This Day in College Football History – November 12th

Grant  Teaff (born November 12, 1933) is a former  football player and coach. He served as the head coach at McMurry University (1960–1965), Angelo State University (1969–1971), and Baylor University (1972–1992), compiling a career college football record of 170–151–8. In his 21 seasons as head coach of the Baylor Bears football team, Teaff’s teams won two Southwest Conference titles and appeared in eight bowl games. His 128 wins are the most of any coach in the history of the program. Teaff was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2001.

Teaff played high school football at Snyder High School in Snyder, Texas and collegiately at San Angelo Junior College (now Angelo State University), and McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. When McMurry head coach Wilford Moore went on to coach Lubbock High School in 1956, Teaff became his assistant. He then moved on to be an assistant at McMurry from 1957 to 1959.  Teaff began his head coaching career at McMurry in 1960, serving there until 1965. Among his players were future Pittsburgh Steelers split end Dick Compton and future San Diego Chargers offensive lineman Ernie Park. After a stint as an assistant coach to J. T. King at Texas Tech, Teaff became the head coach at Angelo State University from 1969 to 1971.

In 1972, Teaff was hired to resurrect the moribund football team at Baylor University. Baylor originally hired Rudy Feldman from the University of New Mexico, but Feldman quit after one day, leaving the job to Teaff. The Baylor football team had been 7–43–1 in the five seasons preceding Teaff’s arrival. Teaff quickly built Baylor into a competitive team and in 1974, Baylor won eight games and captured the Southwest Conference title for the first time since 1924. In the process they defeated the Texas Longhorns, 34–24, after rallying from a 24–7 halftime deficit. It was Baylor’s first victory over Texas in 17 years. The 1974 season and the win over Texas are commonly referred to as the “Miracle on the Brazos,” named after the Brazos River near the Baylor campus.

Teaff remained Baylor’s coach until 1992, compiling a winning record and winning the Southwest Conference title again in 1980. His teams won the 1979 Peach Bowl, the 1985 Liberty Bowl, the 1986 Bluebonnet Bowl, and the 1992 John Hancock Bowl, his final game as coach. His teams also earned invitations to the 1975 and 1981 Cotton Bowl Classics, the 1983 Bluebonnet Bowl, and the 1991 Copper Bowl. His Baylor teams were notable for success against the University of Texas, finishing with a 10–11 record against the Longhorns. By comparison, in the 15 seasons preceding Teaff’s arrival and the 15 years following Teaff’s departure, Baylor had a 1–29 record against Texas. Teaff gained notoriety by eating a live worm in the locker room prior to a 38–14 upset win over Texas in 1978, telling his players he would “keep the worms warm.”

After retiring from coaching, Teaff in February 1994 became executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, an organization headquartered in Waco, Texas that represents coaches across the United States and is often consulted by the NCAA and the media regarding rule changes and developments that take place in college football.  Teaff’s wife, the former Jane Donnell Philips, is a member of the Baylor University Board of Regents.

 

Bill Fincher (November 12, 1896 – July 17, 1978) was a football player and coach. He played college football as an end and tackle at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Fincher was a substitute for the 222 to 0 rout of Cumberland, and a starter for the 1917 national championship team. The 1917 team was Tech’s first national championship and outscored opponents 491 to 17. He was also a consensus All-American in 1918 and 1920. Fincher coached college football for one season. In 1921, he led the William & Mary Indians football team to a 4–3–1 record. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1974.

Claude B. Reeds (November 12, 1890 – April 30, 1974) was a football player and coach. He played college football at the University of Oklahoma as a fullback from 1910 to 1913. Reeds served as the head football coach at West Texas State Teachers College—now West Texas A&M University—from 1929 to 1930 and at Central State Teachers College—now the University of Central Oklahoma—from 1931 to 1940, compiling a career coaching record of 69–34–10. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1961.

Glenn Dobbs (July 12, 1920 – November 12, 2002) was a professional football player in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). A skilled running back, quarterback, and punter, Dobbs was named the AAFC’s MVP in 1946. After sitting out the 1950 season with a knee injury, Dobbs was persuaded to come out of retirement to play with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders of the Western Interprovincial Football Union (WIFU), forerunner of the Canadian Football League (CFL). In 1951 Dobbs was named the Most Valuable Player of the WIFU. Dobbs played college football at the University of Tulsa, where he was later head football coach from 1961 to 1968 and athletic director from 1955 to 1970. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1980.

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