Glenn Scobey Warner

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"Glenn Warner" redirects here. For the soccer coach at the Naval Academy, see Glenn Warner (soccer coach).
Glenn Scobey "Pop" Warner
Glenn S. Warner.png
Warner in the 1921 Pitt yearbook
Sport(s) Football, baseball
Biographical details
Born (1871-04-05)April 5, 1871
Springville, New York
Died September 7, 1954(1954-09-07) (aged 83)
Palo Alto, California
Playing career
1892–1894 Cornell
1902 Syracuse Athletic Club
Position(s) Guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1895–1896 Georgia
1895–1899 Iowa State
1897–1898 Cornell
1899–1903 Carlisle Indians
1904–1906 Cornell
1907–1914 Carlisle Indians
1915–1923 Pittsburgh
1924–1932 Stanford
1933–1938 Temple
1939 San Jose State (associate)
1905–1906 Cornell
Head coaching record
Overall 319–106–32 (football)[n 1]
36–15 (baseball)
Bowls 1–1–2
Accomplishments and honors
4 National (1915, 1916, 1918, 1926)
1 SIAA (1896)
3 PCC (1924, 1926, 1927)
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (1948)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1951 (profile)

Glenn Scobey Warner (April 5, 1871 – September 7, 1954), most commonly known as Pop Warner, was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Georgia (1895–1896), Iowa State University (1895–1899), Cornell University (1897–1898, 1904–1906), the Carlisle Indian Industrial School (1899–1903, 1907–1914), the University of Pittsburgh (1915–1923), Stanford University (1924–1932), and Temple University (1933–1938), compiling a career college football record of 319–106–32.[n 1]

Pre-dating Bear Bryant and Bobby Bowden, Pop Warner had the most wins of any coach in major college football history.[1] Warner was the innovator behind the single-wing formation, a precursor to the modern spread and shotgun formations.[2] According to Warner biographer Francis Powers, "In the late '20s and early ' was flooded with coaches who learned their football from either Pop or Knute Rockne".[3]

Warner coached four teams to national championships: in 1915, 1916, and 1918 with Pittsburgh and in 1926 with Stanford. He was inducted as a coach into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951. Warner also contributed to a junior football program that became known as Pop Warner Little Scholars, a popular youth American football organization.

Early life and playing at Cornell

Glenn Scobey Warner was born on April 5, 1871, in Springville, New York. He graduated from Cornell University in 1894, where he took part in track and field, boxing, and American football. He played football during his last two years as a student and had no previous training in the sport.[4] He captained the 1894 team playing as a guard and accumulated a record of 6–4–1. That year Cornell lost to Michigan, marking the first occasion that team was able to beat an Ivy League team. Warner was known as "Pop" because he was the oldest player on the Cornell team. After graduation Warner briefly worked as an attorney in Buffalo, New York.[5]

Coaching career


In 1895, Warner decided to quit his job as an attorney. He wrote to several universities and was eventually hired by the University of Georgia as its new head football coach for the 1895 season at a salary of $34 per week.[6][n 2] This was the Georgia Bulldogs' first year of competition in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA), the first southern athletics conference.[n 3] Warner's first Georgia team had three wins against four losses, including one by an illegal forward pass.[1] He was rehired at a salary of $40 per week for ten weeks,[6] and the following year Georgia was undefeated and won the SIAA championship.[11]

Warner on the Georgia sidelines.

During those two years Warner played two games against another young coach, who like Warner would become a coaching legend, John Heisman. Heisman was the head coach at Auburn University and the two faced each other in the 1985 and 1896 games of the "Deep South's Oldest Rivalry" a historic annual confrontation that is still being played today.

In 1895, the Auburn Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 12 to 6. That year the Auburn team was led by legendary quarterback Reynolds Tichenor, who was small in size and was known for his great punt returns. Earlier that year Tichenor executed the first "hidden-ball trick" in Auburn's earlier game against Vanderbilt, and he also ran it against Georgia.[12] The next year Tichenor had to face Richard Von Albade Gammon, a star quarterback in his first year under Warner. While Tichenor was known for his punt returns, Gammon was known for his long distance kicks. During the game the two quarterbacks were at their best, and, unlike the previous year, it was Warner who emerged victorious 16 to 6.[13]

Warner left Georgia after that season. While the 1896 season is considered historic because Georgia went undefeated and won its conference; the 1897 season is also remembered, but this time for an unfortunate reason: Richard Gammon passed away soon after suffering a severe concussion in a game against the University of Virginia.[n 4]


Due to his outstanding performance of 1896, Warner returned to alma mater Cornell, which paid him twice his salary at Georgia.[15] He retained his head-coaching job at Iowa State and coached Cornell for the next two years, gaining a record of five wins, three losses, and one tie (5–3–1) in 1897 and 10–2 in 1898. In the latter season Cornell outscored its opponents 296 to 29.[16] Despite its success in the 1898 season, there was internal tension within the team, whose assistant coach lobbied to replace Warner and was backed by a large section of the players. Acknowledging an issue with his leadership, Warner quit before any decision was made at the university.[16]

