Earl Harry "Dutch" Clark (October 11, 1906 – August 5, 1978), sometimes also known as the "Flying Dutchman" and the "Old Master", was an American football player and coach, basketball player and coach, and university athletic director. He gained his greatest acclaim as a football player and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame with its inaugural class in 1951 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame with its inaugural class in 1963. He was also named in 1969 to the NFL 1930s All-Decade Team and was the first player to have his jersey (No. 7) retired by the Detroit Lions.
Born in Colorado, Clark attended Colorado College where he played football, basketball, and baseball, and also competed in track and field. During the 1928 football season, he rushed for 1,349 yards, scored 103 points, and became the first player from Colorado to receive first-team All-American honors. After graduating in 1930, he remained at Colorado College as the head basketball coach and assistant football coach.
Clark played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Portsmouth Spartans / Detroit Lions from 1931-1938. He was selected as the first-team All-Pro quarterback six times, was named by the United Press (UP) as the best player in the NFL in both 1935 and 1936, led the Lions to the 1935 NFL championship, and led the NFL in total offense in 1934 and scoring in 1932, 1935, and 1936. In his final two seasons with the Lions, he also served as the team's head coach. In 1940, he was selected by the Associated Press (AP) as the outstanding football player of the 1930s.
Clark was the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines (1933) and with the Cleveland Rams (NFL, 1939–1942) and Seattle Bombers (American Football League, 1944), an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Dons (All-America Football Conference, 1949) and University of Detroit Titans (1950), and head coach and athletic director for the University of Detroit (1951–1953).
|Born:||October 11, 1906|
|Died:||August 5, 1978 (aged 71)|
Cañon City, Colorado
|High school:||Pueblo (CO) Central|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Clark was born in the town of Fowler in Otero County, Colorado, in 1906. He was the son of Harry J. Clark (1874–1924), a Michigan native, and Mary Etta (Lackey) Clark (1876–1969), a North Carolina native. Clark had an older sister, Mabel May (1899–1990), two older brothers, Carl (1901–1927) and Fred (1903–1942), and a younger sister, Pearl (1919–2003). As of 1910, the family lived in La Junta, Otero County, where the father was a farmer. In 1917, when Dutch was 10 years old, the family moved approximately 60 miles to the west to Pueblo, Colorado, where the father was employed as a locomotive fireman on a steam railroad.
Clark attended Pueblo's Central High School. As a sophomore in the 1923-24 academic year, he was a member of the football team, captain of the basketball team, and was voted the most popular man in the school.
As a junior during the 1924-1925 academic year, Clark was voted as the class president. He was also regarded as "the best all-around athlete in the state." Playing at fullback for the football team, he helped Central win the 1924 South Central League championship and was named to the all-state team. He was named captain of the basketball team for the second consecutive year, played at the center position, and was selected as an all-conference player.
According to an account published in 1980, Clark earned all-state honors in football and basketball and set South Central League track & field records in the discus and high hurdles. Baseball was his "weak" sport, on account of impaired vision in his left eye. He earned 16 letters at Central High and graduated in 1926.
In the fall of 1926, Clark enrolled at the Colorado College in Colorado Springs. He played football for four years and was team captain as a senior. He also played basketball for four years and was team captain as both a junior and a senior. He also competed in track all four years and in baseball as a senior.
During the 1928 season, Clark averaged 10 yards every time he carried the ball. He rushed for 1,349 yards on 135 carries and scored 103 of the team's 203 points. At the end of the 1928 season, he was selected by the Associated Press as the first-team quarterback on the 1928 College Football All-America Team. He was the first All-American football player from any of Colorado's colleges and universities.
Clark graduated from Colorado College in June 1930 with a bachelor of arts degree in biology. After graduating, Clark remained at Colorado College during the 1930–1931 academic year as an assistant football coach and head basketball coach.
In May 1931, Clark was granted a leave of absence from his coaching responsibilities at Colorado College to allow him to play for the Portsmouth Spartans in the National Football League (NFL), with the understanding that he would return to coach the school's basketball team when the Spartans' season was over. The Spartans compiled an 11–3 record in 1931, good for second place in the NFL. Clark appeared in 11 games and was the team's leading scorer with 60 points on nine touchdowns and six extra points. He ranked third in the NFL in scoring and was selected as the first-team All-Pro quarterback. Clark was actually the leading scorer in the NFL when he secured permission to leave the team early to resume his coaching responsibilities with the Colorado College basketball team.
