George H. Brooke

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George H. Brooke
George H. Brooke.jpg
Biographical details
Born(1874-07-09)July 9, 1874
Brookeville, Maryland
DiedNovember 16, 1938(1938-11-16) (aged 64)
Tucson, Arizona
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
All-American, 1894
All-American, 1895
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1969 (profile)

George Haydock Brooke (July 9, 1874 – November 16, 1938) was an American football player and coach. He played college football as a fullback at Swarthmore College from 1889 to 1892 and at the University of Pennsylvania from 1893 to 1895. Brooke served as the head football coach at Stanford University (1897), Swarthmore (1900–1912), and Penn (1913–1915), compiling a career college football coaching record of 89–46–10. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1969.

Early life and family history[edit]

George Brooke was born on July 9, 1874, in Brookeville, Maryland, to Walter H. Brooke at Caroline Leggett Brooke. He was married to Marie Louise Gregg Robb. He and his wife had no children. George Brooke attended Brookeville High School in Maryland before moving on to Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. At Swarthmore, he played baseball and football. He was the captain of the 1892 Swarthmore football team. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Swarthmore in 1893. He next enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor of Philosophy (Ph. B) degree in 1895 and an Bachelor of Law (LL. B) degree in 1898.[1][2]

Playing career[edit]

Brooke played seven years of college football at Swarthmore College and then at the University of Pennsylvania. He was selected as an All-American in 1894 and 1895 while playing for the University of Pennsylvania. Penn was undefeated and won the national championship of football in the two seasons that Brooke was named an All-American. All-American selector, Caspar Whitney called Brooke a "very hard man to stop. He strikes the line with almost irresistible force." He was regarded as a ferocious fullback and a top notch punter. He is credited with coining the phrase "coffin corner" when describing his long punts deep into the opposing end of the field.[1] Brooke was barred from playing for Pennsylvania after the 1895 season because of an agreement between Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania that limited players to four seasons.[3] After finishing a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania, Brooke was the subject of an allegation of being an ineligible player in an October 24, 1896 game in New Orleans, LA. In the game, Brooke played only one down for Tulane University before LSU protested to the game's referee. Tulane claimed that Brooke planned on enrolling there as a graduate student. During the debate between team captains, Brooke refused to sign an affidavit stating his intention to enroll at Tulane, as he was already enrolled in law school at the University of Pennsylvania. The referee ruled him ineligible to play. The Tulane football team refused to continue playing the game without Brooke, so the referee ruled the game to be a forfeit in favor of LSU.[4][5]

Coaching career[edit]

Following his playing career, Brooke was the head football coach at Stanford University in 1897, compiling a record of 4–1. In the spring of 1898 he took a break from coaching and joined the first Pennsylvania unit that was mustered into service for the Spanish–American War. He served in Puerto Rico during the conflict. Brooke was discharged from the Army later in 1898 with the war ending.[1] From 1900 to 1912 he coached Swarthmore College's football team, earning an overall record of 72–32–6. He coached three years at the University of Pennsylvania, where his record was 13–12–4.[6] After leaving coaching, he became an insurance broker. He suffered from a heart condition, and spent his final years living on the West Coast. He died November 16, 1938 in Tucson, Arizona.

Other interests and legacy[edit]

Brooke was also an accomplished squash player, winning the national amateur squash championship in 1904, and the doubles championship in 1917.[6]

Brooke died in 1938.[6] In 1969, he was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Stanford (Independent) (1897)
1897 Stanford 4–1
Stanford: 4–1
Swarthmore Garnet Tide (Independent) (1900–1912)
1900 Swarthmore 6–3–2
1901 Swarthmore 8–2–2
1902 Swarthmore 6–6
1903 Swarthmore 6–4
1904 Swarthmore 6–3
1905 Swarthmore 7–1
1906 Swarthmore 7–2
1907 Swarthmore 6–2
1908 No team
1909 Swarthmore 2–5
1910 Swarthmore 5–3
1911 Swarthmore 6–1–1
1912 Swarthmore 7–1–1
Swarthmore: 72–33–6
Penn Quakers (Independent) (1913–1915)
1913 Penn 6–3–1
1914 Penn 4–4–1
1915 Penn 3–5–2
Penn: 13–12–4
Total: 89–46–10


  1. ^ a b c Porter, David L. (1995). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: 1992-1995 supplement for baseball, football, basketball, and other sports. ISBN 9780313284311.
  2. ^ "General Alumni Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania, 1922". 1922.
  3. ^ Date: Sunday, July 12, 1896. Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Volume:135 Issue:12 Page:9.
  4. ^ Hardesty, Dan. "LSU:The Louisiana Tigers". The Strode Publishers. Huntsville, Alabama. 1975. pg 24-25.
  5. ^ "Baton Rouge Wins Without Winning". The Daily Picayune. October 25, 1896. pg. 8.
  6. ^ a b c "George H. Brooke, former athlete". New York Times. November 17, 1938. Retrieved June 29, 2010.

External links[edit]