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Amos Alonzo Stagg

Born: 16-Aug-1862
Birthplace: West Orange, NJ
Died: 17-Mar-1965
Location of death: Stockton, CA
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Remains: Buried, Park View Cemetery, Manteca, CA

Gender: Male
Religion: Presbyterian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Football

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Mr. Football

Amos Alonzo "Lonnie" Stagg had a 71-year career as a football coach, and co-founded what is now the Big Ten athletic conference, the American Football Coaches Association, and the Football Rules Committee. During his long tenure at the University of Chicago, he coached the school's baseball, basketball, and track and field teams, in addition to his favorite sport, football.

He played end on Yale's football team, and was named to Walter Campís inaugural All-America team in 1886. He was also a stand-out pitcher for Yale, and he was offered a professional contract by baseball's New York Giants, but refused on principle, because he believed that amateur athletics was more honorable than professional sports. Later, he attended the YMCA Training School (now Springfield College) at the same time that James Naismith was inventing basketball there, and Naismith played center on the school football team coached by Stagg. On 11 March 1892 Stagg played in the first public exhibition of Naismith's new game, scoring the only basket for the faculty team as they lost to the school's student team, 5-1. On 18 January 1896, his University of Chicago team played the University of Iowa in the first college basketball game with five players per team (a suggestion Stagg had made to Naismith).

He was the first person double-inducted -- as player, and as coach -- into the College Football Hall of Fame, and he was also a charter inductee in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. While coaching baseball, Stagg was credited with inventing the first batting cage. He is the namesake of the annual American football championship game for small colleges, the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, and of the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, given annually to "the individual, group or institution whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football." As a collegiate football coach his teams won twelve league championships and two national championships, and his record was 314 wins, 199 losses, and 35 ties. He played himself in the movie Knute Rockne All American with Pat O'Brien and Ronald Reagan. He was 98 when he retired from coaching, and 102 when he died in his sleep at a California nursing home in 1965.

Father: Amos Lindsley Stagg (cobbler - hay cutter)
Mother: Eunice Pierson Stagg
Wife: Stella Robertson Stagg (b. 1875, m. 10-Sep-1894, d. 1964)
Son: Amos Alonzo Stagg, Jr. (football coach)
Son: Paul Stagg (football coach)
Daughter: Ruth Stagg Lauren

    High School: West Orange High School, West Orange, NJ (1883)
    High School: Phillips Exeter Academy (1884)
    University: BA, Yale University (1888)
    University: MA, Yale University (1889)
    University: Springfield College (attended, 1889-91)
    Theological: Williston Seminary (attended, 1890-92)
    Coach: Baseball-Football, Springfield College (1889-92)
    Coach: Baseball-Basketball-Football-Track, University of Chicago (1892-1933)
    Coach: Football, University of the Pacific (1933-46)
    Coach: Football, Susquehanna University (assistant, 1946-53)
    Coach: Football, Stockton Junior College (assistant, 1953-60)

    College Football Hall of Fame 1951
    Basketball Hall of Fame 1959
    Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses 1944
    American Football Coaches Association Co-Founder (1922)
    Psi Upsilon Fraternity
    Skull and Bones Society
    Young Men's Christian Association
    US Olympic Committee Board of Directors (1906-33)

    Knute Rockne All American (4-Oct-1940) · Himself

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