Clark returned to the Spartans in the fall of 1932 and led the team to a 6–2–4 record and third place in the NFL. Clark led the NFL with 581 rushing yards; he also led the league with 55 points scored, 10 extra points, and three field goals. For the second consecutive year, he was selected as the first-team All-Pro quarterback. In December 1932, United Press sportswriter George Kirksey rated Clark as the greatest football player of the past 10 years.
Despite his success during the 1931 and 1932 NFL seasons, Clark returned to Colorado College as the school's head basketball coach at the end of the 1932 season. Then, in March 1933, he surprised followers of the professional game by announcing that he would not return to the NFL in 1933, having elected instead to serve as the head football coach for the Colorado School of Mines.
Clark was the quarterback for the 1934 Detroit Lions team that compiled a 10–3 record and finished in second place in the NFL West behind the undefeated Chicago Bears. Clark led the NFL in 1934 with 1,146 yards of total offense and eight rushing touchdowns and ranked among the leaders with 73 points scored (second), 763 rushing yards (third), and 383 passing yards (fourth). At the end of the 1934 season, Clark was selected as the first-team All-Pro quarterback for the third time in three years playing in the NFL.
In August 1935, Clark was selected by his Detroit teammates as the team captain without a dissenting vote. As quarterback and captain, Clark led the 1935 Detroit Lions to the NFL championship. Clark led the NFL with 55 points scored and 16 extra points. Clark later cited the Lions' 13–0 victory over the Bears on Thanksgiving Day as his most memorable game. In that game, Clark scored both Detroit touchdowns, the first on a pass from Bill Shepherd and the second when he rolled out on a flanker play and took a lateral pass 21 yards into the end zone. In the 1935 NFL Championship Game, Clark had "a sensational 42-yard dash" for a touchdown in the second quarter, as the Lions defeated the New York Giants, 26–7.
On January 1, 1936, Clark led the Lions to a 33–0 victory over an all-star team in the first professional football game played in Denver. Clark scored two touchdowns in the game, including a 52-yard touchdown run.
After the 1935 season, Clark was again selected as the first-team All Pro quarterback; the United Press also selected him as the best player in the NFL, calling him the "keenest football strategist", the "most dangerous one-man threat", "a fine drop-kicker and a deadly tackler." The Los Angeles Times noted that Clark "has been acclaimed as the greatest back in the history of the game." Another writer said he had "the nimblest legs in football" and called him the modern back who comes "nearest to perfection"." Red Grange called Clark "the hardest man in football to tackle" and noted: "His change of pace fools the best tacklers." Lions' head coach Potsy Clark cited intelligence and leadership as the factors that separated Clark from others:
For one thing he knows what plays to call. He is one of the most intelligent men who ever played football. He knows the game thoroughly. He rarely makes a mistake. But his main asset is ability to gain the confidence of players. He makes them absolutely believe in him. They never question any play he calls, they regard him as infallible. This confidence is not misplaced. I have never known 'Dutch' to criticize any player. Any time a play goes wrong he takes the entire blame, regardless of who is responsible."
In February 1936, Clark announced that, despite the successful 1935 season, he might quit professional football. He noted that time had slowed him, and he preferred pursuing a business career in his hometown of Pueblo, Colorado. He took a job as the general manager of the Colorado State Fair, but wrote to the Lions in June advising that he had been granted a leave of absence to rejoin the club in August, with time to prepare for the Chicago College All-Star Game set for September 1.
During the 1936 NFL season, Clark led the Lions to an 8–4 record, third best in the NFL. For the third time in his career, Clark led the NFL in scoring with 73 points, Clark's tally coming on seven touchdowns, 19 extra points, and four field goals. He ranked second in the league with 1,095 yards of total offense. He also ranked among the NFL's leaders with 628 rushing yards (third) and 467 passing yards (sixth). For the fifth time in five years of NFL play, he was selected as the first-team All-Pro quarterback. The United Press also selected Clark as the most valuable player in the NFL, citing his talents as "the smartest quarterback in football" and his multiple talents as ball carrier, passer, drop-kicker, and defensive player.
