H. W. "Bill" Hargiss
Letter from OSU
Oregon Stater article
Pro football hall of fame
1918 OSU team
AP article
Hargiss declaration
Foster affidavit
Brougham letter

1918 Oregon State College Football1918 Football Team at OSU

    In 1918, the Oregon State football team had the problems of most teams trying to continue a program during World War I. But Head Coach H. W. "Bill" Hargiss and his Beaver footballers made sports history. They became the first team in the country to use the huddle. It happened against the University of Washington in Seattle. That day, the Washington players were having much fun decoding all of OSC's plays and when the men from Corvallis snapped the ball, the Huskie team knew right where to be to stop the play. Something had to be done. Coach "Bill" told his players at halftime about a children's game he remembered in which signals were whispered and told them that when they went back out on the field, to stand 10 yards behind the ball and whisper what play was to be run. Looking on, the Washington players thought the Beavers odd, as if they were grouped together to hold a prayer gathering. But the ploy worked and the game of college football was changed forever. For years, credit for the huddle was given to Illinois Coach Bob Zupke and dated to 1921. Veteran Seattle sports columnist Royal Brougham was the one to set the record straight.

osu Archives photo—Harriet's Collection #22.