Mayer c. 1915
February 14, 1892|
|Died:||October 21, 1918
|Weight||172 lb (78 kg)|
|Career highlights and awards|
Eugene Noble "Buck" Mayer (February 14, 1892 - October 21, 1918) was an American football player. He played college football at the halfback position for the University of Virginia Cavaliers football team from 1912 to 1915. In 1915, he became the first football player from a Southern school to be recognized as a consensus first-team All-American. Mayer died during World War I while serving in the United States Army. He was posthumously inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.
Mayer was born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1892. His father, Eugene L. Mayer, was a Virginia native who worked in the mill supplies business and later as a merchant in the hardware business. Mayer had three brothers and four sisters.
University of Virginia
Mayer attended the University of Virginia from 1911 to 1916. While there, he played at the halfback position for the Virginia Cavaliers football team from 1912 to 1915. He won a spot in the starting lineup and impressed sports writers in 1912.
After indicating that he may not return to the University of Virginia in 1913, he was persuaded to do so in September 1913. Mayer and Bob McWhorter were deemed "the class of the backfield men of the south" during the 1913 season.
In 1914, Mayer was one of the leading scorers in the country with 121 points scored (19 touchdowns and five extra points) and led the team to an 8-1 record with its only loss coming to Yale. On October 24, 1914, scored 26 points (four touchdowns and two extra points) in Virginia's 28-0 victory over Georgia. At the end of the 1914 season, he was named to the All-Southern team by Dick Jemison and W. A. Lambeth.
In 1915, Mayer led Virginia to an 8-1 record, was one of the country's leading scorers with 105 points, and was selected as a first-team All-American by International News Service sports editor Frank G. Menke and Eastern football expert Parke H. Davis. He was the first player from a Southern school to be a consensus first-team All-American. On October 9, 1915, he scored a school record 37 points five touchdowns and seven extra points in a 74-0 win over Richmond. At the end of the 1915 season, The Washington Herald wrote:
Mayer is one of the greatest half backs the South has produced in years, and is universally recognized as such. He scored more touchdowns last year than any other player in the East and the second in the entire United States. His present season was not as rich in scoring as the preceeding [sic] one by some touchdowns, but in it he scored thirteen.
During Mayer's four years as a member, the football team compiled a record of 29-6. He set school records for most points scored in a game (36), most touchdowns in a season (21 in 1914), most career touchdowns (48), and career points scored (312).
Track and field
Mayer was also a member of the Virginia track and field team. He threw the 16-pound shot put 42 feet, 3 inches, ran the 100-yard dash in 10.1 seconds, and had a career best of 22 feet, 9 inches in the broad jump.
Family and later years
Mayer was married at Charleston, West Virginia, in March 1916 to Agnes Elizabeth Chilton (1896-1974). After receiving his bachelor of laws degree that year, Mayer began practicing law in Charleston.
During World War I, Mayer served as either a private in the quartermaster's corps and/or in a machine gun company in the United States Army. In October 1918, he died at age 26 at Camp Joseph E. Johnston in Jacksonville, Florida, a victim of the 1918 flu pandemic. He was survived by his wife and one child. He was buried at the Spring Hill Cemetery in Charleston.
- Draft registration card dated June 5, 1917, for Eugene Noble Mayer, born February 14, 1892, in Norfolk, Virginia, then residing in Charleston, West Virginia, and employed as an attorney. Registration State: West Virginia; Registration County: Kanawha; Roll: 1992382. Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line].
- Census entry for Eugene L. Mayer and family. Son Eugene N. Mayer born February 1892. Census Place: Norfolk Ward 2, Norfolk City, Virginia; Roll: 1735; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0091; FHL microfilm: 1241735. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
- Census entry for Eugene L. Mayer and family. Son Eugene N. Mayer, age 18. Census Place: Norfolk Ward 3, Norfolk (Independent City), Virginia; Roll: T624_1637; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1375650. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
- "Captain Todd To Alternate With Mayer At Hilltop". The Washington Times. November 13, 1912. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Virginia Coach Expects To Win". The Washington Times. November 14, 1912. p. 15 – via Newspapers.com.
- ""Buck" Mayer Comes Back To Virginia: Star Halfback to Return This Year and Will Play". The Washington Times. September 15, 1913. p. 11 – via Newspapers.com.
- "A Lively Backfield Duel Is Certain Between These Two". The Atlanta Constitution. October 24, 1913. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com.
- Chandler Sprague (October 10, 1915). "Gossip About Gridiron Play And The Players". The Baltimore Sun. p. 30 – via Newspapers.com.
- "1914 Virginia Cavaliers Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
- "Virginia Was Too Much For Georgians: Buck Mayer Carried the Ball Over for Four Touchdowns". The Charlotte News. October 25, 1914. p. 14 – via Newspapers.com.
- "All-American Scores 617 Points in Eight Games". El Paso Herald. December 6, 1915. p. 8 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Buck Mayer and Vandegraaaff Are Chosen for All-American". The Charlotte News. December 5, 1915. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com.
- "2014 NCAA Football Records: Consensus All-America Selections" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 2014. p. 4. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- "Virginia Wins Easily". Daily Press (Newport News, VA). October 10, 1915. p. 5 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Virginia Sportswriters Name 16 Athletes To Hall of Fame". The Bee. February 9, 1956. p. 22. Retrieved April 9, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Virginia Loses Five Grid Stars, Including Mayer and Berkeley". The Washington Herald. November 26, 1915. p. 11 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Virginia Cavaliers School History". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
- Clay Shampoe (2005). The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, p. 48. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-1776-3.
- "Eugene Noble "Buck" Mayer". Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
- "untitled". The Columbus Enquirer-Sun. 1918-10-26.
- Ancestry.com. West Virginia, Marriages Index, 1785-1971 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: "West Virginia Marriages, 1853–1970."
- "Football Player Dead". The Washington Post. October 23, 1918. p. 8 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Buck Mayer, Star Virginia Back, Dies of Influenza". The Atlanta Constitution. October 23, 1918. p. 14 – via Newspapers.com.
- ""Buck" Mayer Dead". The Washington Times. October 23, 1918. p. 14 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Virginia Obituary". The Wall Street Journal. October 24, 1918. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Eugene Noble Mayer". Find-a-Grave. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
- "Class of 1980: Eugene Mayer". Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
- "UVA Hero Buck Mayer State Hall of Fame Pick". Daily Press, Newport News, VA. April 13, 1980. p. D8.