William Herbert Corbin

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Pa Corbin
Corbin (holding ball) on Yale's 1888 team
Yale Bulldogs
Position Center
Career history
  • Yale (1886–1888)
Personal information
Date of birth July 20, 1864
Place of birth Union, Connecticut
Date of death April 14, 1945
Place of death Hartford, Connecticut
Career highlights and awards

William Herbert 'Pa' Corbin (July 20, 1864 – April 14, 1945)[1][2] was an American college football player for the Yale Bulldogs football team for Yale University. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969.

Corbin was born in Union, Connecticut, the son of William Melvin Corbin, a manufacturer and merchant who served in the Connecticut General Assembly, for one session as a representative and then as a state senator, and his wife, née Josephine Walker. He attended Hartford Public High School and matriculated at Yale College, where he was on the freshman, sophomore, and university crews, and was captain of the freshman football team, and was on the university football team three years, and in his senior year as captain. Other activities included college hour, and financial manager of the Yale Daily News. He was a member of Psi Upsilon and Skull and Bones.[1]

The 1888 Yale Football team, of which he was captain, was undefeated, winning thirteen games and tallying 698 points while holding their opponents scoreless. His interest in Yale football continued after graduation at practice session and games at the Yale Bowl; he became known to undergraduates as "Pa" Corbin.[2]

He taught at Westminster School at Dobbs Ferry for three years following graduation and them became headmaster of the Pingry School from 1892 to 1897.[2]

He served as Connecticut State Tax Commissioner from 1907 until 1920, when he retired.


  1. ^ a b "William Herbert Corbin, B.A. 1889", Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University Deceased During the Year 1944-1945, 41 (New Haven, Connecticut, published 1 January 1946) (1), 1946: pp. 31–2. 
  2. ^ a b c "W. H. Corbin Dead; Star Yale Center. Captain of Undefeated Eleven of 1888, Tax Commissioner of Connecticut, 1907-20.", The New York Times (New York City), 16 April 1945