Joe Guyon

Joseph Napoleon "Big Chief" Guyon (Anishinaabe: O-Gee-Chidah, translated as "Big Brave";[1] November 26, 1892 – November 27, 1971) was an American Indian from the Ojibwa tribe (Chippewa) who was an American football and baseball player and coach. He played college football at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School from 1912 to 1913 and Georgia Institute of Technology from 1917 to 1918 and with a number of professional clubs from 1919 to 1927. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

Joe Guyon
refer to caption
Guyon at Georgia Tech c. 1918
No. 27, 11, 10, 26
Personal information
Born:November 26, 1892
White Earth, Minnesota
Died:November 27, 1971 (aged 79)
Louisville, Kentucky
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
College:Carlisle Indian
Georgia Tech
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:46
Player stats at

Early life

Guyon was born on the White Earth Indian Reservation in White Earth, Minnesota.[1] He received only a sixth-grade education from the American government.[1] Guyon also spent time in Magdalena, New Mexico.[2]

Football career



Guyon attended and played college football at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School from 1912 to 1913 under head coach Pop Warner.[3] Sportswriters often tried to call him "Injun Joe" after the character in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but it never much caught on outside the press.

1912 Carlisle Indians

The 1912 team posted a 12–1–1 record, scored 454 points, and was Jim Thorpe's greatest season. Guyon played on the team as left tackle.[4] In the game against Army featuring the likes of future US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Leland Devore was ejected for manhandling Guyon.[5]

The 1913 team went 10–1–1, scoring 296 points. Guyon shifted to Thorpe's place at halfback and was honored by Walter Camp as a second-team All-American.[3]


From 1914 to 1915, Guyon attended the Keewatin Academy in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin,[6] to regain college eligibility.[7]

Georgia Tech

Guyon then attended and played football at Georgia Tech from 1917 to 1918 under head coach John Heisman.[n 1] Guyon was used mainly as a halfback. His brother Charles "Wahoo" Guyon was the assistant coach. For his time spent playing at Georgia Tech, Guyon was a unanimous selection for an Associated Press Southeast Area All-Time football team 1869-1919 era.[8] Fullback Judy Harlan said about Guyon, "Once in a while the Indian would come out in Joe, such as the nights Heisman gave us a white football and had us working out under the lights. That's when Guyon would give out the blood curdling war whoops."[9]

1917 Georgia Tech backfield
Tech's 1917 backfield; left to right: Strupper, Harlan, Guyon, and Hill

The 1917 team went 9–0, scored 491 points, was crowned national champion, and was for many years considered "the greatest the South ever produced."[10] Guyon played right halfback, where he was the team's power back and best passer. He was a unanimous All-Southern selection,[11] and considered by some the South's best back.[12] His first run from scrimmage for Tech was a 75-yard touchdown against Wake Forest.[13]

In a 63–0 rout of Washington & Lee, Guyon knocked a Washington & Lee player out of the game by "wearing an old horse collar shaped into a shoulder pad but reinforced with a little steel" according to Judy Harlan.[n 2] Against Vanderbilt University he had arguably his greatest game, running 12 times for 344 yards in an 83–0 blowout.[3] According to sportswriter Morgan Blake, "Guyon has been great in all games this year. But Saturday he was the superman".[15]

Against Tulane, each of the four members of the backfield eclipsed 100 yards rushing. "Strupper, Guyon, Hill, and Harlan form a backfield with no superiors and few equals in football history" wrote the Times-Picayune.[16] He passed for two touchdowns and ran for one, passing 91 yards and running 112:[16] "Guyon's passing was so accurate it suggest possibilities yet undeveloped in the Tech offense".[16] In the large, 68–7 win over Auburn, Guyon once dove at its star Moon Ducote and missed, but Guyon gave chase from behind and tackled him at the 26-yard line.[17]

The 1918 team went 6–1, scoring 462. Guyon was used mainly as a fullback, though sometimes as a tackle. He was honored as a tackle on Frank G. Menke's first All-America team.[3]



Guyon signed to play professional football with the Canton Bulldogs in 1919.[1] After the NFL was organized in 1920, he played seven more seasons with the Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, Oorang Indians, Rock Island Independents, Kansas City Cowboys, and the New York Giants. From 1919 to 1924, he teamed with another outstanding Indian halfback, Jim Thorpe. They parted ways late in the 1924 season when Guyon left the Independents to go to Kansas City. He stayed with the Cowboys in 1925 while Thorpe went to the Giants.[1]

Then in 1927, Guyon joined the Giants and helped lead the team to the 1927 NFL Championship.[1]


Guyon coached the Bulldogs of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee in 1919.[18] He returned to Union in 1923 and coached all sports from 1923 to 1927.[19][20] Union inducted Guyon into its sports hall of fame in 2008.[21]

Guyon coached the backfield of the 1920 Georgia Tech team.[22] He also coached high school football at St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky from 1931 to 1933, with a 16–7–2 record.[3]

Baseball career

Guyon was also a "minor league baseball star".[23]


Guyon had previously hit over .340 three consecutive years for the Louisville Colonels in the American Association, which at AA, was at the highest classification of the era. His playing career as an outfielder extended from 1920 through 1936 with a break during his college coaching career.


