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Henry Lane Williams (July 26, 1869 – June 14, 1931) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the United States Military Academy in 1891 and the University of Minnesota from 1900 to 1921, compiling a career college football record of 141–34–12. Williams's Minnesota Golden Gophers teams won eight Western Conference—now known as the Big Ten Conference—titles and his 136 wins are the most of any coach in team history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1951.

Henry L. Williams
Henry L. Williams.jpg
Biographical details
Born(1869-07-26)July 26, 1869
Hartford, Connecticut
DiedJune 14, 1931(1931-06-14) (aged 61)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Playing career
1889–1890Yale
Position(s)Halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1891Army
1892–1899William Penn Charter (PA)
1900–1921Minnesota
Head coaching record
Overall141–34–12 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
1 National (1904)
8 Western (1900, 1903–1904, 1906, 1909–1911, 1915)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1951 (profile)

Coaching careerEdit

After playing football at Yale University under head coach Walter Camp, where with Camp he co-invented the "tackle-back" formation,[1] Williams began his coaching career at the United States Military Academy in 1891 while he was a teacher at Siglar Academy in Newburgh, New York. He then moved to Philadelphia where he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine while he coached football and track at William Penn Charter School.

In 1900, Williams was hired as the head football coach at the University of Minnesota, where he invented the Minnesota shift.[2] His Minnesota Golden Gophers were Big Ten Conference champions eight times (1900, 1903, 1904, 1906, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1915). Williams had a 136–33–11 record at Minnesota. His winning percentage (.786) is the highest of any Gopher football coach to date with the exception of Wallie Winter who went 6–0 in his only season 1893. In 1903, the Gophers went 14–0–1. Their lone tie came against Fielding H. Yost's Michigan Wolverines. After the contest, the Wolverines left behind their water jug at Northrop Field, which gave rise to the Little Brown Jug, one of the oldest and most famous college football trophies.

Williams was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame with the inaugural class in 1951. Williams Arena, the home venue for Minnesota basketball, was renamed in his honor after a remodeling in the 1950s.

LegacyEdit

Williams coaching tree includes:

  1. Bernie Bierman
  2. Gil Dobie
  3. Clark Shaughnessy

Head coaching recordEdit

CollegeEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing
Army Cadets (Independent) (1891)
1891 Army 5–1–1
Army: 5–1–1
Minnesota Golden Gophers (Western Conference / Big Ten Conference) (1900–1921)
1900 Minnesota 10–0–2 3–0–1 T–1st
1901 Minnesota 9–1–1 3–1 3rd
1902 Minnesota 9–2–1 3–1 3rd
1903 Minnesota 14–0–1 3–0–1 T–1st
1904 Minnesota 13–0 3–0 T–1st
1905 Minnesota 10–1 2–1 T–2nd
1906 Minnesota 4–1 2–0 T–1st
1907 Minnesota 2–2–1 0–1–1 5th
1908 Minnesota 3–2–1 0–2 T–6th
1909 Minnesota 6–1 3–0 1st
1910 Minnesota 6–1 2–0 T–1st
1911 Minnesota 6–0–1 3–0–1 1st
1912 Minnesota 4–3 2–2 T–3rd
1913 Minnesota 5–2 2–1 T–2nd
1914 Minnesota 6–1 3–1 2nd
1915 Minnesota 6–0–1 3–0–1 T–1st
1916 Minnesota 6–1 3–1 3rd
1917 Minnesota 4–1 3–1 2nd
1918 Minnesota 5–2–1 2–1 T–4th
1919 Minnesota 4–2–1 3–2 T–4th
1920 Minnesota 1–6 0–6 T–9th
1921 Minnesota 3–4 2–4 T–6th
Minnesota: 136–33–11 50–25–5
Total: 141–34–12
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Nelson, David M. (1994). The Anatomy of a Game: Football, the Rules, and the Men who Made the Game. ISBN 9780874134551.
  2. ^ Sport: Trophies and Gophers, TIME Magazine, November 3, 1941.

External linksEdit