At the end of the 1936 season, Clark announced that he intended to pursue a coaching position for the 1937 season. Three weeks after Clark's announcement, the Lions' head coach Potsy Clark resigned to accept the head coaching job with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Dutch Clark was signed the next day as the Lions' head coach, adding coaching duties to his pre-existing duties as player and team captain.
During the 1937 season, Clark finished among the NFL leaders with five rushing touchdowns (first), 4.9 yards per rushing attempt (second), 468 rushing yards (fourth), and 45 points scored (fourth). For the Lions' 1937 Thanksgiving Day game against the Bears, the team held a "Dutch Clark Day". Before a capacity crowd of 26,000, the Lions presented Clark with an automobile, and his wife received a platinum wrist watch set with diamonds. After the game, a punishing loss, Clark announced his retirement as a player, saying: "I'm too old. Look how long it takes me to get undressed." Tod Rockwell of the Detroit Free Press wrote that, as Clark announced his retirement, he was "bruised from head to foot", his left hand was "swollen double its normal size", there were "welts on his legs, a lump over one eye, and a belt on the mouth had split open his lips in several places."
After the 1937 season, Clark was named the first-team All-Pro quarterback for the sixth time. In polling of 27 sports editors in NFL cities, Clark led all other players with 25 first-team votes.
In May 1938, Clark announced that he was open to playing during the 1938 season, though he intended to play "as little as possible," and not at all if the Lions could secure the services of a satisfactory quarterback. Bill Shepherd took over as the club's starting quarterback in 1938, and Clark appeared only briefly in six games, carrying the ball seven times and completing six of 12 passes.
During his eight years as a player in the NFL, Clark appeared in 75 games, totaled 2,772 rushing yards, 1,507 passing yards, and 341 receiving yards, scored 42 touchdowns, kicked 72 extra points and 15 field goals, and totaled 369 points scored. He held the NFL's career scoring record at the time of his retirement.
In March 1933, Clark was hired as head football coach for the Colorado School of Mines football team. He led the team to a 1–5 record during the 1933 college football season. He resigned his post in March 1934 in order to return to the NFL with the Detroit Lions.
Clark was player-coach with the Lions during the 1937 and 1938 seasons. Under his leadership, the Lions compiled identical 7–4 records and finished in second place in the NFL's West Division in both years.
In December 1938, Clark resigned as head coach of the Lions and signed a two-year contract as head coach of the Cleveland Rams. During the 1939 season, Clark sought permission to play for the Rams, but the NFL ruled that the Lions held rights to him as a player, rejected the Rams' request to declare Clark a free agent, and held that the Rams must strike a deal with the Lions to allow Clark to play. The Lions expressed a willingness to work something out but only if the Rams sent a player to the Lions in exchange. No deal was reached, and Clark's role with the Rams in 1939 was limited to coaching. In January 1940, after the Lions were sold to new owners, the club agreed to grant Clark a players' release if he submitted a request.
As head coach, Clark led the Rams to records of 5–5–1 in 1939, 4–6–1 in 1940, 2–9 in 1941, and 5–6 in 1942.
In March 1943, Clark announced that he would not seek renewal of his contract as coach of the Rams.
After retiring from the Rams, Clark returned to Pueblo, Colorado, where he took a job selling insurance. In February 1944, Clark was accepted for limited service in the United States Army. After the war, Clark continued to work in the insurance business and acquired an ownership interest in a wine merchant in Colorado Springs.
In July 1944, Clark signed as coach of the Seattle team in the newly-formed American Football League of the Pacific Coast. He coached the Seattle Bombers to a 5–5–1 record in the league's only season.
In March 1949, Clark was hired as backfield coach for the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference. In December 1949, after one season with the Dons, Clark accepted a job offer to become backfield coach with the Chicago Cardinals for the 1950 season, but that opportunity was lost days later when Buddy Parker resigned as the Cardinals' head coach.
In March 1950, Clark was hired as an assistant coach of the University of Detroit Titans football team. The 1950 Detroit Titans football team, with Clark as backfield coach, compiled a 6–3–1 record. After the 1950 season, Chuck Baer resigned as the school's head football coach. In February 1951, Clark was promoted to the dual role of head football coach and athletic director at the University of Detroit. Despite leading the Titans to records of 4–7 and 3–6 in 1951 and 1952, respectively, Clark was selected by his fellow Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) coaches as coach of the year at the end of the 1952 season. In 1953, he led the Titans to a 6–4 record and a tie with Oklahoma A&M for the MVC championship.
