Dixie Howell

Millard Fleming "Dixie" Howell (November 24, 1912 – March 2, 1971) was an American football and baseball player and coach. He played college football as a halfback at the University of Alabama from 1932 to 1934 and with the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL) in 1937. Howell served as the head football coach at Arizona State Teachers College at Tempe, now Arizona State University, from 1938 to 1941 and at the University of Idaho from 1947 to 1950, compiling a career coaching record of 36–35–5 in college football. He also coached at the National University of Mexico in 1935. Howell was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1970. He also played professional baseball in eight minor league seasons following college.

Dixie Howell
Dixie Howell
circa 1934
Biographical details
BornNovember 24, 1912
Hartford, Alabama
DiedMarch 2, 1971 (aged 58)
Hollywood, California
Playing career
Football
1932–1934Alabama
1937Washington Redskins
Baseball
1933–1935Alabama
1935–1942minor leagues
Position(s)Halfback (football)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Football
1935Pumas CU
1936Loyola (LA) (backs)
1938–1941Arizona State
1946Alabama (backs)
1947–1950Idaho
late 1950sFurman (assistant)
Baseball
1946Alabama
1958–1960Furman
Head coaching record
Overall36–35–5 (college football)
42–40–1 (college baseball)
Bowls0–1–1
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
2 Border (1939, 1940)
Awards
All-American, 1934
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1970 (profile)
Dixie Howell
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1942–1945
RankUS-O4 insignia.svg Lieutenant Commander
UnitTraining
Battles/warsWorld War II

Playing career

Football

Born in Hartford, Alabama, Howell graduated from Geneva County High School in Hartford and played college football as an undersized (160 lb (73 kg)) quadruple-threat back at Alabama from 1932 to 1934.[1] As a senior, the Crimson Tide ran the Notre Dame Box offense, and he was a consensus All-American in 1934, as well as one of the nation's top punters. The 1934 Alabama team had two future legends as ends: Don Hutson and Paul "Bear" Bryant. The Crimson Tide posted a 10–0 record, and defeated previously unbeaten Stanford 29-13 in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day, 1935. Howell threw two touchdown passes to Hutson and ran for two more; he is a member of the all-time Rose Bowl team.[2]

In 1937, Howell briefly played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins, who had just relocated from Boston. The Redskins had lost the NFL championship game in 1936 to Green Bay, but returned to the title game in 1937 and defeated the Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field. Howell was a reserve quarterback for the Redskins, behind starter Sammy Baugh. He became a collegiate head coach in 1938 and ended his football playing career.

Baseball

Howell also played baseball for the Crimson Tide and originally indicated he would finish out the college baseball season in 1935 and turn pro that June.[3] Plans changed and he signed a professional baseball contract with the Detroit Tigers in early March[4][5] and played minor league baseball through 1942.

A month after signing, he was hospitalized after being struck in the head by a foul line drive; it occurred during batting practice before an April exhibition game in Virginia, off the bat of Johnny Mize.[6] In 1936 he played with Portland in the Pacific Coast League, then was moved to Toledo in the American Association. His career tailed off and he spent the rest of his baseball career in lower leagues.[7] After service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he did not return as a player and became the head coach at Alabama in January 1946 and resigned in March 1947 to become head football coach at Idaho.[8]

Coaching career

While pursuing his baseball career, Howell coached football in his autumn off-seasons; in Mexico City in 1935 with the American football team of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and as an assistant at Loyola of New Orleans in 1936. [9]

Following a season in the NFL in 1937, he was hired as head coach at the Arizona State Teachers College in Tempe,[10] and stayed for four seasons (1938–1941) with the Bulldogs,[11] with two conference titles and two appearances in the Sun Bowl.[12] He was a finalist for the open job at Idaho in 1941 to succeed Ted Bank,[13] which went to Francis Schmidt, then resigned his position at Tempe in the spring of 1942 and joined the U.S. Navy as a physical training instructor for naval aviators.[12][14] He served until his discharge as a lieutenant commander in November 1945, then returned to Tuscaloosa in January 1946 as an assistant football coach (backs) and head baseball coach for the Crimson Tide.[9]

