Princeton’s Greatest Players, 1869-1906

  • August 15, 2019

Princeton’s Greatest Players, 1869-1906, as selected by Staś Maliszewski ’66 and Eric Dreiband ’86. Profiles compiled by Dreiband.


Knowlton “Snake” Ames ’90

Knowlton “Snake” Ames ’90

  • Ruthian record performer. No one at Princeton has scored even half of Ames’ 730 points.
  • Other records include 62 rushing touchdowns, 482 points by kicking (field goals and PATs); 176 PATs, 73 of them during the 1888 season
  • Had 14 PATs and 38 kicking points altogether in an 1888 game against Johns Hopkins
  • Recorded 191 points by kicking (field goals and PATs), plus 243 points overall that season.
  • In one game, Ames returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown, returned another kick 50 yards, and ran 105 yards from scrimmage.
  • Other records include 62 rushing touchdowns, 482 points by kicking (field goals and PATs); 176 PATs, 73 of them during the 1888 season.

“[Ames] was clever at spinning, changing direction and faking the tackler,” said Yale’s legendary Walter “Pudge” Heffelfinger. “It was fatal to go for his knees or legs. They wouldn’t be there.”. said Princeton captain Hector Cowan: ‘Very fast and during the last year of his playing developed a duck clear under the man trying to tackle him by putting one hand flat on the ground so that his body would just miss the ground. Even the good tacklers that Yale always had were not able to stop him.”

  • Selected to the Princeton Centennial Eleven by the Daily Princetonian in 1969, the all-time All-Princeton Eleven by Donald Grant Herring ’07 of the Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920 and the all-time Princeton team selected by venerable football writer George Trevor in 1927.
  • Consensus All-America, 1889.
  • Four-year starter from 1886-89 (team was 35-3-1).

  • After college, teamed with Heffelfinger playing professionally for the Chicago Athletic Association.
John Baird ’99

John Baird ’99

  • Consensus All-American, 1896.
  • All-America, 1897.
  • Called by The Daily Princetonian, “The finest fullback of the year” and “a master in the art of kicking.”.
  • Teamed with Addison “King” Kelly, Billy Bannard, and Harry Smith on 1896 national championship team for one the greatest backfields of all time.
  • Started as a true freshman on the 1895 team that finished 10-1-1.
  • Punted and returned kicks.
  • Led 1896 team in scoring with 99 points.
  • The Tigers went 30-2-2 in his three years starting.
  • Selected 1898 captain
  • An assistant coach at Princeton under Langdon Lea in 1901.
  • Served in Spanish-American War.
Roscoe Channing ’91

Roscoe Channing ’91

  • Consensus All-America on 1889 national championship team.
  • Three-year starter (1887-89) when team went 28-3-1.
  • Member of all-time Princeton team selected by Trevor in 1927.
  • Scored six touchdowns in 72-4 win over Penn, four in 44-0 win over Wesleyan, and three in victories over Harvard and Stevens.
  • Shot putter on the track team.
  • Served in the Rough Riders under Teddy Roosevelt during Spanish-American War.
W. Earl Dodge ’79

W. Earl Dodge ’79

His death at age 25 in 1884, inspired the Earl Dodge Memorial, sculpted by Daniel Chester French, which became known as The Christian Student and then The Princeton Student. It stands in the lobby of Jadwin Gymnasium.

As written by Frank Presbrey in 1901’s “Athletics at Princeton”, “Earl Dodge was a born athlete. His tall, lithe, graceful figure lent itself easily to all kinds of athletic sports. Such a generous, breezy soul could not be confined within the four walls of a room. He did nothing by halves —drove him into every kind of outdoor exercise. He played for all he was worth. [Princeton] has developed extraordinary individual athletes of whom Dodge, ‘79, may stand as a healthy scholar, a muscular Christian, a gentleman player, an ideal Princetonian.

heppard “Shep” Homans ’92

Sheppard “Shep” Homans ’92

  • Consensus All-America 1890-1 after replacing SnakeAmes.
  • Played four-years, during which time team was 45-4-1.
  • Kicked 31 PATs and three field goals in addition to punting.
  • Member of the wrestling team.