At the end of December 1953, Clark resigned as the University of Detroit's head football coach to pursue a business opportunity in Detroit. He remain as athletic director through the end of February 1954 when his contract expired.
Clark has received numerous honors for his contributions to the sport. His honors include the following:
In June 1930, Clark received his degree from Colorado College. Later the same day, he was married to Dorothy Schrader, a school teacher and Clark's high school sweetheart, in a ceremony at Pueblo, Colorado. They had a son, Earl Clark, Jr., born in December 1934.
Clark's wife, Dorothy, died suddenly in May 1952 as the result of a stroke at age 43. In January 1955, Clark was remarried to Ruth Jane Lowther, the widow of former Detroit Lions player Jackie Lowther. Clark became stepfather to his second wife's two sons, Charles and Thomas Lowther, ages nine and five.
In 1975, Clark and his second wife, Ruth Jane, moved to Canon City, Colorado. In August 1978, Clark died from cancer at age 71 at his home in Canon City. He was buried at Lakeside Cemetery in Canon City.
|Colorado Mines Orediggers (Rocky Mountain Conference) (1933)|
|Detroit Titans (Missouri Valley Conference) (1951–1953)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
|Colorado College Tigers (Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference) (1930–1933)|
|Colorado Mines Orediggers (Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference) (1933–1934)|
|Colorado Buffaloes (Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference) (1934–1935)|
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|DET||1937||7||4||0||.636||2nd in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|DET||1938||7||4||0||.636||2nd in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|CLE||1939||5||5||1||.500||4th in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|CLE||1940||4||6||1||.409||4th in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|CLE||1941||2||9||0||.182||5th in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
|CLE||1942||5||6||0||.455||3rd in NFL Western||–||–||–||–|
The 1928 Colorado College Tigers football team represented Colorado College during the 1928 college football season. Dutch Clark rushed for 1349 yards on 135 carries and scored 103 of CC’s 203 points. He became the first All-American football player from any of Colorado’s colleges and universities.1931 All-Pro Team
The 1931 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1931 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Green Bay Press-Gazette based on the returns of ballots sent to each club in the league as well as sports writers and officials, the United Press (UP), and Collyer's Eye (CE).Players displayed in bold were consensus first-team selections. Four players were unanimously selected for the first team by all three selectors: Portsmouth Spartans quarterback Dutch Clark; Chicago Bears halfback Red Grange; Chicago Cardinals fullback Ernie Nevers; and New York Giants guard Butch Gibson.1932 All-Pro Team
The 1932 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1932 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, seven of the eight NFL coaches for the Associated Press (AP), the United Press, and Collyer's Eye (CE).Five players were selected for the first team by all three selectors: Portsmouth Spartans quarterback Dutch Clark; Chicago Bears fullback Bronko Nagurski; New York Giants end Ray Flaherty; Green Bay Packers tackle Cal Hubbard; and Chicago Bears guard Zuck Carlson.1934 All-Pro Team
The 1934 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1934 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), the Green Bay Press-Gazette (GB) based on the composite view of the coaches of 10 NFL teams and a half dozen NFL officials, Collyer's Eye (CE), and the Chicago Daily News (CDN).Players displayed in bold were consensus first-team selections. Five players were selected as first-team All-Pro players by all five selectors: Detroit Lions quarterback Dutch Clark; Chicago Bears halfback Beattie Feathers; Chicago Bears fullback Bronko Nagurski; Chicago Bears end Bill Hewitt; and New York Giants center Mel Hein.1934 Detroit Lions season
The 1934 Detroit Lions season was the fifth season in franchise history. It was the first season the team played in Detroit; the franchise had previously played as the Portsmouth Spartans in Portsmouth, Ohio, a city with a population of approximately 40,000. Under head coach Potsy Clark, the Lions won their first ten games (the first seven shut outs) before losing three straight games to end the season. They finished in second place in the NFL Western Division behind the undefeated Chicago Bears.
