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Joel D. Whitaker (October 5, 1877 – October 13, 1947) was an American ophthalmologist and college football player and coach. He was hired as one of the first coaches of the Guilford Quakers in 1897, posting a 2–2–1 record.[1] Whitaker played college football at the University of North Carolina, where he was a prominent fullback, described by Kemp Plummer Battle as "probably the university's best all around athlete."[2] In the 1895 Georgia vs. North Carolina football game, Whitaker threw what is purported by some to be the first forward pass.[3] He picked an all-time UNC team in 1910.[4]

Herb Appenzeller
Biographical details
Born(1877-10-05)October 5, 1877
Warrenton, North Carolina
DiedOctober 13, 1947(1947-10-13) (aged 70)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Playing career
1895North Carolina
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Head coaching record

Whitaker was born on October 5, 1877, in Warrenton, North Carolina. He died on October 13, 1947, at St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana.[5]


  1. ^ "Full text of "Guilford Review"".
  2. ^ "History of North Carolina: North Carolina biography, by special staff of writers".
  3. ^ "Tar Heels Credited with Throwing First Forward Pass". Tar Heel Times. Archived from the original on December 19, 2006. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  4. ^ Kemp Plummer Battle. History of the University of North Carolina. p. 752.
  5. ^ "Prominent Eye Specialist Dies". The Indianapolis News. Indianapolis, Indiana. October 14, 1947. p. 8. Retrieved June 14, 2019 – via  .

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