This Day in College Football History – December 4th

Tommy Yarr (December 4, 1910 – December 17, 1941) was a center. He played college football for the University of Notre Dame Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He played one season (1933) of professional ball for the Chicago Cardinals in the National Football League. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987. Of all the players in Notre Dame’s storied football history, Tommy Yarr carved his own special niche. In the 1930 season opener, the Irish played Southern Methodist. Notre Dame posted a very tough, 20-14, victory, the first of 10 wins that season, but down the stretch against SMU, the Irish had to hang on for dear life. One of the major reasons for the win was Tommy Yarr. In the last period of the game he intercepted three SMU passes. Yarr’s senior year was his greatest. He was elected team captain and went on to earn All-America honors. Notre Dame’s two hardest fought games of that season included a scoreless tie against Northwestern and a 16-14 last quarter loss to Southern California. Five times during the Northwestern game, Tommy Yarr had to center the ball back to punter Marchy Schwartz, who, on each occasion, was standing in his own end zone. Each snap-back was perfect. Yarr made those critical snaps with a cast on a broken hand. And against Southern Cal he was his usual brilliant self. After graduation, Yarr played in the NFL with the Chicago Cardinals, and coached at John Carroll University. Tom Yarr died at the age of 31 from a heart attack.

 

Roy Kidd (born December 4, 1931) is a former collegiate football league player and coach. He served as the head coach at Eastern Kentucky University from 1964 to 2002, compiling a record of 314–124–8. Kidd’s Eastern Kentucky Colonels won NCAA Division I-AA Football Championships in 1979 and 1982 and were runners-up in 1980 and 1981. His 314 career victories are second-most in NCAA Division I-AA/FCS history, trailing only those of Grambling State’s Eddie Robinson. Kidd was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2003.

Kidd was a star football, basketball, and baseball player at Corbin High School in the Whitley County portion of Corbin, Kentucky. At Corbin, Kidd was a basketball teammate of college All-American Frank Selvy. There is currently a street, Roy Kidd Ave., named in his honor in Corbin. He graduated from Corbin in 1950 after being chosen as a first team All-State football player for the 1949 season by The Courier-Journal of Louisville. Kidd was signed to a football scholarship by Eastern Kentucky State College and played quarterback at the Richmond school from 1950 to 1953. Kidd actually turned down a scholarship to play for Bear Bryant at the University of Kentucky because his favorite sport was baseball and the football coaches at Eastern Kentucky were willing to let him play both sports. Kidd received four varsity letters in football and baseball at Eastern. He established a dozen records as quarterback of the Maroons (each of these has since been tied or broken), was an All-Ohio Valley Conference selection, and was honored as a “Little All-American” choice in 1953. Kidd was also a star center fielder for Eastern, bettering the .300 mark four consecutive seasons. Kidd served as a student assistant on the staff of Glenn Presnell’s 1954 Eastern team which went undefeated, won the OVC and lost 7–6 to Omaha in the Tangerine Bowl.

In 1955, Kidd was hired as the assistant basketball and head baseball coach at Madison Central High School in Richmond, Kentucky. In August 1956, A. L. Lassiter, the superintendent of Richmond city schools, offered Kidd the position of head football coach at Madison-Model High School. Kidd accepted and spent the next six years as coach of the Royal Purples. Model discontinued its partnership with Madison after the 1960–61 school year and Kidd coached Madison for one season, 1961–62 school year, before moving to the college level.  Kidd took over a Madison-Model program that produced a 23–36–12 record from 1947 to 1955. He led the Purples to a 54–11–1 record from 1956 to 1961. His 54 wins rank him as the third winningest coach in Madison football history behind Lassiter (86 wins in 20 years) and Monty Joe Lovell (77 wins in 11 years). Kidd’s .818 winning percentage is the best in Richmond Madison football history. His first team (1956) reeled off nine wins to finish the regular season undefeated and collected the most wins of any Madison team since the sport was initiated at the Richmond high school in 1921.

Under his tutelage, Madison-Model put together a 27-game winning streak (1959–1961) and was not scored upon in 15 consecutive regular season games during that span. They captured three Central Kentucky Conference (CKC) titles, in 1956, 1960 and 1961. The Royal Purples were Recreation Bowl champions in 1957 and 1961. Madison-Model went 11–0 in 1960, but, under a controversial point system, was not awarded a berth in the state playoffs. Kidd was chosen Kentucky High School Coach of the Year in his last season (1961) as his Purples went 13–1. Madison finished as the Class AA state runner-up to Fort Thomas’ Highlands High School that season as Kidd’s squad fell to the Bluebirds 12–0. Future college and NFL coach, Homer Rice, coached Highlands.

In 1962, he was hired as an assistant coach at Morehead State College. The next year he ventured back to Richmond to serve as an assistant coach at his alma mater and served under his mentor, Glenn Presnell. After the 1963 season, Presnell retired and Kidd was hired as Eastern’s head football coach 1964. In 1967, Kidd led the Colonels to the first of 16 Ohio Valley Conference titles during his tenure, as well as a victory in the Grantland Rice Bowl over Ball State. After being classified in the new Division I-AA (now Division I FCS) in 1978, EKU and Kidd made appearances in four straight national championship games, winning in 1979 and 1982, and finishing as runner-up in 1980 and 1981. Following the national championships, Kidd’s teams never suffered a losing campaign. He led the school to 18 playoff appearances, including a stretch of making the postseason in 16 out of 17 seasons. All told, Kidd led the Colonels to 16 Ohio Valley Conference titles and a national record 17 NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances. He won the OVC Coach of the Year honor ten times and was twice honored as the NCAA Division I-AA national coach of the year.

Over the course of his career, Kidd had a record of 314–124–8, a .713 winning percentage. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003. At retirement, Kidd was the sixth all-time winningest coach in NCAA history with 314 victories. To this day, Kidd still has more Division I FCS wins than any other coach in history, with 223. He recorded 37 non-losing seasons, including a streak of 25 straight seasons with a winning record. Kidd coached 55 All-Americans, 202 First Team All-OVC selections and 41 student-athletes who signed National Football League contracts. A member of the OVC and Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame, the Colonels’ stadium was named Roy Kidd Stadium in his honor. The street that fronts the stadium has been renamed “Roy and Sue Kidd Way” in honor of Kidd and his wife, Susan Purcell Kidd.

 

On December 4, 1953, officials convened in Greensboro, North Carolina, and admitted Virginia into the conference

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