Three Lions ranked among the NFL leaders in rushing yardage: Dutch Clark with 763 yards (third), Ernie Caddel with 528 yards (fifth), and Ace Gutowsky with 517 yards (seventh). Two Lions also ranked among the league leaders in points scored: Dutch Clark with 73 points (second) and Glenn Presnell with 63 points (third). Clark also led the NFL with 1,146 yards of total offense and ranked among the league leaders with 13 extra points made (second) and 383 passing yards (fourth). Harry Ebding led the NFL with 264 receiving yards and 22.0 receiving yards per game.1935 All-Pro Team
The 1935 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1935 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the NFL coaches (NFL), the United Press (UP), the Green Bay Press-Gazette (GB), Collyer's Eye (CE), and the Chicago Daily News (CDN).Players displayed in bold were consensus first-team selections. The following six players were selected to the first team by all five selectors: Detroit Lions quarterback Dutch Clark; New York Giants halfback Ed Danowski; Chicago Cardinals end Bill Smith; Chicago Bears end Bill Karr; New York Giants tackle Bill Morgan; and New York Giants center Mel Hein.1935 Detroit Lions season
The 1935 Detroit Lions season resulted in the Lions winning their first National Football League (NFL) championship. In their second season in Detroit and fifth under head coach Potsy Clark, the Lions placed first in the NFL's Western Division and went on to defeat the New York Giants, 26–7, in the 1935 NFL Championship Game. The leading offensive players were Dutch Clark, who led the NFL with 55 points, and Ernie Caddel, who led the league with 621 yards from scrimmage and 6.4 yards per touch.1936 All-Pro Team
The 1936 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1936 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the NFL coaches (NFL), the United Press (UP), Collyer's Eye (CE), and the Chicago Daily News (CDN).Four players were selected for the first team by all four selectors: Detroit Lions quarterback Dutch Clark; Boston Redskins halfback Cliff Battles; Chicago Bears end Bill Hewitt; and Green Bay Packers guard Lon Evans. Three others were selected for the first team by three selectors: Chicago Bears fullback Bronko Nagurski; Boston Redskins tackle Turk Edwards; and New York Giants center Mel Hein.1937 All-Pro Team
The 1937 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1937 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the NFL coaches (NFL), the International News Service (INS), the United Press (UP), Collyer's Eye (CE), and the New York Daily News (NYDN).Four players were selected for the first team by all five selectors: Detroit Lions quarterback Dutch Clark; Green Bay Packers fullback Clarke Hinkle; Washington Redskins tackle Turk Edwards; and Chicago Bears guard George Musso. Three others were named to the first team by four selectors: Washington Redskins Sammy Baugh (NFL, INS, UP, NYDN; selected as a halfback); Chicago Cardinals end Gaynell Tinsley (NFL, UP, CE, NYDN); and Chicago Bears tackle Joe Stydahar (NFL, UP, CE, NYDN). Three more were selected by three selectors: Washington Redskins halfback Cliff Battles (NFL, INS, NYDN); Green Bay Packers end Don Hutson (INS, CE, NYDN); and New York Giants center Mel Hein (NFL, INS, NYDN).1950 Detroit Titans football team
The 1950 Detroit Titans football team represented the University of Detroit in the 1950 college football season. Detroit outscored its opponents by a combined total of 226 to 143 and finished with a 6–3–1 record in its sixth year under head coach Chuck Baer. It was the 56th season of intercollegiate football for the University of Detroit.The Titans had won the Missouri Valley Conference championship in 1949 and were co-favorites with Tulsa to win the conference championship in 1950. The Titans ultimately finished in second place behind Tulsa.
