Homer Woodson Hargiss
Hargiss from The Beaver, 1920
|Sport(s)||Football, basketball, track and field|
September 1, 1887|
Cherokee County, Kansas
|Died||October 15, 1978
|Alma mater||Kansas State Normal|
|1905–1909||Kansas State Normal|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1910–1912||College of Emporia|
|1914–1917||Kansas State Normal|
|1920–1927||Kansas State Normal/Teachers|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
1 Big Six (1930)
Homer Woodson "Bill" Hargiss (September 1, 1887 – October 15, 1978) was an American football and basketball player, and track and field athlete, and coach in Kansas and Oregon. He was an early innovator in football and was known to be one of the first coaches to use the forward pass and the huddle.
- 1 Playing career
- 2 Coaching career
- 3 Football developments
- 4 Honors and legacy
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Head coaching record
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Hargiss participated in sports at Kansas Normal College, now Emporia State University. He was a standout at the college in football, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, boxing, and track & field. Emporia State honored him in 1982 by inducting him into their "Athletic Hall of Honor"—the first year the honor was available, as a distinguished alumni in 1970, and for the all-Centennial Team in 1997. Hargiss would later return to the college as a coach.
College of Emporia
Hargiss' first coaching job came as the head coach of the College of Emporia (C of E) in Emporia, Kansas. The school had a well-developed rivalry with Kansas State Normal School, where Hargiss played quarterback the previous year, and would later coach.
In the team's 1910 game at Washburn, Arthur Schabinger has been credited by some to have thrown the first legal forward pass in college football history. While this claim is widely disputed by other colleges (there are multiple claims dating back to 1906), College of Emporia most certainly was one of the first innovators of the play particularly to throw "overhand" forward passes instead of the more common "underhand" passes. The school was using the forward pass as a regular play three years before Knute Rockne and Notre Dame.
Hargiss also ran the option pass play (possibly the first of all time) at the College of Emporia in 1910. The "option pass" play was a sweep to the end with halfbacks that would either pass or run depending on how the defensive play would develop. 
Oregon State University
Hargiss was the head football, basketball, and track coach at Oregon State University from 1918 to 1919. During his tenure there, he compiled a 6–8–1 record. From 1918–1920 he also coached the Oregon State Beavers basketball team.
Emporia State University
Hargiss was the ninth and twelfth head football coach for Emporia State University (called Kansas Normal School at the time) in Emporia, Kansas and he held that position for twelve seasons, from 1914 until 1917 and then returning from 1920 until 1927. His overall coaching record at ESU was 61–23–11. This ranks him third at ESU in terms of total wins and first at ESU in terms of winning percentage.
In the 1920 game against Washburn University under coach Dwight Ream, Emporia State fullback Jack Reeves sustained a neck injury that resulted in his death. The 1922 season also saw the loss of player Don Davis (it is not known if Davis died from play or natural causes).
While at Kansas Normal, Hargiss coached the 1926 team to an undefeated season and outscored their opponents 144 to 3. The closest game of the season was a 6–0 battle against Hargiss's former team, the College of Emporia.
University of Kansas
From 1928 to 1932, Hargiss served as the head football coach at University of Kansas, compiling a record of 18–16–2. He was fired as football coach on October 10, 1932, two days after the Jawhawks lost at home to Oklahoma, 21–6. Hargiss was succeeded by assistant coach Adrian Lindsey.
Use of the huddle
Oregon State was one of the very first schools nationally to use the huddle formation in a game. It happened against the University of Washington in Seattle in 1918. Hargiss instructed the starters that once they returned to the field, they were to stand 10 yards behind the ball before the beginning of each play and whisper to one another what they were going to do next.
An eyewitness to the game was veteran Seattle sports columnist Royal Brougham, whose stories of the contest give testimony today to OSU's early use of this pioneering new formation.
While coaching at the College of Emporia, Hargiss would regularly use the forward pass and records show that it was used as early as 1910, three years before Knute Rockne began to regularly call the play.
Honors and legacy
- Charter Inductee Kansas Sports Hall of Fame 1961.
- Inducted into the NAIA Track and Field Hall of Fame.
- One of the first coaches to use forward pass, unbalanced line, and huddle.
- Head football and track and field coach at KU for 5 and 10 years respectively. Football conference champions in 1930.
- Coached five world record holders in track: John Kuck, Glenn Cunningham, Jim Bausch, Clyde Coffman and Peter Mehringer.
- His 1926 football team at Emporia State University was undefeated and allowed only 3 points.