Howell was hired as head football coach at Idaho of the Pacific Coast Conference in February 1947,[15] and guided the usually-struggling Vandals to a promising 4–4 record in his first season in Moscow, Idaho's best since 1938.[16] The Vandals beat Stanford on the road, a team that had defeated them 45–0 the previous year (but went winless in 1947). It was Idaho's second-ever football victory over a PCC team from California, following a victory over first-year UCLA in 1928. The Vandals also knocked off an undefeated Utah in the season finale in Boise. The Vandals drew a Palouse and state record crowd to Neale Stadium for their annual rivalry game with Washington State in October, albeit a close 7–0 loss to the Cougars.[17][18] These promising factors earned Howell a two-year contract extension through 1950.[19][20] The progress did not continue, as the Vandals opened the 1948 season with four losses and went 3–6 overall and 1–5 in conference, defeating only Montana for the Little Brown Stein. Idaho played Washington State close at Rogers Field in Pullman and gave Oregon a scare in Moscow.[21] The Webfoots, with Norm Van Brocklin and John McKay, went 7–0 in conference and were co-champions with California.

Howell's relationship with Idaho fans and the administration was strained following the 1949 season.[22] The Vandals went 3–5 and 1–4 in conference that season, defeating only departing Montana again. Their two non-conference wins were against overmatched opponents Willamette and Portland, and the Vandals were severely outscored 230–45 in their five losses, capped by a 63–0 loss at Stanford to end the season.[23] Howell felt compelled to publicly deny rumors in April that he would leave before the 1950 season.[24]

The Vandals posted a 3–5–1 record in 1950 and 1–1–1 in conference, and Howell's contract was not renewed in March 1951.[25] Assistant coach Babe Curfman succeeded him, after leading the team through its spring drills on an interim basis.[26]

While Howell was the head coach, the Idaho Vandals wore red jerseys.[27][28][29][30]

In media

Howell had an uncredited role in the 1936 movie, The Adventures of Frank Merriwell as a football player.[31] In the book To Kill a Mockingbird chapter 11, Scout, in an attempt to cheer up her brother, tells him he resembles Dixie Howell.

Howell is also mentioned in Randy Newman's song "My Daddy Knew Dixie Howell" from the album Good Old Boys.

After coaching

Howell got out of coaching and later worked in the Los Angeles area in sales and public relations. He had two operations for intestinal cancer in 1969[32] and 1971 and died at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in March 1971 at age 58.[33] and was buried in Alabama in his hometown of Hartford.[34] His wife, former actress Peggy Watters Howell (1914–2006),[35][36] outlived him by 35 years and is buried beside him.[37]

Weeks after his death, Alabama created an award in his name, given to the outstanding player of the annual spring game.[2]

Head coaching record

Football

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Arizona State Bulldogs (Border Conference) (1938–1941)
1938 Arizona State 3–6 0–5 7th
1939 Arizona State 8–2–1 5–1 1st T Sun
1940 Arizona State 7–2–2 4–1–1 1st L Sun
1941 Arizona State 5–5–1 2–4–1 7th
Arizona State: 23–15–4 11–11–2
Idaho Vandals (Pacific Coast Conference) (1947–1950)
1947 Idaho 4–4 1–4 9th
1948 Idaho 3–6 1–5 9th
1949 Idaho 3–5 1–4 9th
1950 Idaho 3–5–1 1–1–1 T–4th
Idaho: 13–20–1 4–14–1
Total: 36–35–5
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