Two Titans were selected as first-team players on the 1950 All-Missouri Valley Conference football team: guards Alex Smail and Ed Wood.Dutch Clark, later inducted into both the Pro and College Football Halls of Fame, joined the Titans' staff as backfield coach in 1950. Bob Ivory and Eddie Barbour were also assistant coaches for the 1950 team. Bob O'Malley and Mike Kaysserian were hired to coach the freshman team.End Tom Costello and Nick Galante were co-captains of the 1950 team. After the season, fullback Mike Goggins and tackle Joe Kutz were named captains of the 1951 team.In late December 1950, Chuck Baer resigned as the Titans' head football coach, citing "personal reasons". The resignation was considered a surprise, but followed rumors of a shakeup after the university president, the Very Rev. Celestin J. Steiner, appointed a committee to investigate and make recommendations about the university's entire athletic program.1951 Detroit Titans football team
The 1951 Detroit Titans football team represented the University of Detroit in the Missouri Valley Conference during 1951 college football season. The team compiled a 4–7 record (2–4 against conference opponents), tied for fifth place in the MWC, and was outscored by opponents by a combined total of 263 to 156.In February 1951, Dutch Clark, later inducted into both the Pro and College Football Halls of Fame, was hired as the school's athletic director and head football coach. He had served as the team's backfield coach under head coach Chuck Baer in 1951.1952 Detroit Titans football team
The 1952 Detroit Titans football team represented the University of Detroit in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) during the 1952 college football season. In its second year under head coach Dutch Clark, Detroit compiled finished with a 3–6 record (1–3 against conference opponents), finished fourth in the MVC, and was outscored by all opponents by a combined total of 224 to 206.Ted Marchibroda, who later spent more than 40 years in the NFL as a player and coach, was the team's starting quarterback. Marchibroda led the nation with 1,813 yards of total offense in 1952, which included 1,637 passing yards. On November 14, in his last home game for the Titans, Marchibroda set a new national, single-game record with 390 passing yards.The team's staff included Wally Fromhart (backfield coach), Bill Pritula (line coach), Edmund J. Barbour (freshmen coach), and Dr. Raymond D. Forsyth (trainer). The team's co-captains were fullback Richard John Koster and end Peter Bonnani.1953 Detroit Titans football team
The 1953 Detroit Titans football team represented the University of Detroit in the Missouri Valley Conference during the 1953 college football season. In its third year under head coach Dutch Clark, Detroit compiled a 6–4 record (3–1 against conference opponents), tied for the MVC championship, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 231 to 124.The team's assistant coaches were Wally Fromhart (backfield coach, third year), Kenneth L. Stilley (line coach, first year), Edmund J. Barbour (freshman coach since 1931), and Dr. Raymond D. Forsyth (team physician). The team co-captains were guard Denny McCotter and tackle Dick Martwick.Colorado College Tigers football
The Colorado College Tigers football team represented Colorado College. The team was discontinued in 2008. It last competed at the NCAA Division III level.List of Detroit Lions head coaches
The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are currently a member of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The franchise has had a total of 27 head coaches in team history, which includes its existence as the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans (1930–1933). In the 1934 NFL season, the franchise moved to Detroit and changed their name to the Lions.
George "Potsy" Clark is the only coach to have more than one tenure. Three different coaches have won NFL championships with the team: Potsy Clark in 1935, Buddy Parker in 1952 and 1953, and George Wilson in 1957. Wayne Fontes is the all-time leader in games coached and wins, and Clark leads all coaches in winning percentage with .679 (with at least one full season coached). John Karcis is statistically the worst coach the Lions have had as he never won a game. Karcis is followed by Marty Mornhinweg with a winning percentage of .156.
Of the 27 Lions coaches, two have been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Dutch Clark and Joe Schmidt. Gus Dorais was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1954. Several former players have been head coach for the Lions, including Dutch Edwards, Buddy Parker, Harry Gilmer, Joe Schmidt, and Dick Jauron. The current head coach of the Lions is Matt Patricia, who was hired on February 5, 2018.List of Detroit Lions starting quarterbacks
These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Lions.List of National Football League annual rushing touchdowns leaders
This is a season-by-season list of National Football League players who have led the regular season in rushing touchdowns. Although rushing has both an offensive and a defensive meaning, this list charts offensive rushing touchdowns, usually scored by a running back, either a halfback or a fullback.
Record-keeping for rushing touchdowns began in 1932, when Bronko Nagurski of the Chicago Bears led the league with 4 rushing touchdowns. Since then, LaDainian Tomlinson has set the record for rushing touchdowns in a season, when he led the league in 2006, with 28 rushing touchdowns, while playing with the San Diego Chargers. Prior to Tomlinson's setting of the record, Priest Holmes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Shaun Alexander of the Seattle Seahawks, jointly held the record with 27, reaching that mark in 2003 NFL season and 2005, respectively.
Jim Brown holds the record for most league-leading seasons in rushing touchdowns, with 5 (1957, 1958, 1959, 1963, and 1965). Dutch Clark became the first player to lead the league in consecutive seasons (1936 and 1937), although in 1937 he co-led the league. The first sole rushing touchdowns leader in consecutive seasons was Johnny Drake, when he led in 1939 and 1940. Steve Van Buren was the first to lead the league in 3 consecutive seasons, from 1947 to 1949, a figure later matched by Jim Brown (1957 to 1959) and Leroy Kelly (1966 to 1968). Marcus Allen is the only player in NFL history to lead the league in rushing touchdowns while playing with 2 different teams; in 1982, Allen led the league while playing with the Oakland Raiders, and in 1993, he led the league while playing with the Kansas City Chiefs.
