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This Day in Georgia History

October 03, 1936

John Heisman Died

Legendary football coach John Heisman died in New York City. During college, he played football lineman. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1892, he took football coaching jobs at Oberlin (1894), Auburn (1895-99), Clemson (1900-03), Georgia Tech (1904-19), Pennsylvania (1920-22), Washington and Jefferson (1923), and Rice (1924-27). During his coaching career, Heisman brought many innovations to college football, such as the forward pass, snapping the ball from center, vocal signals from the quarterback, numbers on jerseys, and four quarters in a game. During his years in Atlanta, Georgia Tech never had a losing season, and his 1916 team trounced Cumberland in a record score of 222-0. After coaching, Heisman became athletic director of New York City’s Downtown Athletic Club. Following his death, the Downtown Athletic Club created the Heisman Trophy to recognize the nation’s outstanding collegiate football player.