J. Dana Kafer ’04

  • Consensus All-America, 1903, for national championship team.
  • Selected to All-Time All-Princeton Eleven by Herring of the Princeton Alumni Weekly 1920 and the all-time Princeton team selected by Trevor in 1927.

“Mature, of good weight, a fast runner, faithful to his interference, and unusually strong in defensive work,” said the student paper.

  • Scored three touchdowns during the victory over Cornell.
Addison “King” Kelly ’98

Addison “King” Kelly ’98

  • All-America, 1896-7
  • Selected to All-Time All-Princeton Eleven by Herring of the Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920 and to the second team, all-time Princeton team by Trevor in 1927.
  • Called the “King of all line-plunging halfbacks” by Bill Edwards, his contemporary All-American at Princeton, in Edwards’ 1916 book Football Days.

Played baseball at Princeton and was head football coach at Cal-Berkley.

Phil King ’93

Phil King ’93

  • Consensus All-America, 1891-3; selected to All-Time All-Princeton Eleven by Herring of the Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920 the all-time greatest Princeton Centennial Eleven by the Daily Princetonian, in 1969, and the all-time Princeton team selected by Trevor in 1927.
  • Led team to 11-0 record and national championship in 1893.

 “Ye of the stumpy legs and ambrosial locks, trotted in a coltish way around the field… [King was] grit clear through and the Lion of the Day,” wrote the New York Times following win over Yale that season. The paper called this “chrysanthemum head” the “superior of any football player in the country” . . . Wrote Edwards, “He was known throughout the football world as one of the shiftiest runners of his day.”.

  • Scored 11 touchdowns in 1890 Columbia game. 
  • His four-year career as quarterback included 50 touchdowns and 56 conversion kicks and the team was 46-4-1.
  • Head Coach, Princeton, 1894-95, where he won the national championship in 1894 and had two-year record of 18-3-1
  • Coached Wisconsin to three Big Ten Championships and a 66-11-1 record. Also coached Georgetown.
  • Princeton baseball captain, hit game-winning home run against Penn in 1893 to win “the most closely contested and exciting college game ever played in Philadelphia”  according to the Times.
Henry “Tillie” Lamar ’86

Henry “Tillie” Lamar ’86

  • Member of 1884 and 1885 national championship teams.
  • three-year starter.

 “Lamar was a born football player who took to the game as naturally in his freshman year as if he had spent all his days on the gridiron,” wrote Frank Presbrey in “Athletics at Princeton” in 1901. “Like that other football giant, Hector Cowan, ‘88, [Lamar] knew nothing of the game before he entered Princeton.”

  • Scored the game-winning touchdown on a miracle 90-yard punt-return run against Yale in 1885, catching the ball on a dead run and, dodging through the entire opposition team.

 “How he did win the day, turning an almost certain defeat into a superb triumph, makes one of the most magnificent chapters in Princeton’s athletic history, and forms a fitting climax to an athletic career which always be one of Princeton’s most cherished possession,” wrote Presbrey… described by Cowan as “one of the greatest halfbacks and one who would have made a record in any age of football. I have seen him go through a line with nearly every man on the opposing team holding him.  He would break loose from one after the other.”.

  • Member, all-time Princeton team selected by Trevor in 1927.
  • Scored seven touchdowns against Wesleyan in 1885
  • Also kicked field goals and PATs.
Alex Moffatt ’84

Alexander Moffatt ’84

  • One of the greatest kickers of all-time, Moffatt also starred as a runner.

“He was regarded as one of the most brilliant fullbacks that the game has ever known,” wrote Edwards in “Football Days”. “He never was a heavy man, but was swift and slippery in running and a deadly tackler.”.