Iowa State

During his first year at Georgia, Warner was also offered a head coaching job at Iowa State University, whose season started in mid-August while Georgia's started a month later. He was offered $25 per week to go to Iowa during the interim and to provide weekly advice during the rest of the season.[17] Soon after Warner left for Georgia, Iowa State had its first game of the season. In Evanston just north of Chicago, the underdog Iowa State defeated Northwestern 36 to 0. A Chicago sportswriter called the team "cornfed giants from Iowa" while the Chicago Tribune's headline read, "Struck by a Cyclone". Since then, Iowa State teams have been known as the Cyclones.[18] Overall, the team had three wins and three losses and, like Georgia, Iowa State retained Warner for the next season. In 1896 the team had eight wins and two losses.[19] Despite leaving Cornell in 1898, Warner remained as the head coach of Iowa State for another year. During his last three years at Iowa State the team had a winning season but Warner was unable to match his triumph of 1896.[19]


In 1899, soon after leaving Cornell, Warner became the head coach of the football team at Carlisle Indian Industrial School, a flagship U.S. Native American boarding school founded to teach Native American children and young men skills to advance in American society. Its late 19th and early 20th century football teams are now considered to be one of the most dominant and historically significant teams of the period.[20] Warner was paid $1,200, an exceptionally high salary for the time.[21]

Warner played against Carlisle during his second year at Cornell, and was impressed by Carlisle's approach to the game. Because the players were outweighed by every other team in the nation, they relied upon speed and agility rather than size and physical force. He recognized Carlisle as an instance of what he considered the game's future.[22] As the new coach, Warner had to interact with young players different than the white, east-coast students with whom he previously worked. At the beginning, his approach was similar to the then-usual coaching techniques that involved the use of rough language and cursing as part of a strict routine. The Native American students were unused to this and several of the key players stopped attending practice sessions. Once he realized what happened, Warner adjusted his technique; he said he "found I could get better results. I don't think I ever swore at a player from that time. Maybe I did a little cussing, now and then, but never at players."[23]

Coach Warner

Warner's coaching brought immediate improvement. In 1897 and 1898 the Carlisle teams went 6–4. In 1899, his first year, Carlisle won nine matches and lost two; the losses were against the country's two best teams, Harvard and Princeton. That year also saw Carlisle's first major victory, beating one of the "Big Four" teams – Pennsylvania 16 to 5.[23] At the end of the season Carlisle met Columbia in New York City's Polo Grounds, one of the premier sports venues of the time.[n 5] The Columbia Lions were defeated 42 to 0; according to Sally Jenkins writing for

In the Columbia game, the Indians used the crouching start for the first time in football history ... Until that day the standard position for offensive backs, before the ball was snapped, was with feet well apart, body bent forward and hands on the knees. Warner figured that if sprinters could get a faster start with their hands on the ground, partially supporting their bodies, then the same method would increase speed in football. Warner had the Indians practice the crouching start for a long time in practice and then sprung the stance against Columbia. Soon all teams were using the crouch for both backs and linemen.[25]

At the end of the year Warner was also asked to take on the responsibilities of athletic director, to coach all sports in the department; his salary was more than doubled.[26] A track and field program was started the same year. Warner knew little of track; to prepare for his coaching he purchased all available text and consulted with Jack Moakley, Mike Murphy, and George Connors, the famous track coaches of that time. The program became successful; as a sport, running was a part of Native American tradition and students from the southwest were known for their stamina in long distance events.[26][27]

Warner's next two years were not as fruitful. The 1900 football team went 6–4–1, losing three games to the Big Four. The 1901 season was a losing one; Carlisle went 5–7–1. The following year the team re-emerged at 8–3.[28] "By 1902 Carlisle was more deceptive than ever. One piece of razzle-dazzle installed by Warner was the double pass: Quarterback Jimmie Johnson would toss the ball to a halfback sweeping laterally – who then tossed it back to him. Under the quick-footed Johnson, a future All-America, the shifting Carlisle lines looked like a deck of cards being shuffled."[21]

1903 Carlisle Indians football team.

Also in 1902, Warner played one professional football game for Syracuse Athletic Club during the first World Series of Football, held at Madison Square Garden. In the first professional indoor football game the Syracuse squad upset the heavily favored New York team. During the series, Warner received a serious cut on the side of his head. While he laughed it off at the time, he was replaced with Blondy Wallace for the rest of the series.[29] For the entire tournament, Warner and the other team members earned only $23; the expected earning was $300 per player but the tournament was a financial failure.[30]

The 1903 season was a success; the team lost only two games. The 11-to-12 loss to Harvard is known for the "hunch-back" or the "hidden-ball" play Warner learned from Heisman.[n 6] The play was tried during a Harvard kickoff; once the ball was caught, Carlisle formed a circle around the returner. With the aid of a specially altered jersey, the ball was placed up the back of the same player. Next, Carlisle broke the huddle and spread out in different directions. Each player except the returner, who had the ball hidden in the back of his jersey, feigned carrying the ball. The ruse confused the Harvard players, who scrambled to find the ball carrier. The returner, with both of his hands free, was ignored and he ran untouched into the end zone.[31][32]

Brief return to Cornell

In 1904, after five years at Carlisle, Warner returned to Cornell. The previous year's team had a poor season and Warner's 1904 team showed little improvement. The following two years saw significant improvement; the 1905 team lost to Penn, the undefeated champions, by one point. Their game next year was a 0–0 tie, with Cornell losing only one game – to Princeton.[33]