References

  1. ^ Browning, Al (April 26, 1981). "Howell wasn't just whistling 'Dixie'". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. p. B1.
  2. ^ a b "New A-Day award will honor Howell". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. April 20, 1971. p. 6.
  3. ^ "Dixie Howell may join Detroit Tigers". Ludington Daily News. Michigan. Associated Press. January 28, 1935. p. 2.
  4. ^ "Howell will play with Detroit Tigers". Palm Beach Post. Florida. Associated Press. March 6, 1935. p. 7.
  5. ^ "Howell is slated to join Tigers' baseball farm". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. March 15, 1935. p. 2-sports.
  6. ^ "Dixie Howell remains in serious shape in hospital". Spartanburg Herald. Associated Press. April 12, 1935. p. 3.
  7. ^ "Dixie Howell signs with Oklahoma City". Berkeley Daily Gazette. California. United Press. February 5, 1940. p. 10.
  8. ^ "Dixie Howell given head coaching job at University of Idaho". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. February 27, 1947. p. 12.
  9. ^ a b "Howell named Alabama coach". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. January 27, 1946. p. 7.
  10. ^ "Oliver named head coach at Oregon; Howell gets Tempe job". Evening Courier. Prescott, Arizona. Associated Press. January 27, 1938. p. 5.
  11. ^ Mark, Jay (May 6, 2016). "Tempe history: How a big college football star came to coach at Arizona State". Arizona Republic. Phoenix. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "'Dixie' Howell quits at Tempe". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Associated Press. March 14, 1942. p. 2, sports.
  13. ^ "Dixie Howell views Idaho". Prescott Evening Courier. (Arizona). Associated Press. March 14, 1941. p. 5.
  14. ^ "Charles Gelbart, Dixie Howell, John Kelly are P.T. instructors now". Ottawa Citizen. Canada. Associated Press. August 25, 1942. p. 8.
  15. ^ "Howell signed by Idaho U." Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. Associated Press. February 27, 1947. p. 9.
  16. ^ "Football (fall 1947)". Gem of the Mountains. University of Idaho yearbook. 1948. pp. 282–294.
  17. ^ "Cougars claw Idaho Vandals 7-0". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. October 5, 1947. p. 1-sports.
  18. ^ "Grid fans pack Moscow stadium". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. October 4, 1947. p. 1.
  19. ^ "Dixie Howell signs new two-year contract as Idaho football coach". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. April 28, 1948. p. 8.
  20. ^ "Dixie Howell signs new Idaho contract". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. April 27, 1948. p. 21.
  21. ^ "Action in pictures of Idaho's valiant losing battle against Oregon". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. October 10, 1948. p. 3-sports.
  22. ^ "Report says Howell under fire". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. April 8, 1950. p. 8.
  23. ^ "Idaho - 1945-49". College Football Data Warehouse. yearly results. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  24. ^ "Howell denies he will leave Idaho grid job". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. April 18, 1950. p. 17.
  25. ^ "Dixie Howell resigns as Idaho football coach". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. March 27, 1951. p. 21.
  26. ^ "Idaho selects Curfman as coach". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. April 17, 1951. p. 14.
  27. ^ "On the field: varsity and intramurals (color photo): Oregon at Idaho, October 9, 1948". Gem of the Mountains. University of Idaho yearbook. 1949. p. 218.
  28. ^ "Reds wallop Whites in finale of Idaho grid spring training, 41 to 14". May 13, 1948. p. 12.
  29. ^ "Cougars, Idaho tapering off on football tuneups". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. September 13, 1948. p. 15.
  30. ^ "Reds win Idaho practice game". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. May 7, 1950. p. 2, sports.
  31. ^ Millard 'Dixie' Howell
  32. ^ "Howell tumor is malignant". Press-Courier. Oxnard, California. Associated Press. October 1, 1969. p. 21.
  33. ^ "Former Tide star dies at 58". Spartanburg Herald. South Carolina. Associated Press. March 3, 1971. p. 15.
  34. ^ Marshall, Phillip (March 3, 1971). "'Dixie' Howell to be buried in Hartford". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. p. 9.
  35. ^ "Dixie Howell to wed film actress Nov. 24". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. November 15, 1935. p. 7, part 2.
  36. ^ "Peggy Waters marries Dixie football star". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. November 25, 1935. p. 5.
  37. ^ "Peggy Howell". Find A Grave. Retrieved October 20, 2014.

External links

1933 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

The 1933 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA" or "Bama") represented the University of Alabama in the 1933 college football season. It was the Crimson Tide's 40th overall and 1st season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team was led by head coach Frank Thomas, in his third year, and played their home games at Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. They finished the season with a record of seven wins, one loss and one tie (7–1–1 overall, 5–0–1 in the SEC), and as the first SEC champions.After opening the season with victory over Oglethorpe, Alabama played Ole Miss to a scoreless tie in their first ever SEC matchup. One week later, the Crimson Tide defeated Mississippi State for their first ever SEC victory and followed that with their first ever SEC road victory with their win over Tennessee at Shields–Watkins Field. From Knoxville, Alabama traveled to New York City where they lost their only game of the season against Fordham in an intersectional matchup. Alabama rebounded with four consecutive victories to close the season as conference champions with wins over Kentucky, VPI (Virginia Tech) on homecoming, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt.

1934 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

The 1934 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA" or "Bama") represented the University of Alabama in the 1934 college football season. It was the Crimson Tide's 41st overall season and 2nd as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team was led by head coach Frank Thomas, in his fourth year, and played their home games at Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Legion Field in Birmingham and the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama. They finished the season with a perfect record (10–0 overall, 7–0 in the SEC), as Southeastern Conference champions for the second consecutive season and defeated Stanford in the Rose Bowl.Five of the 13 selectors recognized as official by the NCAA (Berryman, Dunkel, Houlgate, Poling, and Williamson) recognize the 1934 Alabama team as the national champion. Sportswriter Morgan Blake called it the best football team he ever saw.