  • Member of the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame
  • Consensus All-America, 1881-3
  • Selected to All-Time All-Princeton Eleven by Herring of the Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920 and to the all-time Princeton football team chosen by Trevor in 1927.
  • The Tigers were 30-3-3 during Moffatt’s three years and won the 1881 national championship.
  • For most of his life after college until his death in 1914 was a member of Football Rules Committee with Walter Camp, regarded the founder of American football.
  • A coach on Princeton’s 1896 national championship team
  • Star pitcher for Princeton baseball.
Franklin Morse ’95

Franklin Morse ’95

 “Princeton’s greatest half back,” wrote the New York Times in 1894.

  • Consensus All America, 1893
  • Selected to all-time Princeton team by Trevor in 1927.
  • His senior season, 1894, was shortened by illness.
  • A coach for the 1896 national championship team.
Edgar Allan Poe ’91

Edgar Allan Poe ’91

  • Consensus All America, 1889
  • Two-time captain
  • Second-team All-American 1881-2
  • Member of 1890 national championship team
  • Great nephew of the classic American poet.
  • During his time as captain, teams were 21-1-1.

“Made some brilliant dashes against Harvard,” wrote the New York Times in 1889.

  • Kicked field goals
  • Coached 1893 team to national championship
  • Attorney general of Maryland, 1911-15.

John Prentiss Poe, Jr. ’95

Arguably the most inspirational figure in the history of Princeton football, both in words and deeds.

  • Led the team with eight touchdowns in 1891, when Tigers outscored opponents 391-12 and finished 12-1 with school single-season records of both shutouts (12) and wins (12).
  • Rushed for school-record 362 yards on 27 carries, scored four touchdowns, and kicked seven PATs in 46-0 win over Manhattan Athletic Club in 1892.

“[John Poe] was famous for his end runs, his dives through the line, and his remarkable defensive playing. In fundamentals he had few equals, if any,” wrote Edwin M. Norris, a classmate of Poe’s in Colliers in 1916. “He was always on the ball, was a sure punt-catcher and no surer tackler ever played.”

A story has been told of Poe missing only one tackle in his two seasons and being so distressed he was on the point of turning in his uniform. As a frequent returner to campus as a coach, Poe gave the legendary “if you won’t be beat, you can’t be beat” halftime speech that inspired a victory over Harvard and the national championship of 1896.

This picture was taken after the Harvard game and before the Yale game in 1896.

He walked that walk in practice, too. “Poe, without any padding on at all, would let the men dive into him running at full speed, and the men would throw him in a way that seemed as though it would maim him for life,” wrote Edwards in “Football Days”.  “Some of the men weighed a hundred pounds more than he did, but he would get up and, with a smile, say:  ‘Come on men, hit me harder; knock me out next time. After the first two weeks of the season, Johnny Poe was a complete mass of black and blue marks.”.

Princeton coach Bill Roper later used Poe’s “if you won’t be beat, you can’t be beat” mantra to inspire an entire generation of Princeton teams to four national championships.

  • “Captain Poey” was named second team All-America in 1891-2. . . chosen All-Time All Princeton Eleven, by Herring of the Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920.
Poe, Wheeler, and James after the snowball fight.
  • Suffered facial injuries in an on-campus snowball fight with Art “Beef” Wheeler and Darwin “Jesse” Rush James that left Poe’s face badly damaged.
  • Later was head coach at Navy, Virginia, and assistant coach at Princeton.
  • Served in the Fifth Maryland Regiment during the Spanish-American War; 1899-1901, the 23rd U.S. Army Regular Infantry, in the Philippines; and then became a Marine.
  • Soldier of fortune served in militias in El Salvador, Niaragua, and France.

Worked in gold mines, ranches, and other places in the Klondike, Nevada, California; served as a cow puncher in New Mexico, a miner in West Virginia, and elsewhere as a surveyor, cowboy, undercover detective, real estate prospector and expedition leader.