Return to Carlisle

After three years at Cornell, Warner returned to Carlisle. Warner's second period at Carlisle is considered to be his greatest. Between 1907 and 1914, there were five seasons in which the team won ten or more games. Of his entire time at Carlisle, Warner considered the 1907 team to be "about as perfect a football machine as I ever sent on the field".[21] That team pioneered an elegant, high-speed passing game; the team was one of the first to throw the ball regularly and deeply downfield. Under Warner, Carlisle quarterback Frank Mount Pleasant became one of the first regular spiral pass quarterbacks in football.[34] According to Jenkins:

To take advantage of the Indians' versatility Warner drew up a new offense ... "the Carlisle formation," but later it would be known as the single wing. It was predicated on one small move: Warner shifted a halfback out wide, to outflank the opposing tackle, forming something that looked like a wing. It opened up a world of possibilities. The Indians could line up as if to punt – and then throw. No one would know whether they were going to run, pass or kick. For added measure Warner taught his quarterbacks to sprint out a few yards to their left or their right, buying more time to throw. The rest of the players flooded downfield and knocked down any opponent who might be able to intercept or bat away the pass.[21]

The 1911 Carlisle Indians pose with a game ball from the upset over Harvard.

The 1907 team posted a 10–1 record and outscored opponents 267 to 62. For the first time in 11 years, Carlisle defeated Harvard on the road 23 to 15.[35] The same year Carlisle won 26 to 6 over Penn, a team that went on to claim a national championship. During the game Carlisle fullback Pete Hauser threw a 40-yard spiral pass, hitting his receiver in stride. At the time such a pass was stunning and unexpected; it is considered by many to be an evolutionary step in the game.[21] Aside from Mount Pleasant and Hauser, the team also included Jim Thorpe, who is considered to be one of the greatest athletes that ever lived.[36]

File:Single-wing punt.GIF
Single-wing punt formation.

In 1907 Thorpe weighed 155 lb (70 kg) – light for a football player. Warner played him as a substitute, trying to encourage him to put his time into track and field.[21][35] By 1909 Warner had Thorpe competing and winning in 14 track and field events. In 1911 Thorpe began training for the upcoming Olympics, and in 1912 he won gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden.[n 7]

1911 was another stand-out year; Thorpe had grown to 180 lb (82 kg) – big enough to be a starter. The team defeated Harvard 18 to 15, with Thorpe scoring all of Carlisle's points. Carlisle's only loss was to Syracuse 11 to 12. Warner considered the 1912 team to be brilliant and adaptive; he constantly experimented with new plays and formations. According to Powers:

File:Glenn Warner, Jim Thorpe tackling a dummy.jpg
Jim Thorpe tackling a dummy that is made of weights and pulley on wire, with Coach Warner. 1912.

In 1912, against Army, the Indians showed an extension of the wing-back system. In that game, Warner had both halfbacks close to the line and flanking the defensive tackles. That was the start of the double wingback offense, which enjoyed tremendous popularity until the T formation was modernized with the man in motion. The double wing became the most effective of all systems for effective forward passing since it permitted the quick release of four receivers down the field.[35]

Carlisle dominated the next two years - both the 1912 and 1913 teams had only one loss. Unfortunately in 1914 there was a big change in administration in Washington, federal money was considered to be better spent in the West rather than schools like Carlisle. Many students left, and this had an impact on the team which went 5-10-1. After that season Warner left Carlisle to become the new head coach at Pitt.[35]

During his years at Carlisle, Warner made several significant contributions to the offense of the game: the crouching start or charge, the current body block technique, the spiral forward pass, and the single and double wingback formations.[35][n 8] His salary was a then-staggering sum of $4,500 per season.[39]


In 1915, Warner inherited a team full of later All-Americans and coached the Pittsburgh Panthers football team to its first undefeated season.[n 9] Six of eight games, all of which were shutouts, were played at home at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh.[n 10]

"Pop" (right) and Pitt captain Bob Peck during the 1916 season.

While the 1915 season was a success, the following year's team is known as one of the greatest of Warner's career.[n 11] The Panthers were again undefeated, and like the previous year, six of the eight games where shutouts. Overall the team scored 255 points and conceded 25. Warner considered this team to be an improvement because its defense was even more dominant than that of the previous year.[41] The Panthers were considered to be the consensus national champions and Warner gained the status as one of the greatest coaches in football.[42]

Warner during the 1917 season at Pittsburgh

In 1917, the United States entered World War I, and some players including Andy Hastings and Jimmy Dehart went into service.[42] Despite the war, Pittsburgh still played a full season and was again undefeated, though it was not awarded the national championship.[n 12] The team lacked the punch of the previous year but still dominated its opposition. One of the key aspects of its success was the opposing coaches' inability to address Warner's evolving strategies; according to Powers, "His reverse plays were a mystery, although Pop always was willing to explain them in detail to any other coach".[42]

John Heisman, now the head coach of Georgia Tech, which also went undefeated, challenged Warner to a post-season game. Warner declined and the game was moved to the next season, giving Tech the claim to the 1917 national championship.[n 13] On November 23, 1918, in Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech was defeated 32 to 0.[45] Powers wrote:

At Forbes Field, the dressing rooms of the two teams were separated only by a thin wall. As the Panthers were sitting around, awaiting Warner's pre-game talk, Heisman began to orate in the adjoining room. In his charge to the Tech squad, Heisman became flowery and fiery. He brought the heroes of ancient Greece and the soldier dead in his armor among the ruins of Pompeii. It was terrific and the Panthers sat, spellbound. When Heisman had finished, Warner chortled and quietly said to his players: 'Okay, boys. There's the speech. Now go out and knock them off.'[45]

Pitt vs. Georgia Tech, 1918

The 1918 season was cut short at the end of November due to the continuing effects of World War I and the influenza pandemic.[46] Only five games were played; the season's final game was in Cleveland against the Naval Reserve. It resulted in Warner's first loss at Pitt and is one of the most controversial matches in Pitt's history. Warner, along with some reporters covering the game, said Pitt was robbed by the officials. The referees said the official timekeeper's watch was broken, which arbitrarily ended the first half before Pitt was able to score, and then allowed the Reserves extra time in the fourth quarter to pull ahead 10–9.[47][48][n 14] Moon Ducote kicked the winning field goal.Warner said Ducote was "the greatest football player I ever saw".[50] Though he refused to acknowledge it, Warner's 29-game winning streak came to an end. Despite the loss, multiple selectors named the 4–1 Panthers of 1918 the national champion of that season.[51]

The 1919 season began with high expectations; World War I was over and several key players had returned from service.[52] However things did not go Warner's way; at the beginning of the season problems with the offensive line and on the flanks became apparent. The first defeat was away at Syracuse, where the Orange won 20 to 3. Overall the 1919 season went six wins two losses, and one tie.[53]

The Panthers returned to undefeated status during 1920, albeit with ties against Syracuse and undefeated Penn State. For the 1921 season, the team's record dipped to 5–3–1, but Pitt made college football history on October 8, 1921. Harold W. Arlin announced the first live radio broadcast of a college football game in the United States from Forbes Field on KDKA radio as the Pitt Panthers defeated West Virginia 21 to 13 in the annual Backyard Brawl.[54]

Prior to the 1922 season, Warner announced he was leaving Pitt to take the head coaching position at Stanford, but he honored his contract and remained at Pitt through 1923. 1922 resulted in an 8–2 record, and the season ended with the Panthers taking their first cross-country trip, by train, to defeat Stanford, coached by two Pitt assistants sent ahead by Warner, 16 to 7 in Palo Alto. It was Andrew Kerr that became the head coach at Stanford during Warner's last two years at Pitt. Warner's final season was his worst at Pitt as the Panthers stumbled to a 5–4 record in 1923. However, the Warner era at Pitt closed on a high note with a 20 to 3 victory over Penn State on November 29.

At Pitt, Warner coached his teams to 29 (33 if the Naval Reserves loss is not counted) straight wins and has been credited with winning three national championships (1915, 1916 and 1918).[55] Coaching Pittsburgh from 1915 to 1923, he compiled a record of 60–12–4.[56]


Football on the Pacific Coast had been on the rise since the late 1910s.[n 15] Early in 1922, Warner signed a contract with Stanford University, under which he would start coaching in 1924 after his contract with Pitt ended.[58] Health concerns, the significant raise in Warner's pay, and the rising status of pacific coast football made Warner make the big change. Years later he wrote:

I felt my health would be better on the Pacific coast. Weather conditions at Pittsburgh during the football season are rather disagreeable, and much of the late season work had to be done upon a field which was ankle deep in mud. At the close of every season I would be in poor physical condition, twice being rendered incapable of coaching while I recuperated in a hospital. Doctors advised me that the climate of the Pacific coast would be much better for a man of my age and in the work in which I was engaged.[59]

Ernie Nevers (left) and Coach Warner.

In 1924 Warner began his nine-year career at Stanford University.[n 16] When Warner started coaching Stanford was one of nine teams in the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC). He inherited a notable squad from the previous year, which included Ernie Nevers – who like Jim Thorpe is considered to be one of the greatest players under Warner – and two All-American ends Ted Shipkey and Jim Lawson.[60]

One of that season's highlights was the final game against Stanford's arch-rival California at California Memorial Stadium, the last game of the regular season. Before the game both teams were undefeated.[n 17] Stanford had not beaten California in football since 1905.[60] Towards the end of the game California was leading 20 to 3; California's coach Andy Smith was sure the game was over and began taking out regular players.[49] Warner seized the opportunity to combine passing with the trick plays he was known for – a fake reverse and a full spinner – and Stanford was able to stage a comeback. The game ended as a 20-to-20 tie.[49]

Because the result was California's second tie, Stanford was chosen to play in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day against the University of Notre Dame's Fighting Irish, coached by Knute Rockne, who like Warner is still considered to be one of the greatest coaches in football history. The game was a test between two different and significantly influential systems in football; Powers said, "The Warner system with the wing backs, unbalanced line and gigantic power [and the] Knute Rockne system with its rhythmic, dancing shift, lightning speed, balanced line and finely timed blocking".[62] Notre Dame's backfield was composed of the legendary Four Horsemen. Nevers played all 60 minutes of the game and rushed for 114 yd (104 m) — more yardage than all of the Four Horsemen combined.[63] While Warner's offense moved the ball, it was repeatedly unable to score and Notre Dame won the game 27 to 10.[64]

