Charlie Bachman

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Charlie Bachman
Head-and-shoulders photo of Charlie Bachman
Bachman from 1931 Seminole yearbook
Biographical details
Born(1892-12-01)December 1, 1892
Chicago, Illinois
DiedDecember 14, 1985(1985-12-14) (aged 93)
Port Charlotte, Florida
Playing career
1914–1916Notre Dame
1918Great Lakes Navy
Position(s)Guard, center, fullback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1920–1927Kansas State
1933–1942Michigan State
1943Camp Grant
1944–1946Michigan State
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
All-Western (1916)
Walter Camp second-team All-American (1916)
Kansas State Hall of Fame (1995)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1978 (profile)

Charles William Bachman Jr. (December 1, 1892 – December 14, 1985) was an American college football player and head coach. Bachman was an Illinois native and an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, where he played college football. He served as the head football coach of Northwestern University, Kansas State College, the University of Florida, Michigan State College, and Hillsdale College. Bachman was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1978.

Early life and education[edit]

Bachman was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1892.[1] He received his high school education at Englewood High School in Chicago, where he was standout athlete in football and track and field.[2] Bachman attended the University of Notre Dame from 1914 to 1916, and played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team alongside Knute Rockne.[1] He was named an All-American at guard in 1916, making Walter Camp's second team. Bachman briefly held the world record in the discus throw during the spring of 1917,[2] and spent the 1917 fall season helping to coach the football team at DePauw University. In 1918, Bachman returned to the field, playing center for the legendary U.S. Navy team at Great Lakes Naval Station.[1] The Great Lakes team posted a 7–0–2 record; it beat Navy, Illinois and Purdue, tied Bachman's former Notre Dame team, and defeated Mare Island Marine Base in the Rose Bowl.[1] His Great Lakes teammates included Paddy Driscoll and George Halas.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

In 1919, at age 26, Bachman began his head coaching career at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Bachman brought a number of former players returning from World War I military service to Northwestern, but his team posted a disappointing 2–5 record.[3] He moved on to Kansas State College in Manhattan, Kansas following this season, and the losing record proved to be an aberration; from 1920 to 1927, Bachman posted a record of 33–23–9 at Kansas State.[3] In 1924, Bachman's K-State team beat the University of Kansas for the first time in eighteen years. Bachman coached Kansas State's first All-American, and under his leadership the school also permanently returned to its former nickname of Wildcats and began using a live bobcat as a mascot. Until the end of Bill Snyder's first tenure, he was the last non-interim K-State coach to leave the school with a winning record.

Bachman accepted the head coaching position at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida in 1928, where he posted an 8–1 record his first season,[3] the best in the Florida Gators' history up to that time.[4] The 1928 Gators' sole loss came in their final game of the season, a 13–12 upset by Robert Neyland's 8–0–1 Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville. While at Florida, Bachman coached the Gators' first first-team All-American, Hall of Fame end Dale Van Sickel, in 1928 and 1929. He also led the 1929 Gators in their first major intersectional match-up, a "neutral site" game in Miami against John McEwan's 7–2 Oregon Ducks football team,[5] with the Gators coming away with the 20–6 victory.[6][7] Bachman's first two seasons with the Gators were his most successful, but he continued to lead the Gators Eleven for five seasons, posting an overall record of 27–18–3.[3] Dashwood Hicks, a lineman for the Gators in 1928, said "I've never seen a man eat and sleep football like Bachman. He couldn't sit down and talk without drawing plays or something."[8]

Bachman left Florida to become the head football coach of Michigan State College in East Lansing, Michigan, coaching from 1933 to 1942 and from 1944 to 1946.[3] Similar to the situation he inherited at Kansas State, Michigan State had not beaten the University of Michigan for eighteen years (1916–1933), but under Bachman, Michigan State defeated Michigan four consecutive seasons (1934–1937).[2] Bachman's overall record at Michigan State was 70–34–10.[3] His Spartan teams were also notable because he outfitted them in gold and black uniforms instead of the official school colors of green and white.