1934 All-SEC football team

The 1934 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1934 college football season. The Alabama Crimson Tide and Tulane Green Wave shared the conference title. The Crimson Tide defeated the Stanford Indians 29 to 13 in the Rose Bowl, and was selected national champions by Dunkel, Williamson and Football Thesaurus. Alabama halfback Dixie Howell was voted SEC Player of the Year.

1934 College Football All-America Team

The 1934 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1934. The nine selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1934 season are (1) Collier's Weekly, as selected by Grantland Rice, (2) the Associated Press (AP), (3) the United Press (UP), (4) the All-America Board (AAB), (5) the International News Service (INS), (6) Liberty magazine, (7) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), (8) the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), and (9) the Sporting News (SN).

No player was the unanimous choice of all nine selectors. Quarterback Bobby Grayson of Stanford and fullback Pug Lund of Minnesota led the group with first-team designations from eight of the nine official selectors. Dixie Howell of Alabama and Chuck Hartwig of Pittsburgh each received six official first-team designations.

1935 Rose Bowl

The 1935 Rose Bowl was the 21st Rose Bowl game, an American post-season college football game that was played on New Year's Day 1935 in Pasadena, California. It featured the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Stanford Indians.

1938 Arizona State Bulldogs football team

The 1938 Arizona State Bulldogs football team was an American football team that represented Arizona State Teachers College (later renamed Arizona State University) in the Border Conference during the 1938 college football season. In their first season under head coach Dixie Howell, the Bulldogs compiled a 3–6 record (0–4 against Border opponents) and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 98 to 89. Arizona State's team captain was center Wes Hastings. The Bulldogs finished 2–2 at home and 1–4 on the road. Earl Pomeroy and Hilman Walker were assistant coaches. All home games were played at Goodwin Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

1939 Arizona State Bulldogs football team

The 1939 Arizona State Bulldogs football team was an American football team that represented Arizona State Teachers College (later renamed Arizona State University) in the Border Conference during the 1939 college football season. In their second season under head coach Dixie Howell, the Bulldogs compiled an 8–2–1 record (4–1 against Border opponents), won the conference championship, played to a scoreless tie against Catholic University in the 1940 Sun Bowl, and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 212 to 56. The team captains were Wiley Aker and Noble Riggs. The Bulldogs finished 6-0 at home, 2-2 on the road, and 0-0-1 on a neutral site. Hilman Walker was an assistant coach. All home games were played at Goodwin Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

1940 Arizona State Bulldogs football team

The 1940 Arizona State Bulldogs football team was an American football team that represented Arizona State Teachers College (later renamed Arizona State University) in the Border Conference during the 1940 college football season. In their third season under head coach Dixie Howell, the Bulldogs compiled a 7–2–2 record (3–1–1 against Border opponents), won the conference championship, lost to Western Reserve in the 1941 Sun Bowl, and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 198 to 100.The Bulldogs finished 4-0-1 at home, 3-1-1 on the road, and 0-1 on a neutral site. Hilman Walker was an assistant coach. The team captains were left end Sam Andrews and halfback Albert Sanserino. All home games were played at Goodwin Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

1941 Arizona State Bulldogs football team

The 1941 Arizona State Bulldogs football team was an American football team that represented Arizona State Teachers College (later renamed Arizona State University) in the Border Conference during the 1941 college football season. In their fourth and final season under head coach Dixie Howell, the Bulldogs compiled a 5–5–1 record (2–4–1 against Border opponents) and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 137 to 111.

1946 Idaho Vandals football team

The 1946 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1946 college football season. The Vandals were led by second-year head coach James "Babe" Brown and were members of the Pacific Coast Conference. Home games were played on campus at Neale Stadium in Moscow, with none held in Boise this season.

Idaho was 1–8 overall and lost all five of their PCC games.

The Vandals' losing streak in the Battle of the Palouse with neighbor Washington State reached eighteen games, shut out 0–32 in Pullman on October 5. Idaho tied the Cougars four years later, but the winless streak continued until 1954.

In the rivalry game with Montana in Missoula, Idaho was blanked 0–19 to relinquish the Little Brown Stein; it was the fourth of six straight shutouts in the series, with each side winning three.