During the 1925 season, Stanford again had a great team, losing just one PCC game to Washington. California was finally beaten 27 to 7. It was also the first year of a new rivalry. The University of Southern California (USC) team was coached by Howard Jones, who like Warner and California's Andy Smith was an east-coast transplant. In their first meeting, at the Los Angeles Memorial Colosseum, Stanford scored twice in the first half but had to dig in and hold off the Trojans from a comeback to win 13 to 9. Because of the loss to Washington, Warner's team was not invited to the Rose Bowl.[65]

Stanford won all of its 1926 season games, crushing California 41 to 7 and narrowly beating USC 13 to 12. Warner's team was invited to the Rose Bowl to play against Alabama. As in the game against Fighting Irish, Stanford dominated the game but was unable to win and the game ended in a 7-to-7 tie.[66] Following this game, both teams were recognized as national champions by various publications.

Warner in 1932

The 1927 season was a period of underachievement and ultimate success. Stanford lost its third game 16 to 0 against non-conference St. Mary's College. Stanford had dominated offensively but St. Mary's blocked kicks and scored from Stanford's fumbles.[n 18] Stanford's next loss was against Santa Clara, also a non-conference team. Warner was out recruiting and was not present at the penultimate game of the season, which Stanford lost 6 to 13.[67] The new rivalry game against USC also resulted in a 13-to-13 tie.

The same year Stanford beat California 13 to 6. That game saw an instance of the bootleg, the invention of which some credit to Warner. According to Powers:

Stanford put the game on ice in the fourth period when Pop introduced the bootlegger play, which was to be widely copied and still is in use. On the original bootlegger, Warner made use of Biff Hoffman's tremendous hands. Hoffman would take the pass from center and then fake to another back. Keeping the ball, he would hide it behind him and run as though he had given it to a teammate. Sometimes defensive players would step out of Hoffman's path, thinking he was going to block. Hoffman "bootlegged" for the touchdown against California ...[68]

Despite the two losses, the team finished the season as a co-champion of the PCC. It was invited to the 1928 Rose Bowl to play against Pitt, Warner's former team that was now coached by his protege Jock Sutherland. Warner broke his losing Rose Bowl streak, beating Sutherland 7 to 6. The win was Warner's last appearance at the Rose Bowl; the 1928 team was not invited because it again lost two games to non-conference opponents and also lost to USC, that year's conference champions. The 0-to-10 loss was Warner's first loss to USC's coach Howard Jones. A positive highlight of the year was the last game against Army at Yankee Stadium, which Stanford won 26 to 0.[69]

The 1929 season is known for Warner's regular use of the hook and lateral, a play that involves a receiver who runs a curl pattern, catches a short pass, then immediately laterals the ball to another receiver running a crossing route. The Stanford Daily said on October 25, 1929: "The trickiness that Pop Warner made famous in his spin plays and passing is very evident ... The frosh have been drilling all week on fast, deceptive forward and lateral pass plays, and together with the reverses will have a widely varied attack".[70] That season also brought Warner his second straight loss to Jones; Stanford was beaten by the Trojans 0 to 7.[n 19] Jones continued to win, beating Warner each year until 1932, Warner's last season at Stanford. Because of the five defeats in a row, Warner received severe criticism from Stanford alumni. However, against Stanford's main rival California, Warner won five games, tied three, and lost one.[n 20]


Warner at Temple

Warner left Stanford for Temple University in Philadelphia after the 1932 season, his final head coaching job.[n 21] He was paid $75,000 for five years, which was one of the largest salaries ever offered to a coach.[74] The 1934 team went undefeated in the regular season, losing to Tulane in the first Sugar Bowl. One of the stars of the game was Dave Smukler, whom Warner considered one of his great fullbacks.[74]

In later years Warner said he regretted his decision to leave Stanford for Temple. He said he left because he became concerned about the changing funding priorities of Stanford. The university's leadership was planning to make the university primarily a graduate school; because of an increase in junior colleges forming in California, the administration saw less need for undergraduate instruction at Stanford. Because fewer students were admitted, higher grade requirements for incoming students made enrolling more difficult, and student athletes began enrolling at USC and California rather than at Stanford. Warner soon realized he had made the wrong decision; due to the economic effects of the ongoing Great Depression, the number of applicants to Stanford decreased significantly and admitting athletes again became easier.[72]

San Jose State

While coaching at Temple, Warner's permanent home remained in Palo Alto, the location of Stanford University. Following his retirement in 1938, he was immediately recruited as an advisor to Dudley DeGroot, a linebacker at Stanford and the head coach at San Jose State University, which was very close to Palo Alto.[74] While officially an advisor, Warner was immediately put in charge of the offense. According to Powers, "DeGroot had been using a single back offense but Pop immediately changed to the double wing, much to the doubts of San Jose players. However, the formation began to click and San Jose not only enjoyed an undefeated season but was the highest scoring team in the nation."[75] The same year the San Jose State Spartans played against College of the Pacific, coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg.[n 22] Warner's and DeGroot's San Jose State defeated Stagg's Pacific Tigers 39 to 0.[75]

Retirement and death

Warner retired from San Jose State and coaching in 1940. He died on September 7, 1954, at the age of 83, in Palo Alto, California, after suffering from throat cancer. His widow died in 1961.[76]