In his words, he lived “side by side with wife deserters, crooks, a child murderer, and some of the scum of the earth.” He was killed in action while fighting for Scotland’s Black Watch, Battle of Loos, France, Great War, 1915; his death–“sacred to me,” wrote Edwards­ – inspired “Football Days”.

Poe’s mother established the John P. Poe Memorial Football Cup in 1916. After the Great War ended, John’s brother, war hero Neilson “Net” Poe, searched for John’s grave.  It never has been found.

Howard “Bosey” Reiter ’98

Howard “Bosey” Reiter ’98

  • Consensus All-America, 1899
  • Member of all-time Princeton team selected by Trevor in 1927.
  • Two-time national champion

 He played for Connie Mack on Philadelphia Athletics professional football team in 1902; and was head coach at Wesleyan–where he originated overhead spiral pass–and Lehigh, which he also served as its first athletic director.


William Church ’97

William Church ’97

  • Consensus All-America, 1896
  • Selected to All-Time All-Princeton Eleven, by Herring of Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920, and to second-team, all-time Princeton football team chosen by Trevor in 1927.
  • Head coach at Purdue and Georgetown.
  • Played professional football with Arthur Poe in Pittsburgh.

A blunt man, Church explained in 1909: “Am neither statesman nor politician.  Have not brains enough for the first and am not smart enough for the second.”

James Cooney ’07

James Cooney ’07

  • Two-time Consensus All America, 1904 and 1906
  • All-American 1905, and member of 1903 and 1906 national championship teams.
  • Four-year starter

 “His speed is remarkable in following kicks and he has often been before the ends in reaching the man with the ball,” wrote the Daily Princetonian in 1906. “His offensive work is a tower of strength, invaluable in assisting the runner.”

  • Selected to all-time Princeton team in 1927
  • Class of 1907 Vice President
  • Star catcher on Princeton baseball team and an assistant coach at Princeton in 1907.
Hector Cowan ’88

Hector Cowan ’88

  • Consensus All America, 1889; member of 1885, 1886, and 1889 national championship teams
  • Princeton was 44-3-1 during Cowan’s five seasons
  • Was elected to all-time Princeton football team by Trevor in 1927

Described by Yale’s Walter Camp, early star and  father of football as a rules maker, as “heavy and strong and runs through and over his adversaries in preference to dodging them.” . . . Yale legend Pudge Heffelfinger remembered, “He had the strongest shoulders and arms I’ve ever been up against and his stubby legs drove like pistons when he carried the ball. Hector could carry a couple of tacklers on his back, yet he was plenty fast in the open.”. Yale’s George Woodruff recalled, “I never played against or with a finer and steadier player or one more free from the remotest desire to play roughly for the sake of roughness itself.”.

  • Theological student who later coached at Kansas and North Carolina and became a dairy farmer.
John “Fat” DeWitt ’04

John “Fat” DeWitt ’04

  • Selected to the all-time greatest Princeton Centennial team by the Daily Princetonian in 1969
  • Two-time Consensus All America, 1902-3

He was “like going up against a stone wall. [He] did everything to me but kill me.”  said a Harvard player in Edwards’ book “Football Days”. “The Princeton captain with his wonderful versatility could never be left off an All-Eastern team”, wrote The Prince in 1903.  “A giant in strength and weight, a genuine sprinter, a powerful punter, he was invaluable to his team.”

Captain of national championship team in 1903; when against Yale he scored all points-running 80 yards with a blocked kick, kicking the extra point, and adding a field goal in the second half

  • In 1902 kicked field goals of 50 and 55 yards against Cornell and 53 yards versus Yale.
  • Scored all the Princeton points in 1911 national championship game vs. Yale.
  • Won silver medal in 1904 Olympics.
William H. “Big Bill” Edwards ’00