Guyon was the head coach of the Clemson Tigers baseball team at Clemson University from 1928 to 1931. He managed the Anderson Electrics in the Palmetto League in 1931, the Asheville Tourists in 1932, and the Fieldale Towlers in 1936.


  1. ^ From 1914 to 1918, Georgia Tech had a 33-game unbeaten streak, during which in four (nonconsecutive) games of the streak Georgia Tech scored 222, 128, 119, and then 118.[3]
  2. ^ The player may have been Turner Bethel, who was knocked out of the game and taken to a local hospital.[9][14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Joe Guyon's HOF Profile". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  2. ^ "Georgia Tech Boasts All-Southern Eleven". Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. November 20, 1918. p. 6. Retrieved December 17, 2015 – via open access
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Joe Guyon". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  4. ^ C. Richard King. Native Americans in Sports. p. 137.
  5. ^ Sentinel, Joseph Cress, The. "Carlisle vs. Army: 100 years later, game remembered for celebrity players".
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "All-Time Football Team Lists Greats Of Past, Present". Gadsden Times. July 27, 1969.
  9. ^ a b Umphlett 1992, p. 142
  10. ^ Umphlett 1992, p. 141
  11. ^ Spalding Football Guide. 1918.
  12. ^ "Strupper and Guyon of Georgia Tech Are Hailed As Two of the Greatest Pigskin Heroes In Seasons". The Day. November 19, 1917.
  13. ^ "Jackets Win Double Bill" (PDF). The Technique. October 2, 1917. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 30, 2014.
  14. ^ "Georgia Crushes W. And. L" (PDF). The New York Times. October 21, 1917. p. 3.
  15. ^ McCarty 1988a, p. 5
  16. ^ a b c McCarty 1988b, p. 15
  17. ^ "Golden Tornado Wins Great Victory" (PDF). The Technique. December 4, 1917. p. 4.
  18. ^ Union University (1920-01-01). Lest We Forget 1920. Student Organizations of Union University.
  19. ^ "Coach Guyon Leaves Union". Cardinal and Cream. April 8, 1927 – via Union University Archives.
  20. ^ "Union to induct six into Sports Hall of Fame Nov. 7 - News Release".
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Blue Print, 1921". 1 January 1921.
  23. ^


External links

1912 Carlisle Indians football team

The 1912 Carlisle Indians football team represented the Carlisle Indians football team of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School during the 1912 college football season. The Indians were coached by Pop Warner in his 11th year as head coach.. The team compiled a record of 12–1–1, outscored opponents 454 to 120, leading the nation in scoring. It featured the Hall of Famers Jim Thorpe, Joe Guyon, and Gus Welch. Dwight D. Eisenhower was a halfback on the Army team defeated by Carlisle.

The 1912 season included many rule changes such as the 100-yard field and the 6-point touchdown. The first six-point touchdowns were registered in Carlisle's 50-7 win over Albright College on September 21.

1917 College Football All-Southern Team

The 1917 College Football All-Southern Team consists of American football players selected to the College Football All-Southern Teams selected by various organizations for the 1917 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football season. Georgia Tech won the SIAA and the south's first national championship. Walker Carpenter and Everett Strupper were the first two players from the Deep South selected first-team All-American.

1917 Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football team

The 1917 Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football team represented the Georgia Institute of Technology (commonly known as Georgia Tech) in American football during the 1917 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football season. The Golden Tornado, coached by John Heisman in his 14th year as head coach, compiled a 9–0 record (4–0 SIAA) and outscored opponents 491 to 17 on the way to its first national championship. Heisman considered the 1917 team his best, and for many years it was considered "the greatest football team the South had ever produced". The team was named national champion by Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, and NCF The backfield of Albert Hill, Everett Strupper, Joe Guyon, and Judy Harlan led the Golden Tornado, and all four rushed for more than 100 yards in a 48–0 victory over Tulane. During the regular season Georgia Tech defeated strong opponents by large margins, and its 41–0 victory over eastern power Penn shocked many. Davidson, with Buck Flowers (a future Tech star), was defeated 32–10. Tech's 83–0 victory over Vanderbilt is the worst loss in Vanderbilt history, and its 63–0 defeat of Washington & Lee was the worst loss in W&L history at the time. Tech finished the season by defeating Auburn 68–7, clinching the conference title. Davidson and Auburn were the only teams to score points against Georgia Tech.