1924 Stanford. Line coach Tiny Thornhill, Coach Warner, assistant Andy Kerr, and team captain Jim Lawson.

Glenn Scobey Warner is known for the Pop Warner Little Scholars program, which began in 1929 as the Junior Football Conference in Philadelphia. It was intended as a program to keep children busy and out of trouble. In 1934, soon after Warner joined Temple, he was asked if the program could be renamed as the Pop Warner Conference, and he agreed.[77] Today, approximately 325,000 children between the ages of 5 and 16 are mentored through the program.[78]


Warner brought many innovative playing mechanics to college football:

Coaching tree

Warner's disciples include:

  1. Charles Bowser
  2. Doc Carlson, who was also a star in basketball. He later became Pitt's basketball coach and led the team to the national championship
  3. Tom Davies
  4. James DeHart, a quarterback who went on to become the head coach at Washington and Lee and Duke universities.
  5. Dudley DeGroot, a linebacker at Stanford who was the coach at San Jose State when Warner when Warner became the advisory coach. Later in his career DeGroot became the head coach of NFL's the Washington Redskins.
  6. William Henry Dietz
  7. Katy Easterday
  8. Albert Exendine
  9. Skip Gougler
  10. Andy Gustafson
  11. Harvey Harman
  12. Pat Herron, a Pitt end who went on to coach at Indiana and Duke universities.
  13. Orville Hewitt
  14. Jimmy Johnson
  15. Andy Kerr
  16. Jim Lawson
  17. Herb McCracken
  18. George 'Tank' McLaren, a two-time All-American who was a football head coach for ten years after graduation.
  19. Charley Moran
  20. Rufus B. Nalley
  21. Ernie Nevers
  22. Bob Peck
  23. Bemus Pierce
  24. Don Robesky
  25. Eddie Rogers
  26. Pug Seidel
  27. Harry Shipkey
  28. Ted Shipkey
  29. Dale Sies
  30. Chuck Smalling
  31. Jake Stahl
  32. Herb Stein
  33. Jock Sutherland, a Pitt end who became a head coach and replaced Warner in 1924. He coached Pitt for the next 14 years and later became the head of Pittsburgh Steelers.
  34. Fred H. Swan
  35. Edwin Sweetland
  36. Tiny Thornhill, a Pitt tackle who later became a coach at Stanford University.
  37. Jim Thorpe
  38. Ed Walker
  39. Edgar Wingard
  40. Frank Wilton