William H. “Big Bill” Edwards ’00

  • Three-time All-America (first team in 1899) and member of national championship clubs in, 1896, 1898-9.
  • Selected to All-Time All-Princeton Eleven by Herring of Princeton Alumni Weekly, 1920.
  • The Tigers went 33-2-1 during his tenure.
  • A huge man for his day, in excess of 220 pounds.
  • Worked his way through Princeton.
  • Class orator who served as master of ceremonies on graduation day 1900.
  • Became a football referee.
  • When working as a bodyguard In 1910, he tackled a would-be assassin of New York Mayor William Gaynor, was wounded in the arm, and awarded a Carnegie Medal for Heroism.
  • Inspired by the death of John Poe, in 1916, to publish “Football Days”.
  • Served as president of a failed pro league, the American Football League, for three years in the twenties.
Arthur Ralph Thomas (A.R.T.) “Doc” Hillebrand ’00

Arthur Ralph Thomas (A.R.T.) “Doc” Hillebrand ’00

  • Selected by Grantland Rice, Big Bill Edwards, Fielding Yost, John Heisman and Pop Warner to All-Time All America team in 1920.
  • Two-time Consensus All American, 1898-9 and picked for the All-Time All-Princeton Eleven by Herring of Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920.
  • Member of the national champion teams of 1896, 1898-9
  • Four-year starter

 “One of the best tackles Princeton has ever had” said the Daily Princetonian in 1916.

  • The team was 27-4 during his tenure as head coach (1903-05) and the 1903 club won the national championship.
  • Won two championships during Princeton baseball career as a pitcher, also coached the sport at Princeton.
  • Football coach at Navy.
Hugh “House” Janeway ’90

Hugh “House” Janeway ’90

Described by Parke H. Davis, a Princeton guard, the selector of the national champion and the foremost historian through football’s early years, as “big as a house”.

  • Selected by Trevor on all-time Princeton football teams in 1927.

According to Edwards in Football Days, Snake Ames, believing he needed to “get Janeway angry” in order to play “even better than usual,” told him prior to the 1889 Harvard game, “House, the man you are going to play against tomorrow insulted your girl. I heard him do it, so you want to murder him.” 

Princeton defeated Harvard that day 41-15

  • Helped coached the 1895 team.
Robert Gailey PG

Robert Gailey PG

  • Consensus All-American, 1896, after playing on national championship team that season.
  • Two-year starter at center, during which team finished 20-1-2.
  • Head coach, Washington Agricultural (later, Washington State University).
William George ’89

William George ’89

  • Consensus All-America, 1889
  • Selected to All-Time All Princeton Eleven, by Herring of Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920.
  • Played on national championship teams of 1886 and 1889.
  • Four-year starter, initially as a rusher and then as center.
  • The team was 35-3-2 in his tenure.

Described by Hector Cowan as “steady and brilliant” and by Edwards in “Football Days” as a breaker of the dreaded flying wedge: “Able to hold the whole wedge until he could knock the sides in and pile them up in a bunch. Yale soon gave him up and tried to gain elsewhere.”

William Irvine ’88

William Irvine ’88  

  • All-Decade Team (1880s) as chosen by the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Five-year starter as a rusher (lineman) from 1884-8 and member of three straight national champions, 1884-6.
  • The team was 43-3-2 and had a school record 34-game unbeaten streak during his tenure.
  • The 1884 club set school records for the most touchdowns (26), points after touchdown kicks (17), and points (140) in one game (against Lafayette).
  • The 1885 team set and still holds school record for most points in a season (637), average points per game (70.8), largest margin of victory (68) and most touchdowns in a season (117). 
Jacob “Big Mike” Michael ’70

Jacob “Big Mike” Michael ’70

Though All-America teams were 20 years into the future, ‘Big Mike’ surely was star of the initial game in 1869.

“He bowled over Rutgers men like so many ten pins and in every action his burly form loomed supreme,” wrote historian Parke Davis. “Big Mike and a Rutgers player made for the ball at the same time and crashed through the fence, toppling spectators,” wrote Mark Bernstein in “Football: The Ivy League Origins of an American Obsession”.

