Bloss (left) in 1893
April 4, 1859|
|Died||June 22, 1921
Richland County, Ohio
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
Bloss was the son of John McKnight Bloss, a Civil War veteran and president of State Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) from 1892 to 1896. Bloss attended Indiana University where he was a star player on the football team. Bloss moved to Corvallis, Oregon shortly after his father did in June 1892.
Oregon State's first season of football was in 1893. At that time, Oregon State was known as State Agricultural College, or SAC. William H. Bloss became the school's first coach, as well as the quarterback of the 1893 team.
Bloss scheduled tryouts in the fall of 1893 in an attempt to assemble a football team. By mid-October, he had found 17 players that would make up the first football team in Oregon State's history. The team was a hodge podge of young men in Corvallis. Four players were not even students, including Coach Bloss. One was a high school junior and another was a faculty member.
The first game was played on November 11, 1893 at 2:00pm at College Field on Lower Campus against Albany College. Over 500 spectators who paid a dime admission cheered on SAC to 62–0 win, a blowout by today's standards but even worse considering touchdowns were only worth four points at the time. Brady F. Burnett scored Oregon State's first touchdown in school history on a fumble return for a touchdown. In that first season, SAC went on to a 5–1 record.
Bloss left Corvallis after that first season, but returned to coach the 1897 season. He did not quarterback the team. He led SAC to a 5–0 season, including victories over Oregon and Washington. With those two wins, the team claimed their first "championship", as they proclaimed themselves the "champions of the northwest".