In 1953, Bachman was named the head football coach at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. He held that position for one season, posting a record of 5–3–2.[9]

Coaching tree[edit]

  • Joe Bedenk: assistant for Florida (1927–1930), head coach for Penn State (1949).
  • Goof Bowyer: played for Florida (1926–1928), head coach for Florida Southern (1931–1932).
  • Ben Clemons: played for Florida (1928–1931), assistant for Florida (1933–1935).
  • Brady Cowell: played for Kansas State (1919–1921), assistant for Florida (1924–1932), head coach for Stetson (1935–1948).
  • Ray D. Hahn: played for Kansas State (1920–1922), head coach for South Dakota Mines (1929–1934), Betheny (1938–1956).
  • Nash Higgins: assistant for Florida (1927–1933), head coach for Tampa (1933–1940).
  • Joe Holsinger: played for Kansas State (1925–1927), assistant for Florida (1928–1932), Wisconsin (1933–1934), Michigan State (1939–1945).
  • Albert Kawal: assistant for Michigan State (1941–1943; 1946), head coach for Drake (1947–1948), Temple (1949–1954).
  • Al Kircher: played for Michigan State (1931–1933), assistant for Michigan State (1939–1949), head coach for Washington State (1952–1955).
  • Alvin Pierson: assistant for Florida (1927–1932), Tampa (1933–1940), head coach for Fresno State (1945; 1949).
  • Tom Sebring: played for Kansas State (1921–1922), head coach for Florida (1925–1927).
  • Dutch Stanley: played for Florida (1926–1928), head coach for Florida (1933–1935)
  • James Van Fleet: assistant for Kansas State (1920).

Life after football[edit]

Bachman was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as an "honorary letter winner" in 1971,[10][11] and later, the College Football Hall of Fame in 1978.[1] He died in Port Charlotte, Florida in 1985; he was 93 years old.[12] Bachman was survived by his wife Grace and their three sons,[12] including noted software engineer Charles W. Bachman.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Northwestern Purple (Big Ten Conference) (1919)
1919 Northwestern 2–5 1–4 T–7th
Northwestern: 2–5 1–4
Kansas State Wildcats (Missouri Valley Conference) (1920–1927)
1920 Kansas State 3–3–3 0–3–1 8th
1921 Kansas State 5–3 4–2 T–2nd
1922 Kansas State 5–1–2 3–1–2 3rd
1923 Kansas State 4–2–2 2–2–2 5th
1924 Kansas State 3–4–1 1–4–1 8th
1925 Kansas State 5–2–1 3–2–1 T–3rd
1926 Kansas State 5–3 2–2 T–6th
1927 Kansas State 3–5 2–4 8th
Kansas State: 33–23–9 17–20–7
Florida Gators (Southern Conference) (1928–1932)
1928 Florida 8–1 6–1 3rd
1929 Florida 8–2 6–1 4th
1930 Florida 6–3–1 4–2–1 7th
1931 Florida 2–6–2 2–4–2 15th
1932 Florida 3–6 1–6 20th
Florida: 27–18–3 19–14–3[13]
Michigan State Spartans (Independent) (1933–1942)
1933 Michigan State 4–2–2
1934 Michigan State 8–1
1935 Michigan State 6–2
1936 Michigan State 6–1–2
1937 Michigan State 8–2 L Orange
1938 Michigan State 6–3
1939 Michigan State 4–4–1
1940 Michigan State 3–4–1
1941 Michigan State 5–3–1
1942 Michigan State 4–3–2
Michigan State Spartans (Independent) (1944–1946)
1944 Michigan State 6–1
1945 Michigan State 5–3–1
1946 Michigan State 5–5
Michigan State: 70–34–10
Hillsdale Dales (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1953)
1953 Hillsdale 5–3–2
Hillsdale: 5–3–2
Total: 137–83–24

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Charlie Bachman". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Jack D. Seibold, The Spartan Sports Encyclopedia, Charles W. Bachman (1933–1946), Sports Publishing, L.L.C., pp. 941–942 (2003). Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f College Football Data Warehouse, All-Time Coaching Records, Charles W. Bachman Records by Year. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  4. ^ 2012 Florida Football Media Guide Archived May 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 108, 115, 116 (2012). Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  5. ^ "Miami Is Football Mad With Big Clash Scheduled Today," The Palm Beach Post, p. 7 (December 7, 1929). Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  6. ^ College Football Data Warehouse, Oregon Yearly Records: 1925–1929 Archived 2012-11-01 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  7. ^ Rex Saffer, "Crabtree Leads Gators to Victory Over Oregon," St. Petersburg Times, p. 1 (December 8, 1929). Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Hillsdale Chargers 2010 Media Guide Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan (2010). Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  10. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, Honorary Letter Winners. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  11. ^ Associated Press, "O'Connell Lauded for Actions," Sarasota Journal (May 3, 1971). Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  12. ^ a b "Charles W. Bachman," The New York Times (December 16, 1985). Retrieved March 12, 2010.
  13. ^ 2009 Southern Conference Football Media Guide, Year-by-Year Standings, pp. 74–77 (2009). Retrieved March 16, 2010.


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