 “At 6’0, 215 pounds, a medical journal’s eulogy spoke of his “magnificent physique” as well as his great intellect.

  • He won the Thomson Prize for heavyweight gymnastics, 1871.
Langdon “Biffy” Lea ’96

Langdon “Biffy” Lea ’96

  • Consensus All-America, 1893-5
  • Selected to All-Time All Princeton Eleven in 1920 by Herring of The Princeton Alumni Weekly.

“One of Princeton’s greatest tackles,” wrote Edwards in “Football Days”. “Fifty years after he played his last game for the Tigers, he was still being named to All-Time Eastern teams.”

  • Captain, 1895
  • Four-year starter, 1892-95
  • The team finished 41-5-1 during his playing tenure.
  • Member of national championship teams, 1893-4
  • The Tigers posted 35 shutouts in 47 games during Lea’s playing career.
  • Selected to second all-time Princeton football team by Trevor for the Daily Princetonian in 1927.
  • Head Coach of, Princeton (national championship teams in 1898-99 and 1901) and at Michigan, 1900.
Dudley Riggs ’97

Dudley Riggs ’97

  • Consensus All-America 1895
  • Younger brother of two-time All-American Jesse Riggs
  • Member of 1894  national championship team.
Jesse Riggs ’92

Jesse Riggs ’92

  • Consensus All America, 1890-1
  • captain, 1891
  • member, national championship team, 1889
  • Played both halfback and line
  • Selected to all-time Princeton football team in 1927 by Trevor.
Art Ledlie “Beef” Wheeler ’96

Art Ledlie “Beef” Wheeler ’96  

“Called the “greatest ever” at the guard position by Caspar Whitney of Harper’s.

  • All America, 1892-4
  • Selected for All-Time All Princeton Eleven by Herring of the Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920, to the all-time greatest Princeton Centennial Eleven by Daily Princetonian in 1969 and to second- team all-time Princeton football team by Trevor in 1927.

“Mr. Wheeler was and ever will remain one of the picturesque heroes of Old Nassau’s football history,” wrote the Philadelphia Public Ledger in 1917. “ His name is indelibly linked with the gridiron history of America in a period that produced its idols and heroes that the game of today cannot and never will develop; a towering and commanding figure on and off the gridiron.”. Teammate Langdon Lea said in the Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1918 that Wheeler’s “tremendous physique and skill at games brought reputation to himself and credit to Princeton.

He was essentially a man’s man; a man to know; his friends were without number.”


Charles M. “Reddy” DeCamp ’86

Charles M. “Reddy” DeCamp ’86

  • Captain 1885 and member of national champions of 1884-5
  • Selected to the All-Decade Team by College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Princeton was 25-1-1 during his three-year tenure as a starter.
  • The team’s leading scorer with 25 touchdowns on 1885 squad that holds school record for average points per game (70.8).
  • Scored five touchdowns against both Penn and Johns Hopkins that season.
  • Chair of the Intercollegiate Football Association convention in 1886.
Garrett Cochran ’98

Garrett Cochran ’98

  • Selected by Grantland Rice, Big Bill Edwards, Fielding Yost, John Heisman, and Pop Warner o All-Time All-American team.
  • Consensus All-America, 1896-7
  • The 1896 team was known as “Cochran’s Steamrollers”.
  • Member, national champions of 1894 and 1896.
  • Selected to All-Time All-Princeton Eleven by Herring of Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920
  • Four-year starter
  • His teams were 39-4-2 during four years.  

He suffered a broken shoulder in 1897 Yale game and kept playing, according to Edwards in “Football Days”, . . Yale’s Jim Rodgers on his three games played against Cochran, as relayed by Edwards: “I used to dream three weeks before the Princeton game how I was going to stand him off. Let me tell you if you got in between Doc Hillebrand and Garry Cochran you were a sucker.  Those games were a nightmare to me. Cochran used to fall on my foot, box me in, hold me there, and keep me out of the play.’”.