Shortly after the final game on Thanksgiving, Brown resigned as head coach; succeeded by Dixie Howell in February 1947.

1947 Idaho Vandals football team

The 1947 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1947 college football season. The Vandals were led by first-year head coach Dixie Howell, and were members of the Pacific Coast Conference. Home games were played on campus in Moscow at Neale Stadium, with one game in Boise at Public School Field. The Vandals were 4–4 overall and 1–4 in conference play.

Howell, age 34, had been the head coach at Arizona State before the war and was a finalist for the Idaho job six years earlier in 1941, which went to Francis Schmidt. He played with Don Hutson and Bear Bryant at Alabama, and was the passer and a consensus All-American on the undefeated 1934 team that won the Rose Bowl and the national title.

1948 Idaho Vandals football team

The 1948 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1948 college football season. The Vandals were led by second-year head coach Dixie Howell and were members of the Pacific Coast Conference. Home games were played on campus at Neale Stadium in Moscow, with one game in Boise at Public School Field.Idaho was 3–6 overall and won one of their six PCC games; future schedules had fewer conference matchups.

The Vandals' losing streak in the Battle of the Palouse with neighbor Washington State reached twenty games, with a 14–19 loss in Pullman on October 30. Idaho tied the Cougars two years later, but the winless streak continued until 1954.

In the rivalry game with Montana in Moscow a week earlier, Idaho won 39–0 to regain the Little Brown Stein. Montana won it back two years later with a one-point upset, then the Vandals won eight straight, through 1959.

1949 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1949 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished seventh in the National League with a record of 62–92, 35 games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1951 Idaho Vandals football team

The 1951 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1951 college football season. The Vandals were led by first-year head coach Raymond "Babe" Curfman and were members of the Pacific Coast Conference. Home games were played on campus at Neale Stadium in Moscow, with one game in Boise at old Bronco Stadium at Boise Junior College and another at Memorial Stadium in Spokane, Washington.

Led on the field by quarterback Wayne Anderson and halfback Glen Christian, Idaho compiled a 2–7 overall record and lost all three games in the PCC.

The Vandals suffered a close loss in the Battle of the Palouse with heavily favored neighbor Washington State, falling 6–9 at Neale Stadium on November 10. The previous edition was also competitive, with a 7–7 tie in 1950 in Pullman, but the winless streak against the Cougars was up to 25 games, a record of 0–23–2 since taking three straight in 1923–25; Idaho finally won three years later in Pullman.

In the rivalry game with Montana at Missoula four weeks earlier, Idaho began an eight-game winning streak over the Grizzlies with a 12–9 win to regain the Little Brown Stein.Prior to the season in late March, university president Jesse Buchanan requested and received the resignations of head coach Dixie Howell and two assistants, due to "lack of harmony" on the coaching staff. One of those assistants was Curfman, who was then asked by the administration to be the interim coach during the upcoming spring drills. He made a good impression and was re-hired as head coach in mid-April.

Dixie Howell (catcher)

Homer Elliot "Dixie" Howell (April 24, 1920 – October 5, 1990) was an American professional baseball catcher. He appeared in eight seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1947 and 1956 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers.

Dixie Howell (disambiguation)

Dixie Howell (Millard Fleming Howell, 1912–1971) was an American football player and head coach, minor league baseball player.

Dixie Howell may also refer to:

Dixie Howell (pitcher) (Millard Fillmore Howell, 1920–1960), Major League Baseball pitcher

Dixie Howell (catcher) (Homer Elliott Howell, 1920–1990), Major League Baseball catcher

Fred Howell (1907-1975), British trade unionist

Dixie Howell (pitcher)

Millard Filmore "Dixie" Howell (January 7, 1920 – March 18, 1960) was a relief pitcher who played in six Major League Baseball seasons between 1940 and 1958 as well 19 years in the minors. Listed at 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m), 210 lb., Howell batted left-handed and threw right-handed. A native of Bowman (or Harold), Kentucky, he grew up in Dehue, West Virginia.

Harold, Kentucky

Harold is an unincorporated community located in Floyd County, Kentucky, United States.

A post office was established in the community in 1905, and named for local merchant Harold Hatcher of the Hatcher family of early area settlers.Professional baseball player Dixie Howell was born in Harold.

List of Arizona State Sun Devils football seasons

The Arizona State Sun Devils football team competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, representing Arizona State University.

Dixie Howell—championships, awards, and honors

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