“Stagg was an innovator. He invented the huddle, the direct pass from center, the lateral, the man-in-motion, the backfield shift, and cross-blocking. Wanting his players to develop stamina along with strength, he introduced wind sprints. He was also the first to put numbers on uniforms. “All football comes from Stagg,” Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne declared.
But at the university, football wasn’t Stagg’s only responsibility. He ran the entire athletic program. At different times he coached baseball, basketball, track, and swimming. Oh–and while he was at it, he also invented the batting cage.”
A solid and concise synopsis from Chicago Now’s John R. Schmidt.
The legendary University of Chicago college football coach, who lived to the age of 103 was profiled by Schmidt (an author, professional historian, and Phd. from the University of Chicago) CN blog.
It was of great interest to me, a former football player at Amos Alonzo Stagg high school in suburban Palos Hills, IL.
Today his namesake graces the title game of Division III college football. This year’s Stagg Bowl takes place a week from Saturday.
Stagg also didn’t care much for frats, so now I have even more reverence for him. Stagg was football’s greatest innovator, and he made his name in our hometown, a haven of innovation.
Chicago invented the nuclear bomb, with the first controlled atomic reaction at the University of Chicago in 1942. You may have heard of the Manhattan Project? That was performed in Chicago underneath the bleachers of Stagg Field. And the waste from that project is buried in a forest preserve on the outskirts of the Chicago suburbs, in Hickory Hills, IL, about a five minute drive from…one of the two high schools named after Amos Alonzo Stagg.