  • Head coach at Princeton (1902), then later California and Navy.

Cochran was shattered by John Poe’s death: “I can only say, that when I lost Johnny Poe, I lost one who can never be replaced, and I feel like a traitor because I was not beside him when he fell.”  Cochran said in “Football Days”

  • Member of U.S. Army and died in 1918 during return voyage from WWI in France,
Ralph Davis ’04

Ralph Davis ’04

  • Consensus All-America, 1901-2
  • Captain 1902
  • All-East, 1903
  • Selected to All-Time All Princeton-Eleven by Herring of Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920.

He was cited along with Howard Davis for their “lightning speed, sure tackling, and excellent boxing on the offense” in Trevor’s naming of Davis to the second-team, All-time Princeton in 1927.

  • He declined to serve as captain for second season in favor of star John DeWitt.
  • Earned varsity “P” as a freshman by playing in Yale game.
  • Blocked a kick and “kept a clear field” for DeWitt  during his 70-yard touchdown run against Yale in 1903.
  • Played on Princeton’s intercollegiate champion baseball team in 1903 and threw the hammer, earning a best all-around athlete selection by his classmates in 1904.
  • Class of 1904 President.
Ben “Sport” Donnelly ’90

Ben “Sport” Donnelly ’90

  • Selected to All-Time All-Princeton Eleven by Herring of Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920.
  • Member of 1889 national champions.

Called “one of the roughest players that ever went into a game, and at the same time one of the best ends that ever went down the field under a kick” by Edwards in “Football Days”. He added: “Kept his opponent harassed to the point of frenzy by a continual line of conversation in a sarcastic vein which invariably got the opposing player rattled.  He would say or do something to the man opposite him which would goad that individual to fury and then when retaliation was about to come in the shape of a blow, he would yell ‘Mr. Umpire’ and in many instances the player would be ruled off the field.”.

He was accused by Yale in letter to New York Times of taking money to play. He was defended by Princeton track star Luther H. Cary, who insisted Donnelly “never received a cent from the [Princeton Football] Association” and “left Princeton because of his father’s failure in business.”.

  • Princeton’s first professional football player with Allegheny Athletic Association in 1893 and then its coach.
  • Helped organize Chicago Athletic Association, where he performed on a team with “Snake” Ames.

Howard Henry ’04

  • Consensus All-America from 1903 national champions
  • Selected by Trevor for all-time Princeton team in 1927.

Considered the perfect complement to Ralph Davis “for “lightning speed, sure tackling and excellent boxing of the defense” by the Daily Princetonian, which also cited his “spectacular” game against Yale that included “flying tackles.”.

  • Served in the Great War, died in London, February, 1919.
  • Namesake of Henry Hall on Princeton’s campus.
Arthur Poe ’00

Arthur Poe ’00

Arguably the greatest clutch player in college football history.

Only one ever to score game-winning points in consecutive national championship games.

In 1898 picked up a fumble and ran 95 yards for a touchdown to beat Yale and in 1898 defeated the Elis with probably the single most astonishing game-winning play in Princeton history. With under a minute to play and Yale on the brink of victory and the national championship, Poe, one of only two Princeton starters still healthy enough to continue, refused to leave the game in the final minute. When the coach directed a substitute to replace him. Poe “ broke out in sobs,” and “demanded the right to kick” a field goal, though he had never done one before.  . . As Poe later told the story to Edwards for “Football Days”: “We haven’t got much time, we’ve got to kick and I would like to try a goal from the field, with 36 seconds left.” Poe’s drop kick touched the cross bar, toppled and fell over it, a moment recognized in 1914 as the greatest in the history of college football by the Pittsburgh Press. The scene was thus captured by the New York Times: “Substitutes, coaches, and the very few old players who were allowed on the sidelines could not be restrained.  They, with the players of the team, rushed up to Poe, hugged him, kissed him, patted him on the back, and made him the lion of the day and of the hour.  The West stand, where the Princeton sympathizers were massed, was a turbulent, howling, dancing mass of humanity.  Orange and black flags waved frantically, hats went into the air, and the shrill cries of the women mingled with the roar of their escorts, while the yellow and black legged players on the field danced and tumbled, rolled on the earth, and, hugging one another, went whirling down the field in an improvised war dance.  Great is the Poe family but the greatest of all its members, at this time at least, is Arthur Poe, the marvelously speedy end who never in public, practice or in a game had kicked a goal from the field “.