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Georgia Bulldogs (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1895–1896)
1895 Georgia 3–4 2–4 4th
1896 Georgia 4–0 3–0 T–1st
Georgia: 7–4 5–4
Cornell Big Red (Independent) (1897–1898)
1897 Cornell 5–3–1
1898 Cornell 10–2
Carlisle Indians (Independent) (1899–1903)
1899 Carlisle 9–2
1900 Carlisle 6–4–1
1901 Carlisle 5–7–1
1902 Carlisle 8–3
1903 Carlisle 11–2–1
Cornell Big Red (Independent) (1904–1906)
1904 Cornell 7–3
1905 Cornell 6–4
1906 Cornell 8–1–2
Cornell: 36–13–3
Carlisle Indians (Independent) (1907–1914)
1907 Carlisle 10–1
1908 Carlisle 11–2–1[n 1]
1909 Carlisle 8–3–1
1910 Carlisle 8–6
1911 Carlisle 11–1
1912 Carlisle 12–1–1
1913 Carlisle 10–1–1
1914 Carlisle 5–9–1
Carlisle: 114–42–8[n 1]
Pittsburgh Panthers (Independent) (1915–1923)
1915 Pittsburgh 8–0
1916 Pittsburgh 8–0
1917 Pittsburgh 10–0
1918 Pittsburgh 4–1
1919 Pittsburgh 6–2–1
1920 Pittsburgh 6–0–2
1921 Pittsburgh 5–3–1
1922 Pittsburgh 8–2
1923 Pittsburgh 5–4
Pittsburgh: 60–12–4
Stanford Indians (Pacific Coast Conference) (1924–1932)
1924 Stanford 7–1–1 3–0–1 1st L Rose
1925 Stanford 7–2 4–1 2nd
1926 Stanford 10–0–1 4–0 1st T Rose
1927 Stanford 8–2–1 4–0–1 T–1st W Rose
1928 Stanford 8–3–1 4–1–1 3rd
1929 Stanford 9–2 5–1 2nd
1930 Stanford 9–1–1 4–1 3rd
1931 Stanford 7–2–2 2–2–1 T–5th
1932 Stanford 6–4–1 1–3–1 7th
Stanford: 71–17–8
Temple Owls (Independent) (1933–1938)
1933 Temple 5–3
1934 Temple 7–1–2 L Sugar
1935 Temple 7–3
1936 Temple 6–3–2
1937 Temple 3–2–4
1938 Temple 3–6–1
Temple: 31–18–9
Total: 319–106–32[n 1]
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The NCAA credits Warner with a career football coaching record of 319–106–32. The College Football Data Warehouse gives him one fewer win with the Carlisle Indians in 1908 for a career record of 318–106–32. Neither includes the five seasons at Iowa State (1895–1899) during which time Warner co-coached the Cyclones to a record of 18–8 while he simultaneously coached at three other schools.
  2. Which would be $340 for a ten-week season and approximately $10,000 in today's dollars.[7] For the 1895–96 academic year, Georgia's entire student body consisted of 126 students.[8]
  3. Georgia was a founding member along with Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Vanderbilt.[9]
  4. That year Tichenor and Gammon played together as Tichenor transferred to Georgia, taking Gammon's place as the starting quarterback. In the game against University of Virginia, Gammon was playing defense and suffered a severe concussion after taking part in a massive tackle. With coaches' help Gammon was able to walk, but lost his consciousness shortly after getting off the field. He remained unconscious and died early next morning.[14]
  5. Columbia had also upset one of the Big Four – beating Yale 5–0.[24]
  6. Though in this case Warner had a tailor sew elastic bands into the waists of a few players' jerseys before the game, so the play could be reliably executed.[21]
  7. Lewis Tewanima, another Carlisle track and field athlete who competed in Stockholm where he won the silver medal in the 10,000 meter run, was considered a ward of the state with Thorpe. Warner was delegated to accompany them to the Olympics.[35] Warner's 1907 quarterback Frank Mount Pleasant was also an Olympic athlete who competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, England.[37]
  8. Warner was once asked by a reporter of the Carlisle Herald to name an all-time Carlisle football team.[38] It included on the line: Albert Exendine, Martin Wheelock, Bemus Pierce, William Garlowe, Charles Dillon, Emil Hauser, Edward Rogers; and in the backfield: Jimmy Johnson, Jim Thorpe, Joe Guyon, and Pete Hauser.
  9. When Warner arrived at the University of Pittsburgh, it was 128 years old but was now located on a new campus with 3,900 students.[39] Prior to Warner, Pitt was already in great shape; in 1914 it was coached by Joseph Duff and had won eight of nine games.[39]
  10. This included a 45 to 0 win over Carlisle.[40]
  11. 32 out of the 35 players were from the western part of Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.[41]
  12. The team was known as "The Fighting Dentists" because on occasion every position was filled by dental students.[43]
  13. The first for any Southern school.[44]
  14. According to Warner's timekeeper, the fourth quarter ran for 49 minutes and according to official statistics, there were 52 plays in the first half and 52 plays in the fourth quarter.[49]
  15. At the 1917 Rose Bowl, the University of Oregon defeated University of Pennsylvania 14 to 0. While at the 1920 Rose Bowl, University of Oregon lost to one of the recognized national champions Harvard by one point: 6 to 7. The next year, Andy Smith's University of California team beat the undefeated Ohio State 28 to 0, making California the widely agreed national champions of the 1920 season.[57]
  16. Stanford was founded in in 1887 and had fielded a football team every year since 1892, with the exception of 1906 to 1917, when football was dropped due concerns over the sport's increasing numbers of injuries and deaths. Along with other west coast schools the sport of rugby was played instead.[60]
  17. Nevers had a broken ankle and did not play.[61]
  18. Warner attributed the team's problems to its players' feelings of superiority and underestimating its opponents.[67]
  19. Because of the loss USC rather than Stanford won the conference and headed to the Rose Bowl.[71]
  20. During Warner's latter years at Stanford, USC became the undisputed leader of the west, winning multiple national championships. Warner and Jones played eight games; Jones won five, Warner won two, and one game was a tie.[72]
  21. For the 1933 Stanford season Warner was replaced by Claude "Tiny" Thornhill, his assistant coach and also one of his star players at Pittsburgh. That year Stanford beat USC 13 to 7 ending the Trojans' 23-game unbeaten streak. Stanford won the PCC and played in the Rose Bowl, where it lost to Columbia 0 to 7.[73]
  22. It was the first time the two history-of-football greats had met since 1907 when Warner was coaching Carlisle and beat Stagg's University of Chicago 18 to 4.[75]


