Heisman, John

Heisman, John (William)

(1869–1936) football coach; born in Cleveland, Ohio. He began coaching in 1892 at Oberlin College and was successful at several schools. His longest tenure was at Georgia Tech (1904–19), where he produced undefeated teams from 1915–17. A supreme innovator, he invented numerous plays and championed the legalization of the forward pass. The Heisman Trophy, awarded annually since 1935 to college football's outstanding player, is named after him.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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