1918 College Football All-America Team

The 1918 College Football All-America team consists of American football players selected to the College Football All-America Teams selected by various organizations for the 1918 college football season.

1918 Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football team

The 1918 Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football team represented the Georgia Tech Golden Tornado of the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1918 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football season. The Tornado was coached by John Heisman in his 15th year as head coach, compiling a record of 6–1 (3–0 SIAA) and outscoring opponents 466 to 32. Georgia Tech played its home games at Grant Field.

Tech eclipsed 100 points three different times. Its only road game was its only loss to national champion Pittsburgh at Forbes Field. Pittsburgh was the only team to score on Tech during the 1918 season. The defeat ended Georgia Tech's 33-game winning streak.

Center Bum Day was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American. He was a first-team selection by Walter Camp; the first Southerner to be chosen for Camp's All-America first team. Bill Fincher and Joe Guyon also made consensus All-America. Fincher and Buck Flowers made Camp's second-team.

1920 All-Pro Team

The 1920 All-Pro Team represented the All-Pro team for the 1920 season of the American Professional Football Association (APFA), later renamed the National Football League (NFL). It was compiled by sportswriter Bruce Copeland.

1920 Canton Bulldogs season

The 1920 Canton Bulldogs season was the franchise's sixteenth and its first in the American Professional Football Association (APFA), which became the National Football League two years later. Jim Thorpe, the APFA's president, was Canton's coach and a back who played on the team. The Bulldogs entered the season coming off a 9–0–1 performance as Ohio League champions in 1919. The team opened the season with a 48–0 victory over the Pitcairn Quakers, and finished with a 7–4–2 record, taking eighth place in the 14-team APFA. A then-record crowd of 17,000 fans watched Canton's week 12 game against Union AA of Phoenixville.

The 1920 season was Thorpe's last with the Bulldogs. Thorpe, who was of mixed American Indian ancestry, left after the season to organize and play for an all-Native American team in LaRue, Ohio. Cap Edwards replaced Thorpe as the team's coach, and Wilbur Henry, Cub Buck, Harrie Dadmun, Joe Guyon, and Pete Calac were named to the All-Pro list. Three 1920 Bulldogs players—Thorpe, Guyon and Pete Henry—were later elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Cleveland Tigers (NFL)

The Cleveland Tigers were the first Cleveland, Ohio team franchise in what became the National Football League (NFL). The Tigers played in the "Ohio League" before joining the American Professional Football Association (later renamed the National Football League in 1922) during the 1920 and 1921 seasons.

Eagle Feather

Beamus Pierce aka Eagle Feather was a professional football player who played in the National Football League during the 1922 and 1923 seasons. He played college football at the Carlisle Indian School, located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, before joining the NFL's Oorang Indians. The Indians were a team based in LaRue, Ohio, composed only of Native Americans, and coached by Jim Thorpe. Eagle Feather was a Mohican.On October 8, 1922, Eagle Feather and teammate Joe Guyon made history by making the Indians the first team with two 100-yard rushers in one game. That game Guyon ran for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns off of 13 carries. Meanwhile, Eagle Feather ran for 109 yards on 16 carries for 1 touchdown as the Indians beat the Columbus Panhandles 20-6. During that game Eagle Feather's runs up the middle of the field were referred to as the main feature of the Oorang offense. He also served the team as a blocking back for Guyon in 13-6 loss to the Minneapolis Marines.

Emmett McLemore

Emmett "Red Fox" McLemore (September 12, 1899 – May 19, 1973) was a professional football player who played in the National Football League during the 1923 season. That season, he joined the NFL's Oorang Indians. The Indians were a team based in LaRue, Ohio, composed only of Native Americans, and coached by Jim Thorpe. Emmett was a Cherokee.

On December 2, 1923, McLemore recorded a touchdown to Arrowhead and made a field goal after a Joe Guyon interception. However, he missed two extra point kicks in a 22-19 loss to the Chicago Cardinals. During that same game a McLemore punt hit a Cardinals' player and was soon picked up by Ted Buffalo for a score. A week later on December 7, McLemore caught two passes from Guyon for touchdowns in a 19-0 victory over the Louisville Brecks.

