Open main menu

Henry Goldthwaite "Diddy" Seibels (August 22, 1876 – September 29, 1967) was a prominent American college football and baseball player and golfer for the Sewanee Tigers of Sewanee: The University of the South, a small Episcopal school in the Tennessee mountain town of Sewanee.

Henry Seibels
Henry Seibels.jpg
Seibels in 1899 team photo
Sewanee Tigers
Career history
High schoolStarke University Academy
Personal information
Born:(1876-08-22)August 22, 1876
Montgomery, Alabama
Died:September 29, 1967(1967-09-29) (aged 91)
Birmingham, Alabama
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight170 lb (77 kg)
Career highlights and awards
College Football Hall of Fame (1973)

Early yearsEdit

Seibels was born in Montgomery to Colonel Emmett Seibels and Anne Goldthwaite.[1]


Seibels is best known as the running back and captain on the undefeated 1899 Sewanee Tigers football team. Known as the "Iron Men," they had a six-day road trip with five shutout wins over Texas A&M; Texas; Tulane; LSU; and Ole Miss. Recalled memorably with the phrase "..and on the seventh day they rested."[2][3] The biggest fear of the road trip was injuries, as players who left a game were not allowed to return. In the very first game of that road trip, with Texas, Seibels got a gash on his forehead which was stuck together with "sticking plaster."[4] Seibels scored two touchdowns in that game, and only missed the Tulane game.[3] He scored a Sewanee record 19 touchdowns in 1899. He was nominated though not selected for an Associated Press All-Time Southeast 1869-1919 era team.[5]

Seibels also captained the baseball team that year; and it too went undefeated.[6] He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1973, and is also a member of the Sewanee Athletics Hall of Fame. After college, he was headmaster of Sewanee Grammar School and then moved to Birmingham and was in the insurance business. Seibels' athleticism was vast, for in 1922 he was the Alabama state golf champion.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Seibels had two sons, Henry "Buzz" Seibels, Jr. and Kelly Seibels. He once told them and an inquiring newsman the best player on the 1899 Sewanee Tigers football team was not he but Ormond Simkins.


  1. ^ George M. Cruikshank (1920). A History of Birmingham and Its Environs: A Narrative Account of Their Historical Progress, Their People, and Their Principal Interests. p. 169.
  2. ^ Patrick Dorsey (September 23, 2011). "Sewanee, long-lost member of the SEC".
  3. ^ a b "On the 7th Day They Rested" (PDF).
  4. ^ Wendell Givens (2003). Ninety-Nine Iron: The Season Sewanee Won Five Games in Six Days. University of Alabama Press. pp. 27–28. ISBN 9780817350628.
  5. ^ "U-T Greats On All-Time Southeast Team". Kingsport Post. July 31, 1969.
  6. ^ "Henry Seibels".
  7. ^ "Seibels Takes Alabama Golf Title". The New York Times. August 27, 1922.

External linksEdit