Wade at Vanderbilt, c. 1921
|Sport(s)||Football, basketball, baseball|
June 15, 1892|
|Died||October 7, 1986
Durham, North Carolina
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Fitzgerald and Clarke School (TN)
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Overall||Football: 171–49–10 (.765)
Basketball: 24–16 (.600)
Baseball: 87–45–2 (.657)
|Accomplishments and honors|
|College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1955 (profile)
William Wallace Wade (June 15, 1892 – October 7, 1986) was an American football player and coach of football, basketball and baseball. He served as the head football coach at the University of Alabama from 1923 to 1930 and at Duke University from 1931 to 1941 and again from 1946 to 1950, compiling a career college football record of 171–49–10. His tenure at Duke was interrupted by military service during World War II. Wade's Alabama Crimson Tide football teams of 1925, 1926 and 1930 have been recognized as national champions, while his 1938 Duke team had an unscored upon regular season, giving up its only points in the final minute of the 1939 Rose Bowl. Wade won a total of ten Southern Conference football titles, four with Alabama and six with the Duke Blue Devils. He coached in five Rose Bowls including the 1942 game, which was relocated from Pasadena, California to Durham, North Carolina after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Wade served as the head basketball and baseball coach at Vanderbilt University for two seasons (1921–1923), tallying a mark of 24–16, while he was an assistant football coach there. He was also the head baseball coach at Vanderbilt from 1922 to 1923 and at Alabama from 1924 to 1927, amassing a career college baseball record of 87–45–2. Wade played football at Brown University. After retiring from coaching, Wade served as the commissioner of the Southern Conference from 1951 to 1960. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1955. Duke's football stadium was renamed in his honor as Wallace Wade Stadium in 1967.
- 1 Early life playing career
- 2 Coaching career
- 3 Later life and honors
- 4 Head coaching record
- 5 Legacy
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early life playing career
Wade was born in Trenton, Tennessee. He first played football under Tuck Faucett at Peabody High School in Trenton. Wade also attended Chicago's Morgan Park Academy. He went on in 1913 to play football at Brown University. Wade played guard on the Brown football team, which went to the 1916 Rose Bowl. One of his teammates at Brown was Fritz Pollard, who went on to become the first African American coach in the National Football League.
Fitzgerald & Clarke
After spending time in the Army and rising to the rank of cavalry captain, W. S. Fitzgerald hired him as head coach at the Fitzgerald and Clarke Military School in Tullahoma, Tennessee. He went 15–2 in football, winning a state prep-school championship in 1920. Among his players were future consensus All-Americans Lynn Bomar and "Hek" Wakefield. He also posted successful basketball teams at Fitzgerald–Clarke. '
In 1921 Wade was hired as an assistant and line coach at Vanderbilt University under Dan McGugin. He also coached basketball. Soon after, on March 14, 1922, Fitzgerald & Clarke burned to the ground and was never rebuilt. Vanderbilt posted an undefeated 15–0–2 with Wade, and shared conference titles both years he was there.
Defending Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) champion Georgia was undefeated, having not allowed a score through its powerful line all year. Its line was composed of 4 All-Southerns in Joe Bennett, Bum Day, Owen Reynolds, and Puss Whelchel. Jim Taylor was a substitute. Vanderbilt too was undefeated, and so the game was figured to decided the conference champion. It was described by the New York Times as an "important clash." Sporting editor for the Birmingham News "Zipp" Newman had written weeks ago, "Stegeman has a powerful team and with all the regulars in the game, the team has a chance of going through the season undefeated unless it be Vanderbilt that stops her." The Bulldogs were the favorite to win this meeting of the two schools, first since 1912, in part because the Bulldogs may have outplayed Harvard and defeated Auburn earlier in the season. Lynn Bomar starred at the linebacker position. "Georgia would have trampled Vanderbilt to atoms but for Lynn Bomar," observed Nashville Tennessean sportswriter Blinkey Horn. His play was again noted, "Lynn Bomar was the stellar performer of the game. In the first-half he made two-thirds of the tackles." It is also said he stopped five Georgia touchdowns that day. The Commodores remained down 7 to 0 until late into the fourth quarter when Rupert Smith scored on an onside punt. He made the extra point as well and the game ended a tie. Both teams won the rest of their games as expected and remained co-champions.
Vanderbilt again went undefeated and its defense ranked top in the nation as measured by points against per game. Vanderbilt held Michigan to a scoreless tie in the inaugural game at the new Dudley Field, including a goal line stand. One account reads "Thousands of cheering Vanderbilt fans inspired the surge of center Alf Sharpe, guard Gus Morrow, tackle Tex Bradford, and end Lynn Bomar, who stopped Michigan cold in four attempts."
University of Alabama
After working as an assistant for Vanderbilt, Wade was hired as the head coach at the University of Alabama in 1923. Over the next seven years, Wade's team won three national championships after appearing in the Rose Bowl in 1925, 1926 and 1930.
Alabama was undefeated in Southern Conference play until upset by the Florida Gators 16 to 6 in the rain on Thanksgiving Day. Edgar C. Jones scored all of Florida's points. The loss would give Wade's former school Vanderbilt the conference.
