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John Livingston "Honus" Craig (November 30, 1881 – April 18, 1942) was an American college football player and coach.

Honus Craig
Craig c. 1906
Biographical details
Born(1881-11-30)November 30, 1881
Culleoka, Tennessee
DiedApril 18, 1942(1942-04-18) (aged 59)
Rally Hill, Maury County, Tennessee
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1908Polytechnic (TX)
1909–1910Terrill School for Boys
Accomplishments and honors
4x All-Southern (1904–1907)
1912 All-time Vandy 1st team.
1934 All-time Vandy team

Early yearsEdit

John Livingston Craig was born on November 30, 1881 in Culleoka, Tennessee to Thompson Sloan Craig and Ella Cline.[1]

Playing careerEdit


Craig was a prominent halfback for Dan McGugin's Vanderbilt Commodores football teams which won four SIAA titles. He was also selected All-Southern four times. McGugin once called him the South's greatest athlete and Vanderbilt's greatest halfback.[2] One report says "When Craig was confronted with the above formidable title yesterday by a reporter whose business it is to know such things, he blushed like a girl and tried to show why Dan McGugin's judgment is not always to be trusted."[2] In Craig's opinion, Bob Blake was the South's greatest player.[2] Craig stood 5 feet 9 inches and weighed 165 pounds.[3] He was nominated though not selected for an Associated Press All-Time Southeast 1920-1969 era team.[4]


Vanderbilt had a major intersection for the first time when it defeated Carlisle in 1906 by a single Bob Blake drop kick, "the crowning feat of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association season."[5] Craig called this his hardest game,[2] giving special praise to Albert Exendine as "the fastest end I ever saw."


Craig went over for the touchdown to beat Sewanee in 1907, after the play which Grantland Rice called the greatest thrill he ever witnessed in his years of watching sports, the double-pass play ending with a pass from Bob Blake to Stein Stone.[6][7] Earlier in the game Craig caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Blake.[8]

Coaching careerEdit

Craig once coached at the Columbia Military Academy.[9]

Polytechnic CollegeEdit

Craig was coach and athletic director at Texas Wesleyan University (then called Polytechnic College).[2]


Craig died on April 18, 1942 in Maury County, Tennessee while on a fishing trip. At the time of his death he was safety director for the Tennessee State Highway Department.[9]


  1. ^ "Tennessee Deaths and Burials, 1874–1955." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.
  2. ^ a b c d e ""Honus" Craig, All-Southern Right Halfback---He Talks". Abilene Daily Reporter. April 25, 1909.
  3. ^ "The Football Season of 1904". Vanderbilt University Quarterly. 5: 62–69.
  4. ^ "U-T Greats On All-Time Southeast Team". Kingsport Post. July 31, 1969.
  5. ^ Dan McGugin (1907). "Football In Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association". The Official National Collegiate Athletic Association Football Guide: 49.
  6. ^ "Grantland Rice Tells Of Greatest Thrill In Years Of Watching Sport". Boston Daily Globe. April 27, 1924. ProQuest 497709192.
  7. ^ Bill Traughber (December 5, 2007). "CHC: Stein Stone's Famous 1907 Catch". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "Claiming Rampant". The Miami News. February 9, 1954.
  9. ^ a b "Ex-Vanderbilt Grid Great Dies". Kingsport Times. April 20, 1942. p. 10. Retrieved March 11, 2015 – via