Homer Woodson Hargiss

Homer Woodson “Bill” Hargiss (September 1, 1887 – October 15, 1978) was an American football and basketball player, and track and field athlete, and coach in Kansas and Oregon. He was an early innovator in football and was known to be one of the first coaches to use the forward pass and the huddle.

Homer Woodson Hargiss

Hargiss from The Beaver, 1920
Biographical details
Born (1887-09-01)September 1, 1887
Cherokee County, Kansas
Died October 15, 1978(1978-10-15) (aged 91)
Lawrence, Kansas
Playing career
Football
1905–1909 Kansas State Normal
Position(s) Fullback[1]
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Football
1910–1912 College of Emporia
1913 Kansas (assistant)
1914–1917 Kansas State Normal
1918–1919 Oregon Agricultural
1920–1927 Kansas State Normal/Teachers
1928–1932 Kansas
Basketball
1918–1920 Oregon Agricultural
Head coaching record
Overall 102–54–16 (football)[2]
10–25 (basketball)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Football
4 KCAC (1915–1916, 1926–1927)
1 Big Six (1930)

. . . Homer Woodson Hargiss . . .

Hargiss participated in sports at Kansas Normal College, now Emporia State University. He was a standout at the college in football, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, boxing, and track and field. Emporia State honored him in 1982 by inducting him into their “Athletic Hall of Honor”—the first year the honor was available,[3] as a distinguished alumni in 1970,[4] and for the all-Centennial Team in 1997.[5]

Hargiss’ first coaching job came as the head coach of the College of Emporia (C of E) in Emporia, Kansas. The school had a well-developed rivalry with Kansas State Normal School, where Hargiss played quarterback the previous year, and would later coach.[6]

At C of E, Hargiss developed plays using talented quarterback Arthur Schabinger that most had never seen before, namely the forward pass and the option pass.

Hargiss and Arthur Schabinger reminisce about the early days of the forward pass at a C of E reunion

In the team’s 1910 game at Washburn, Arthur Schabinger has been credited by some to have thrown the first legal forward pass in college football history.[7] While this claim is widely disputed by other colleges (there are multiple claims dating back to 1906), College of Emporia most certainly was one of the first innovators of the play particularly to throw “overhand” forward passes instead of the more common “underhand” passes.[8] The school was using the forward pass as a regular play three years before Knute Rockne and Notre Dame.[9]

For the second to last game in 1910, Schabringer scored seven touchdowns in a 107–0 win over Pittsburg Normal. The forward pass played a major role in the game as well.[10]

. . . Homer Woodson Hargiss . . .

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. . . Homer Woodson Hargiss . . .

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