  • All America, 1898, consensus pick 1899
  • Accomplished all he did in the game despite a severe leg injury as a sophomore that never fully healed.

As Dartmouth’s Fred Crolius was quoted by Edwards in Football Days : “Arthur Poe was about as game a man as the football world ever saw. We men who played with him on the Homestead (Pa. professional) team were often stopped after Arthur had made a magnificent tackle with this quiet request:  ‘Pull my bum knee back into place.’  After this was done, he would jump up and no one would ever know that it had been out.”

Lew Palmer ’98

Lew Palmer ’98

  • Consensus All America, 1898; second-team 1899
  • Member of national champion clubs both years.
  • Standout defensive player on teams that notched 30 shutouts in 36 games.
  • In 1899 recovered fumble against Yale and had 48-yard touchdown run against North Carolina.
  • Princeton’s record during his three years of service was 33-2-1.
  • Chosen for all-time Princeton team by Trevor in 1927.
Thomas “Doggie” Trenchard ’95

Thomas “Doggie” Trenchard ’95

  • Consensus All America, 1893
  • Selected to All-Time All-Princeton Eleven by Herring of Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1920.
  • Captain of national championship teams in 1893 and 1894.
  • All-time Princeton team selected by Trevor in 1927.

“Of course Trenchard will be reelected Captain,” wrote the New York Times on December 3, 1893. “ There will be no opposition.  He has won such confidence by his clever individual work and efficient generalship that the sons of Nassau have no thought of electing a new captain.”

  • The team was 32-4 in his tenure.
  • Scored 29 touchdowns and scored 116 points in 1894.
  • Head coach at North Carolina, West Virginia, Washington & Lee, Western University of Pennsylvania (later University of Pittsburgh), played pro for both the Latrobe and Allegheny Athletic Associations.
  • Batted .381 during the 1894 season of Princeton baseball.
Ralph “Pop” Warren ’93

Ralph “Pop” Warren ’93

  • Consensus All America, 1890
  • Started as a freshman and scored a touchdown in national championship game against Yale in 1889.
  • Teams were 33-2-1 during his tenure.
  • Captain of 1891 team and after loss to Yale that year reportedly suffered a mental breakdown.


John “Jerry” Triplett Haxall ’83

John “Jerry” Triplett Haxall ’83

Having discovered that the football traveled further when kicked on at its end rather than in the middle, Haxall booted an astonishing 65-yard field goal in the 1882 Yale game. a college football record that stood until 1977.

According to Johnson Poe, the oldest of the Princeton Poes, “It went from a difficult angle 65 yards straight through the goal posts and twenty yards beyond.”. According to the Daily Princetonian of December 1915, “Later in the game Haxall tried another goal from 90 yards but the ball fell barely two feet short of the mark.”

Alexander Moffatt ’84

Alexander Moffatt ’84

The first of the great kickers, in addition to being a brilliant runner and staunch defender.

  • He created the spiral punt in 1881 and began to handle the team’s drop kicking for field goals and extra points.
  • Captain of 1883 team and, in a 26-7 victory over Harvard, booted five field goals, two with each foot and one by placement.
  • During that season, Moffatt kicked 16 field goals, seven extra points, and scored seven touchdowns.
  • Member, all-time Princeton team selected by the Daily Princetonian in 1927.
  • Kicked three field goals in 24-0 win over Wesleyan and scored a touchdown and kicked three field goals in 61-0 victory over Rutgers.

  • Played baseball at Princeton.