Fritz Pollard

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Frederick Douglass Pollard
No. 35
Running Back
Halfback / Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1894-01-27)January 27, 1894
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois
Date of death: May 11, 1986(1986-05-11) (aged 92)
Place of death: Silver Spring, Maryland
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High school: Lane Tech (IL)
College: Brown
Debuted in 1920 for the Akron Pros
Last played in 1926 for the Akron Indians
Made coaching debut in 1921 for the Akron Pros
Last coached in 1925 for the Hammond Pros
Career history
 As player:
 As coach:
Career highlights and awards
  • 1x NFL Championship (1920)
  • 1x First-Team All Pro (1920)
  • Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame (2005)
Career NFL statistics as of 1926
Touchdowns16
Stats at NFL.com
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame
 
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Frederick Douglass Pollard
No. 35
Running Back
Halfback / Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1894-01-27)January 27, 1894
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois
Date of death: May 11, 1986(1986-05-11) (aged 92)
Place of death: Silver Spring, Maryland
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High school: Lane Tech (IL)
College: Brown
Debuted in 1920 for the Akron Pros
Last played in 1926 for the Akron Indians
Made coaching debut in 1921 for the Akron Pros
Last coached in 1925 for the Hammond Pros
Career history
 As player:
 As coach:
Career highlights and awards
  • 1x NFL Championship (1920)
  • 1x First-Team All Pro (1920)
  • Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame (2005)
Career NFL statistics as of 1926
Touchdowns16
Stats at NFL.com
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

Frederick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard (January 27, 1894 – May 11, 1986) was the first African American head coach in the National Football League (NFL). Pollard along with Bobby Marshall were the first two African American players in the NFL in 1920. Sportswriter Walter Camp ranked Pollard as "one of the greatest runners these eyes have ever seen."

Contents

Early Life

Pollard was born in Chicago on January 27, 1894. He attended Lane Tech High School where he played football, baseball, and ran track. Pollard attended Brown University, majoring in chemistry. Pollard played half-back on the Brown football team, which went to the 1916 Rose Bowl. [1] He became the first black to be named to the Walter Camp All-America team.

Professional football player

He later played pro football with the Akron Pros, the team he would lead to the NFL (APFA) championship in 1920. In 1921, he became the co-head coach of the Akron Pros, while still maintaining his roster position as running back. He also played for the Milwaukee Badgers, Hammond Pros, Gilberton Cadamounts, Union Club of Phoenixville and Providence Steam Roller. Some sources indicate that Pollard also served as co-coach of the Milwaukee Badgers with Al Garrett for part of the 1922 season. He also coached the non-NFL team Gilberton. In 1923 and 1924, he served as head coach for the Hammond, Indiana football team. [2]

Pollard, along with all nine of the black players in the NFL at the time, were removed from the league at the end of the 1926 season, never to return again. He spent some time organizing all-black barnstorming teams, including the Chicago Black Hawks in 1928 and the Harlem Brown Bombers in the 1930s.

Legacy

In 2005, Fritz Pollard was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He appears as a free agent in Madden NFL 09 and is also a part of the game's Hall of Fame feature.

Pollard's son Fritz Pollard, Jr. won the bronze medal for 110 m hurdles at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.[3]

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group promoting minority hiring throughout the NFL, is named for Pollard.

Brown University and the Black Coaches & Administrators co-sponsor the annual Fritz Pollard Award, which is presented to the college or professional coach chosen by the BCA as coach of the year.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ Reasons and Patrick, "Pollard Set Records as Black Football player, Coach." The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio, 1972, February 27, Section E: 5.
  2. ^ Reasons and Patrick, "Pollard Set Records as Black Football player, Coach." The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio, 1972, February 27, Section E: 5.
  3. ^ "Alpha Athletes at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany". Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. http://www.sphinxmagazine.com/Articles/Alpha-and-the-Olympic-Games.aspx. Retrieved January 10, 2010. 
  4. ^ Brown University - Brown University and the Black Coaches Association establish annual Fritz Pollard Award February 18, 2004

External links