numerical designation of plays
- lateral pass
- padded goalposts
- varsity letters
Head coaching record 
College football 
|Springfield College Pride (Independent) (1890–1891)|
|Chicago Maroons (Independent) (1892–1895)|
|Chicago Maroons (Big Ten Conference) (1896–1932)|
|Pacific Tigers (Northern California Athletic Conference) (1933–1946)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|#Rankings from final AP Poll.|
College basketball 
|Chicago Maroons (Big Ten Conference) (1920–1921)|
See also 
- The University of Chicago Faculty, A Centennial View
- Alexandra Robbins, Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power, Little, Brown and Company, 2002, page 126
- Robin Lester. He also received a MPE from Young Men's Christian Training School (now known as Springfield College)in 1891. Stagg's University: The Rise, Decline, and Fall of Big-time Football at Chicago, University of Illinois Press, 1995, page 9.
- The unreconstructed amateur: a pictorial biography of Amos Alonzo Stagg, Bob Considine, Amos Alonzo Stagg Foundation, 1962
- Jeff Davis, Papa Bear, p. 135, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2006, ISBN 0-07-147741-1.
- AP (October 14, 1932). "STAGG IS RETIRED AS CHICAGO COACH; University Invokes Age Rule of 70 to Relieve Him of All Active Duties. MOVE IN EFFECT NEXT JUNE Veteran's 40-Year Tenure Ends – Protesting Action, He May Decline a New Post. METCALF HIS SUCCESSOR Iowa State Official Named Athletic Director – Page Likely to Be Football Mentor.". The New York Times. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- "COP, Stagg Still Confer". San Francisco: Lodi News-Sentinel. December 2, 1946. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Steve Wulf, The Mighty Book of Sports Knowledge, p. 24, Random House, Inc., 2009.
- "Stagg Field". Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "Amos Alonzo Stagg Field at Nicholas A. Lopardo Stadium". Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "The Manhattan Project". Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "Stagg Memorial Stadium". Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "Athletic and Outdoor Facilities". Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- West Orange Recreation
- "Amos Alonzo Stagg Collection". Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- Associated Press (November 14, 2011). "Big Ten removes Joe Paterno's name from championship trophy". The Detroit News.
- Tom Perrin, Football: A College History, p. 84, McFarland, 1987.
- Allison Danzig, The History of American Football: Its Great Teams, Players, and Coaches, p. 175, Prentice-Hall, 1956.
- College Football: The Coach, Time magazine, March 26, 1965.
- Amos Alonzo Stagg, Touchdown!: As told by Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg to Wesley Winans Stout, p. 109, Longmans, Green and Co., 1927.
- Richard Whittingham, Rites of Autumn: The Story of College Football, p. 40, Simon and Schuster, 2001.
- Robin Lester, Stagg's University: The Rise, Decline, and Fall of Big-Time Football at Chicago, p. 251, University of Illinois Press, 1999.
- Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Volume 44, p. xviii, American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, 1973.
- University of Chicago profile
- Amos Alonzo Stagg (coach) at the College Football Hall of Fame
- Amos Alonzo Stagg (player) at the College Football Hall of Fame
- Amos Alonzo Stagg at the Basketball Hall of Fame
- Amos Alonzo Stagg at the College Football Data Warehouse
- Amos Alonzo Stagg at College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com
- Amos Alonzo Stagg at the Internet Movie Database
- Amos Alonzo Stagg at Find a Grave