- Earned 16 college athletic letters at Kansas State Normal (Emporia State) participating in football, basketball, track and field, baseball, gymnastics and boxing and was named captain five times.
- He was a three-sport standout at Beulah High School in Beulah, Kansas.
- Was collegiate track coach of Senator Bob Dole
- Was one of the first coaches to gather within hours after the reported death of coaching great Knute Rockne
Head coaching record
|College of Emporia Fighting Presbies () (1910–1912)|
|1910||College of Emporia||5–3–1|
|1911||College of Emporia||5–2|
|1912||College of Emporia||7–1|
|College of Emporia:||17–6–1|
|Kansas State Normals () (1914–1917)|
|1914||Kansas State Normal||5–1–1|
|1915||Kansas State Normal||5–2–2|
|1916||Kansas State Normal||6–3–1|
|1917||Kansas State Normal||5–3–1|
|Oregon Agricultural Aggies (Pacific Coast Conference) (1918–1919)|
|Kansas State Normals/Teachers () (1920–1927)|
|1920||Kansas State Normal||2–4–1|
|1921||Kansas State Normal||6–0–1||1st|
|1922||Kansas State Normal||6–2|
|1923||Kansas State Teachers||5–1–1|
|1924||Kansas State Teachers||4–4–2|
|1925||Kansas State Teachers||4–3–1|
|1926||Kansas State Teachers||7–0||1st|
|1927||Kansas State Teachers||7–0–1||T–1st|
|Kansas State Normal/Teachers:||61–23–12|
|Kansas Jayhawks (Big Six Conference) (1928–1932)|
|1932||Kansas||1–1[n 1]||0–1[n 1]|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
- Hargiss was fired after two games and replaced by Adrian Lindsey.
- Ancestry.com, Homer Woodson Hargiss
- "Hargiss playing football at KSN". oberheide.org.
- "Football coaching record for H. W. "Bill" Hargiss". oberheide.org.
- Emporia State University Athletic Hall of Honor
- "Bill Hargiss selected Emporia State University Distinguished Alumnus, 1970". oberheide.org.
- "Bill Hargiss selected to the Emporia State University Centennial Team, 1997". oberheide.org.
- "Bill Hargiss at the College of Emporia, 1910". oberheide.org.
- Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Arthur Schabinger
- Homer Hargiss History Definitive use of forward pass
- Emporia Gazette, "The Emporia Gazette Give Credit to C. of E." by E. T. Lowther
- Emporia Gazette, "First Hargiss Team Set Scoring Mark" by Ed Shupe, January 23, 1974
- Oberheide.org Hargiss's Option Play
- "New football coach for OAC". oberheide.org.
- "2006 Football Media Guide - Year-By-Year Results" (PDF). Oregon State University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-06-09. Retrieved 2006-11-14.
- "2005-06 Men's Basketball Media Guide - OSU Team History" (PDF). Oregon State University. p. 18. Retrieved 2006-11-14.
- The Woodville Republican "Accidents" November 27, 1920
- The Official National Collegiate Athletic Association football guide "The official rules book and record book of college football" (edited by Walter Camp) Can Sports Publishing Company, 1922
- "Bill Hargiss' Undefeated ESU Football Season, 1926". oberheide.org.
- AP (October 11, 1932). "Kansas Fires Grid Coach After Defeat". The Norwalk Hour. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
- "Bill Hargiss - First Use of the Offensive huddle, 1918". oberheide.org.
- "Emporia Gazette". oberheide.org.
- "Bill Hargiss - Definitive use of forward pass and the option pass, 1910". oberheide.org.
- Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
- "Bill Hargiss named to NAIA Track Hall of Fame, 1959". oberheide.org.
- "The LIfe and Legacy of H. W. " Bill" Hargiss". oberheide.org.
- "Bill Hargiss at the University of Kansas, 1928". oberheide.org.
- "John Kuck". oberheide.org.
- "Glenn Cunningham". oberheide.org.
- "Jim Bausch". oberheide.org.
- "Clyde Coffman". oberheide.org.
- "Bill Hargiss in College, 1905-1909". oberheide.org.
- "Bill Hargiss' youth, 1887". oberheide.org.
- "Recovered letters describe Dole's life at KU and in WWII". kuconnection.org.
- "Crash of Notre Dame legend left its mark in Kansas". The Topeka Capital-Journal. 2001.
- Ancestry.com Floyd Daniel Hargiss
- The Life and Legacy of H. W. "Bill" Hargiss
- Homer Woodson Hargiss at the College Football Data Warehouse