  1. "FATHER FOOTBALL The Bowden family is synonymous with success". December 23, 2000. 
  2. Chalk Talk: the Single-Wing
  3. Powers, p. 54
  4. "Cornell University - The Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2015-12-23.  |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)
  5. "Glenn "Pop" Warner (1871-1954)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2015-12-23. Retrieved 2015-12-23. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Reed, pp. 3441–3445
  7. Miller, p. 30
  8. Reed, p. 1696
  9. Greg Roza, Football in the SEC (Southeastern Conference), p. 1, 2007, ISBN 1-4042-1919-6.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Tar Heels Credited with Throwing First Forward Pass". Tar Heel Times. Archived from the original on 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  11. Miller, pp. 24, 26
  12. Cook, William. Jim Thorpe: A Biography. p. 27. 
  13. Triumph Books (2006). Echoes of Georgia Football: The Greatest Stories Ever Told. 
  14. William Hanford Edwards. Football Days: Memories of the Game and of the Men Behind the Ball. p. 244. 
  15. Miller, p. 27
  16. 16.0 16.1 Miller, p. 33, 34
  17. Miller, p. 19
  18. "Cyclones: the nickname". Iowa State University. 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 2006 Iowas State Cyclone Football, page 138.
  20. Official 2007 NCAA Division I Records Book, National Collegiate Athletic Association, p. 399, 2007.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 Sally Jenkins. "The Team that Invented Football". Retrieved March 23, 2016.  |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)
  22. Miller, p. 31
  23. 23.0 23.1 Powers, p. 18
  24. "1899 Columbia Lions Schedule and Results | College Football at". 2016-01-18. Archived from the original on January 18, 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-18. 
  25. Powers, p. 19
  26. 26.0 26.1 Powers, p. 21
  27. "Lesson Plan Four: Hopi Running". Retrieved 2016-01-19.  |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)
  28. "1902 Carlisle Indians Roster | College Football at". 2016-01-19. Archived from the original on January 19, 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-19. 
  29. Carroll, Bob (1980). "The First Football World Series" (PDF). Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 2 (Annual): 1–8. 
  30. Powers, p. 23
  31. Gridiron Guts: The Story of Football's Carlisle Indians, NPR, May 19, 2007.
  32. Football, the Indian Way, Newsweek, April 27, 2007.
  33. Powers, p. 26
  34. "Photos: Carlisle Football". radiolab. Retrieved 2016-01-21.  |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 35.5 Powers, pp. 30, 34
  36. "Jim Thorpe Biography - life, children, name, death, history, school, mother, young, son". Retrieved 2016-01-21.  |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)
  37. "Frank Mount Pleasant Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Retrieved 2016-01-21.  |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)
  38. William Peet (November 10, 1913). "G. U. Chances To Win Slim". The Washington Herald. p. 8. Retrieved April 4, 2015 – via Chronicling America.  open access publication - free to read
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Powers, p. 35
  40. "Pittsburgh Yearly Results". 
  41. 41.0 41.1 Powers, p. 39
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 Powers, p. 41
  43. "50th Anniversary: Last Unbeaten Pitt Team, 1917 'Fighting Dentists', Will Be Honored Saturday". Daily Courier. November 2, 1967. 
  44. "Georgia Tech Game by Game Results". 
  45. 45.0 45.1 Powers, p. 42
  46. "War Conditions Coupled With Epidemic Have Big Effect On 1918 Sports". 2016-02-03. Archived from the original on February 3, 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  47. Keck, Harry (November 30, 1918). "Navy Reserves Steal Game From Pitt". Pittsburgh Sunday Post, republished in The Greatest Moments in Pitt Football History (1994). Nashville, TN: Athlon Sports Communications: 33. ISBN 1-878839-04-7. 
  48. Sciullo Jr., Sam (2008). University of Pittsburgh Football Vault: The History of the Panthers. Atlanta, GA: Whitman Publishing, LLC. p. 36. ISBN 0-7948-2653-9. 
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Powers, p. 50
  50. "Richard Ducote Dies In Orleans". State Times. March 26, 1937. 
  51. "College Football Data Warehouse: Yearly National Championship Selections: 1918 National Champions". Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  52. Powers, p. 43
  53. "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Sports-Reference 1919 Pittsburgh Panthers Stats. Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  54. Sciullo Jr, Sam, ed. (1991). 1991 Pitt Football: University of Pittsburgh Football Media Guide. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Sports Information Office. p. 116. 
  55. Official 2009 NCAA Division I Football Records Book (PDF). Indianapolis, Indiana: National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2009. pp. 76–81. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  56. "Pitt Pittsburgh - - Official Athletic Site of the University of Pittsburgh". 
  57. "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". 1920 National Championships. Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  58. Powers, p. 48
  59. Miller, p. 135
  60. 60.0 60.1 60.2 Powers, p. 55
  61. Powers, p. 57
  62. Powers, pp. 58, 59
  63. "Bowl Game Recaps" (PDF). p. 129. 
  64. Powers, p. 61
  65. Powers, p. 62
  66. Powers, p. 63
  67. 67.0 67.1 Powers, p. 65
  68. 68.0 68.1 Powers, p. 66
  69. Powers, p. 67
  70. "The Stanford Daily 25 October 1929 — The Stanford Daily". Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  71. Powers, p. 68
  72. 72.0 72.1 Powers, pp. 70, 71
  74. 74.0 74.1 74.2 Powers, p. 72
  75. 75.0 75.1 75.2 Powers, p. 73
  76. "Mrs. Glenn Warner Dies". New York Times. Associated Press. November 5, 1961. Retrieved 2015-02-06. Mrs. Tibb Loraie Warner, widow of Glenn (Pop) Warner, died yesterday at her home. Her age was 90. ... 
  77. "History of Pop Warner". 2016-02-05. Archived from the original on February 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  78. "About Us". Retrieved 2016-02-23.  |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)
  79. ""Pop" Warner". 
  80. "Where Football Is King". 
  81. "A course in football for players and coaches". 
  82. 82.0 82.1 "Football". 
  83. "Pop Warner Little Scholars". 
  84. "Rites of Autumn". 
  85. "Springville". 
  86. Powers, p. 80


  • Miller, Jeffrey J. (2015-08-20). Pop Warner. McFarland. ISBN 9781476622743. 
  • Powers, Francis J. (1969). Life Story of Glen S. (Pop) Warner, Gridiron's Greatest Strategist. Chicago, IL: The Athletic Institute. 
  • Reed, Thomas Walter (1949). History of the University of Georgia. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. 

Further reading

  • Danzig, Allison (1956). The History of American Football: Its Great Teams, Players, and Coaches. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

External links