In 1943, Bill Paschal became the first NFL player to post a 10+ rushing touchdowns season, when playing for the New York Giants. 40 seasons later, in 1983, John Riggins posted the league's first 20+ rushing touchdowns season. Steve Van Buren was the first player to lead the league with consecutive 10+ rushing touchdowns seasons, in 1947 and 1948; he would add a third consecutive in 1949. Emmitt Smith posted the first consecutive league-leading 20+ rushing touchdowns seasons in 1994 and 1995–an achievement later matched by Priest Holmes, in 2003 and 2004.Wally Fromhart
Wallace Leo Fromhart (May 18, 1913 – May 23, 2002) was an American football player and coach. Born in the tiny mountain town of Newburg, West Virginia, he lived and attended school there until his freshman year of high school, after which his family moved to the significantly larger town of Moundsville, West Virginia. A gifted athlete, Fromhart played varsity baseball and football for Moundsville High School from 1929 to 1931. Following high school graduation, he worked at the local US Stamping plant until 1932 when he was offered, and accepted, an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame and play for the university's baseball team. His athletic prowess also landed him the starting quarterback position on the Fighting Irish football team during his junior academic year (1935–36).
Fromhart played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team under coach Elmer Layden (of the famed Four Horsemen) who ran an offensive scheme in which the quarterback had a limited role in the passing game. Fromhart's primary responsibilities on offense were as a blocker for the halfback, Bill Shakespeare (who actually received the bulk of the snaps and passed the ball most often), as well as a key receiver, a place kicker and a punt returner. On defense, he played the safety position. Against rival USC, in 1935, he returned an interception for 82 yards. Fromhart was starting quarterback for Notre Dame in the 18–13 victory against undefeated Ohio State in 1935.Though he was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 1936 NFL Draft, Fromhart chose instead to remain an additional year at Notre Dame to obtain teaching certification, during which time he also served as graduate assistant coach of the Fighting Irish freshman football team. Upon graduating Notre Dame, Fromhart accepted a position as head football coach for Mt. Carmel High School in Chicago (1937–46), posting a 56–17–10 record, a Catholic League title and two city championships. During his coaching tenure at Mt. Carmel, Fromhart was called to serve in the US Navy as an armed guard officer in the US Merchant Marine (1944–45) in the Atlantic Theater of World War II.
A year after returning from the war, Fromhart accepted a head football coach position at Loras College (1947–1950), in Dubuque, Iowa, where he posted a 27–9 record, including an undefeated season in 1947. During his coaching years at Loras, he also managed the Dubuque minor league baseball team. In 1951, he accepted a position as assistant coach at the University of Detroit under Dutch Clark (1951–1953), and succeeded Clark as head coach (1954–1958). In the latter position, he posted an overall record of 1925, won the Missouri Valley Conference title, and was named Catholic Coach of the Year. Fromhart ended his football coaching career in 1961 as head coach of the Sarnia, Ontario-based Sarnia Golden Bears, a semi-professional football team in the upstart American Football Conference for one season (the conference lasted only one year). With his eldest son (also named Wally Fromhart) as assistant coach, he led the team to an undefeated 10–0 regular season record and one post-season win to claim the American Football Conference championship.
Fromhart died in 2002 and is buried in South Bend, Indiana with his wife Donna Belle (Parvis) Fromhart.William T. Van de Graaff
William Travis "Bully" Van de Graaff (October 25, 1895 – April 26, 1977) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He attended Tuscaloosa High School. He played college football at the University of Alabama, where he was selected as an All-American in 1915, Alabama's first. He was 6'1" 187 pounds. "Bully" was placed on an Associated Press Southeast Area All-Time football team 1869-1919 era. Van de Graaff served as the head football coach at Colorado College from 1926 to 1939, compiling a record of 49–47–6. He coached hall of famer Dutch Clark. He died in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 26, 1977 at the age of 81. He was the older brother of physicist Robert J. Van de Graaff, the designer of the Van de Graaff generator which produces high voltages. Bully's two older brothers, Hargrove and Adrian, were also Alabama football players.