H. W. "Bill" Hargiss
Youth 1887
College 1905
Marion High 1909
C. of Emporia 1910
KU 1913
KSN 1914
OAC 1918
KSN 1920
KU 1928
Coronado 1941
Brklyn Dodgrs 1942
US Army 1945
Post War 1946
KS A. C. 1952
US Air Force 1960
Retirement 1962
Last Game 1978
Linemen Pulling
Forward Pass
Football Shoe
Offensive Huddle
Defensive Huddle
1926 ESU Football
Kansas Illustriana
MO Valley AAU
NAIA Hall Fame
Honor Due Hargiss
Coaching clinic honor
Kansas Hall Fame
KU Hall Fame
Recognition Banquet
Hargiss' Athletes
ESU Disting. Alum
Kansas Relays
KU Celebrity Classic
Hargiss Scholarship
ESU Hall Honor
ESU Cent. Team
Football Record

Bill Hargiss - First Use of the Offensive Huddle, 1918Bill Hargiss ca. 1918
used at OAC (now Oregon State U) by Bill Hargiss

Bill Hargiss undoubtedly was one of the truly original thinkers in the game of football.  He was the very first coach to use a huddle [Oregon State, Corvallis, OR, in 1918].

Although many schools over the years have laid claim to being the birthplace for football's "huddle," the record clearly indicates Oregon State was one of the very first schools nationally to use the formation in a game. It happened against the University of Washington in Seattle Nov. 18, 1918. That day, the UW players were having much fun decoding all of OSC's plays. Little was working because the boys from Seattle seemed to know what was going to happen before it happened.  Beaver Head Coach "Bill" Hargiss watched for awhile then, fed up, told his players at half-time about a children's game he had in which signals were whispered. He instructed the starters that once they returned to the field, they were to stand 10 yards behind the ball before the beginning of each play and whisper to one another what they were going to do next.

Up to then, a football team went into a set position to start each play, shifting as the quarterback called signals. Thus, a necessary qualification of a quarterback in those days was a penetrating voice. So to speak, he hollered his brains out.

"I was refereeing a high school game out there," Bill recalled, "and it was one of those close grudge, battles where the crowd cheered loudly and the band played the same way. The offensive team got down to a do-or-die play and the boys couldn't hear the quarterback's signals. So he called them into a huddle to give 'em the play. I thought a lot about that, and I experimented with it at Oregon State. Other coaches criticized it because they said it cost time. But I put a stop-watch on it, and it often was faster than the signal calling system."

Bill brought the huddle to Kansas when he went back to Emporia in 1920 for an eight-year stretch at the Normal, known today as Emporia State University. By the next year, such eminent coaches as Bob Zuppke of Illinois were going to the huddle which is now used by all teams.

More articles:

Letter from OSU

Oregon Stater article

Pro football hall of fame

1918 OSU team

AP article 1927


Hargiss declaration  Bill Hargiss in his own handwriting

Foster affidavit player witness

Brougham letter  witness Royal Brougham, Associated Ed, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

F. G. (Fran) Welch testimony: describes first use of the offensive huddle
MP3 audio - from a talk given at Emporia State U on May 28, 1970