The 1925 team went undefeated and was the first Southern team to win a Rose Bowl. The 1926 Rose Bowl, which Alabama won over Washington 20 to 19, is thus commonly referred to as "the game that changed the south."
Wade was under fire after lackluster seasons in 1928 and 1929, which included narrow losses to Robert Neyland's Tennessee Volunteers. Wade submitted his resignation on April 30, with the caveat that he coach next season. John Suther described the feeling before the Tennessee game that year, which Alabama won 18–6. "Coach Wade was boiling mad. He was like a blood-thirsty drill sergeant anyway, and those critics made him more fiery ... He challenged us to help him shut up the loudmouths that were making his life miserable."
Following his third national championship, Wade shocked the college football world by moving to Duke University, which had less of a football tradition than Alabama. Though Wade refused to answer questions regarding his decision to leave Alabama for Duke until late in his life, he eventually told a sports historian he believed his philosophy regarding sports and athletics fit perfectly with the philosophy of the Duke administration and that he felt being at a private institution would allow him greater freedom. Wade continued to succeed at Duke, most notably in 1938, when his "Iron Dukes" went unscored upon until reaching the 1939 Rose Bowl.
Wade's Blue Devils lost the 1942 Rose Bowl to Oregon State. The game was held at Duke Stadium, the Blue Devils' home stadium in Durham, North Carolina, because the recent attack on Pearl Harbor made the event's organizers skittish of hosting the game in California.
World War 2
Wade entered military service after the 1942 Rose Bowl loss and the legendary Eddie Cameron filled in for him as head football coach from 1942 to 1945.
Wade returned to coach the Blue Devils in 1946 and continued until his retirement in 1950. In 16 seasons, Wade's Duke teams compiled a record of 110 wins, 36 losses and 7 ties.
Later life and honors
From 1951 to 1960 Wade was the commissioner of the Southern Conference. He was inducted College Football Hall of Fame in 1955. In 1967, Duke's football stadium was renamed Wallace Wade Stadium in his honor. Wade died in 1986 in Durham at the age of 94 and was buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Durham.
In 2006, a bronze statue of Wade was erected outside of the University of Alabama's Bryant–Denny Stadium alongside the statues of Frank Thomas, Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings and now Nick Saban, the other head coaches who led Alabama to national championships.
Head coaching record
|Alabama Crimson Tide (Southern Conference) (1923–1930)|
|Duke Blue Devils (Southern Conference) (1931–1941)|
|Duke Blue Devils (Southern Conference) (1946–1950)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
|Vanderbilt Commodores (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1921–1923)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
Wade's disciples include:
- Eddie Cameron, assistant for Duke (1926–1941)
- Herschel Caldwell, played for Alabama (1925–1926), assistant for Duke (1930–1971).
- Al Clemens, played for Alabama (1920–1923), head coach for Jacksonville State (1926–1928) and Southwestern Presbyterian (1946–1950).
- Russ Cohen, assistant for Alabama (1923–1926), head coach for LSU (1928–1931) and Cincinnati (1935–1937).
- Ellis Hagler, played for Alabama (1927–1928), assistant for Duke (1930–1956)
- Frank Howard, played for Alabama (1928–1930), head coach for Clemson (1940–1969).
- Allison Hubert, played for Alabama (1922–1925), head coach for Southern Miss (1931–1936) and VMI (1937–1946).
- Jess Neely, played for Vanderbilt (1920–1922), assistant for Alabama (1928–1930), head coach for Southwestern Presbyterian (1924–1927), Clemson (1931–1939) and Rice (1940–1966).
- Clyde Propst, played for Alabama (1922–1924), and assistant for Alabama (1925–1932), head coach for Howard (1934) and Southwestern Presbyterian (1935–1937).
- Pope, Edwin (1956). Football's Greatest Coaches. Tupper and Love. pp. 187; 282.
- Bob Hammers (June 7, 1974). "Wade Led Military School". Tullahoma News. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- "City Closes Fitzgerald-Clarke, Builds Tullahoma High School". Sesquicentennial Issue of the Tullahoma News and Guardian. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- "Many Good Games On Schedule Today". New York Times. November 12, 1921.
- Zipp Newman (October 31, 1921). "Georgia Heeds Opportunity's Knock While Auburn Turns Deaf Ear Says Zipp Newman". The Columbus Enquirer Sun.
- "Gridiron Gossip". Montgomery Advertiser. November 11, 1921.
- "Georgia and Vandy Battle to a Draw". The Columbus Enquirer. November 13, 1921.
- Traughber, William L. Vanderbilt Football: Tales of Commodore Gridiron History. Charleston, SC: History, 2011.
- "1922 standings".
- Tom Perrin (1987). Football: a college history. p. 113.
- "The Football Game That Changed the South". The University of Alabama. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "Alabama-Tennessee: A Southern Tradition". October 23, 2008.
- Wallace Wade at Find A Grave
- Duke University biography
- Wallace Wade at the College Football Hall of Fame
- Wallace Wade at the College Football Data Warehouse
- Wallace Wade at Find a Grave
- Wallace Wade at College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com