Howard Harpster

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Howard Harpster
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1907-05-14)May 14, 1907
Salem, Ohio
Died March 9, 1980(1980-03-09) (aged 72)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Playing career
1926–1928 Carnegie Tech
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1930–1932 Geneva
1933–1936 Carnegie Tech
Head coaching record
Overall 34–25–5
Accomplishments and honors
Consensus All-American (1928)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1956 (profile)

Howard Harpster (May 14, 1907 – April 9, 1980) was an American football player and coach. He played college football as a quarterback at the Carnegie Institute of Technology—now known as Carnegie Mellon University—from 1926 to 1928. He was consensus selection to the 1928 College Football All-America Team. Harpster served as the head football coach at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania from 1930 to 1932 and at his alma mater, Carnegie Tech, from 1933 to 1936, compiling a career coaching record of 34–25–5. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1956.

Playing career[edit]

Harpster played quarterback for the Carnegie Mellon University (then called "Carnegie Tech") from 1926 until 1928. The College Football Hall of Fame states that he was known as "one of the great Eastern quarterbacks of the late 1920s."[1] In 1926, Carnegie Tech's football team beat Knute Rockne's Notre Dame Fighting Irish.[2] The game was ranked the fourth-greatest upset in college football history by ESPN.[3]

Harpster was one of 11 All-American football players to appear in the 1930 film Maybe It's Love.[4]

Coaching career[edit]


Harpster was the 15th head football coach at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania and he held that position for three seasons, from 1930 until 1932. His coaching record at Geneva was 22–6–2.[5]

Geneva College fans generally consider him among the best coaches in the history of the school.[6] His teams were considered among the leading small college teams in the country at the time.[7]

Carnegie Tech[edit]

In 1933, Harpster returned to Carnegie Tech and coached for four years. His teams produced a record of 12–19–3.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Geneva Golden Tornadoes () (1930–1932)
1930 Geneva 9–1
1931 Geneva 6–2–2
1932 Geneva 7–3
Geneva: 22–6–2
Carnegie Tech Tartans () (1933–1936)
1933 Carnegie Tech 4–3–2
1934 Carnegie Tech 4–5
1935 Carnegie Tech 2–5–1
1936 Carnegie Tech 2–6
Carnegie Tech: 12–19–3
Total: 34–25–5


  1. ^ College Football Hall of Fame Howard Harpster
  2. ^ "Tech's Greatest Victory". Retrieved February 18, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Upset special: With Rockne gone, Irish took a Michigan-like tumble". Retrieved February 18, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Maybe It's Love". American Film Institute. 
  5. ^ Geneva College coaching records
  6. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "The Geneva Story: A Winning Fairy Tale" by MARINO PARASCENZO November 3, 1971
  7. ^ The St. Petersburg Independent "Geneva Athlete to Assist Benn" September 7, 1936

External links[edit]