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Walter Camp
Head coaching record
Statistics
College Football Data Warehouse

Walter Chauncey Camp (April 7, 1859 – March 14, 1925) was an American football player, coach, and sports writer known as the "Father of American Football". With John Heisman, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Pop Warner, Fielding H. Yost, and George Halas, Camp was one of the most accomplished persons in the early history of American football. He played college football at Yale College from 1876 to 1882. Camp served as the head football coach at Yale from 1888 to 1892 before moving to Stanford University, where he coached in December 1892 and in 1894 and 1895. Camp's Yale teams of 1888, 1891, and 1892 have been recognized as national champions. Camp was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1951.

LifeEdit

Camp was born in the city of New Britain, Connecticut, the son of Leverett Lee and Ellen Sophia (Cornwell) Camp. He attended Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, entered Yale College in 1876, and graduated in 1880. At Yale he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

On June 30, 1888, Camp married Alice Graham Sumner, sister of William Graham Sumner. They had two children: Walter Camp, Jr. (born 1891) who attended Yale as well and was elected as a member of Scroll and Key in 1912, and Janet Camp Troxell (born 1897).[1]

Rules committeeEdit

Camp was the dominant voice on the various collegiate football rules committees that developed the American game from his time as a player at Yale until his death. He is credited with innovations such as the snap-back from center, the system of downs, and the points system, as well as the introduction of the now-standard offensive arrangement of players (a seven-man offensive line and a four-man backfield consisting of a quarterback, two halfbacks, and a fullback). Camp was also responsible for introducing the "safety", the awarding of two points to the defensive side for tackling a ball carrier in his own end zone followed by a free kick by the offense from its own 20-yard line (to change possession). This is significant, as rugby union has no point value award for this action, but instead awards a scrum to the attacking side five meters from the goal line.

WritingEdit

Despite having a full-time job at the New Haven Clock Company (A Camp Family Business) and being an unpaid yet very involved adviser to the Yale football team, Camp wrote articles and books on gridiron and also on sports in general. By the time of his death, he had written nearly 30 books and more than 250 magazine articles. His articles appeared in national periodicals such as Harper's Weekly, Collier's, Outing, Outlook, and The Independent, and in juvenile magazines such as St. Nicholas, Youth's Companion, and Boys' Magazine. His stories also appeared in major daily newspapers throughout the United States. He also selected an annual "All-American" team. According to his biographer, Richard P. Borkowski, "Camp was instrumental through writing and lecturing in attaching an almost mythical atmosphere of manliness and heroism to the game not previously known in American team sports."

By the age of 33, twelve years after graduating from Yale, Walter Camp had already become known as the "Father of American Football". In a column in the popular magazine Harper's Weekly, sports columnist Caspar Whitney had applied the nickname; the sobriquet was appropriate because, by 1892, Camp had almost single-handedly fashioned the game of modern American football.

The Daily DozenEdit

Camp was a proponent of exercise, and not just for the athletes he coached. While working as an adviser to the United States military during World War I, he devised a program to help servicemen become more physically fit.

Walter Camp has just developed for the Naval Commission on Training Camp Activities a "short hand" system of setting up exercises that seems to fill the bill; a system designed to give a man a running jump start for the serious work of the day. It is called the "daily dozen set-up," meaning thereby twelve very simple exercises.[2]

Both the Army and the Navy used Camp's methods.[3]

The names of the exercises in the original Daily Dozen, as the whole set became known, were hands, grind, crawl, wave, hips, grate, curl, weave, head, grasp, crouch, and wing. As the name indicates, there were twelve exercises, and they could be completed in about eight minutes.[4] A prolific writer, Camp wrote a book explaining the exercises and extolling their benefits. During the 1920s, a number of newspapers and magazines used the term "Daily Dozen" to refer to exercise in general.[5] Starting in 1922, the new medium of radio began offering morning setting-up exercises using Camp's system.

Head coaching recordEdit

Walter Camp - Project Gutenberg eText 18048

Camp as Yale's captain in 1878

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Yale Bulldogs (Intercollegiate Football Association) (1888–1892)
1888 Yale 13–0
1889 Yale 15–1
1890 Yale 13–1
1891 Yale 13–0
1892 Yale 13–0
Yale: 67–2
Stanford (Independent) (1892)
1892 Stanford 2–0–2
Stanford (Independent) (1894–1895)
1894 Stanford 6–3
1895 Stanford 4–0–1
Stanford: 12–3–3
Total: 79–5–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F00B10FB3B5E13738DDDAE0994DD405B828DF1D3
  2. "A Daily Dozen Set-Up. Walter Camp's New Shorthand System of Morning Exercises", Outing, November 1918, p. 98
  3. "Walter Camp, Father of Football," Atlanta Constitution, September 19, 1920, p. 2D
  4. "Camp's Daily Dozen Exercises," Boston Globe, July 11, 1920, p. 64
  5. Lulu Hunt Peters, "Diet and Health: The Daily Dozens--Take 'Em." Los Angeles Times, June 8, 1927, p. A6

BibliographyEdit

  • Ronald A. Smith, Sports and Freedom: The Rise of Big-Time College Athletics, (1990)
  • "Walter Camp Found All-American Eleven Selections and Originated the Daily Dozen." New York Times, March 15, 1925. p. 1.

External linksEdit


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