He spent the 1924 season playing in 4 NFL games with the Kansas City Blues.

Everett Strupper

George Everett Strupper Jr. (July 26, 1896 – February 4, 1950), known variously as "Ev" or "Strup" or "Stroop" was an American football player. He played halfback for Georgia Tech from 1915 to 1917. Strupper overcame deafness resulting from a childhood illness and was selected as an All-American in 1917.

During Strupper's three years playing for Georgia Tech, the team compiled a record of 24–0–2 and outscored its opponents by a combined score of 1,135 to 61. In Georgia Tech's record-setting 222–0 win over Cumberland College in 1916, Strupper scored eight touchdowns. For many years, 1917 Georgia Tech was considered the greatest football team the South ever produced. Strupper starred as part of a renowned backfield including also Joe Guyon, Judy Harlan, and Al Hill. Strupper and teammate Walker Carpenter were the first players from the Deep South selected for an All-America first team.

Sportswriter Morgan Blake called Strupper "probably the greatest running half-back the South has known." Bernie McCarty writes "Strupper ranks among the greatest broken-field gallopers in Southern football history. And he caught and threw passes, returned kicks, blocked well, punted and played a bang-up defensive game." He was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972 and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1974.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represents the Georgia Institute of Technology in the sport of American football. The Yellow Jackets team competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Georgia Tech has fielded a football team since 1892 and, as of 2017, has an all-time record of 728–496–43 (a .592 winning percentage). The Yellow Jackets play in Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field in Atlanta, which has a capacity of 55,000.

One of the most successful college football programs over a long history, the Yellow Jackets have won four national championships across four different decades (1917, 1928, 1952, 1990) as well as sixteen conference titles. Among the team's former coaches are John Heisman, for whom the Heisman Trophy is named, and Bobby Dodd, for whom the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award and the school's stadium are named. Heisman led the team to the most lopsided game in football history, 222–0, and both Heisman and Dodd led Tech's football team to national championships. Dodd also led the Jackets on their longest winning streak — 8 straight games — against the University of Georgia in Tech's most time-endured rivalry, called Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. For his part, Heisman led Georgia Tech to an undefeated 12–0–1 record in the Georgia Tech–Clemson football rivalry and what made it sting even more was that Heisman had previously coached Clemson.

A number of successful collegiate and professional football players have also played for Tech. The program has 48 first-team All-Americans and over 150 alumni who have played in the NFL. Among the most lauded and most notable players the school has produced are Maxie Baughan, Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Keith Brooking, Joe Hamilton, Joe Guyon, and Billy Shaw.

In the twenty-first century, Georgia Tech has won their Coastal Division and appeared in the ACC Championship Game four times since 2006. In addition to its conference and national championships, legendary coaches, and talented players, Tech's football program has been noted for its many bizarre traditions and improbable game finishes throughout the years.

Judy Harlan

Julian Washington "Judy" Harlan Jr. (November 6, 1896 – May 20, 1978) was an American college football player for the Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was the fullback in Georgia Tech's famous backfield of 1917, and was also a Georgia Tech track athlete.

List of Georgia Institute of Technology athletes

Georgia Institute of Technology has graduated a number of athletes. This includes graduates, non-graduate former students and current students of Georgia Tech who are notable for their achievements within athletics, sometimes before or after their time at Georgia Tech. Other alumni can be found in the list of Georgia Institute of Technology alumni; notable administration, faculty, and staff can be found on the list of Georgia Institute of Technology faculty. Intercollegiate sports teams at Georgia Tech are called "Yellow Jackets", and are run by the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. The Athletic Association runs Georgia Tech's Hall of Fame, which has inducted many of Tech's greatest players throughout the program's history.

Despite their technical backgrounds and courses of study, many Georgia Tech students participate in college athletics, outdoor activities and other forms of sport. Georgia Tech offers seventeen varsity sports: Men's Football, Men's and Women's Basketball, Men's Baseball, Women's Softball, Women's Volleyball, Men's Golf, Men's and Women's Tennis, Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving, Men's and Women's Track and Field, and Men's and Women's Cross Country. Approximately 150 Tech students have gone into the National Football League (NFL), with many others going into the National Basketball Association (NBA) or Major League Baseball (MLB). Some Tech players have also participated in the Olympic Games.

Well-known American football athletes include former students Calvin Johnson, Ken Whisenhunt, and Keith Brooking, former Tech head football coaches John Heisman, and Bobby Dodd, and all-time greats such as Joe Hamilton, Pat Swilling, Billy Shaw, and Joe Guyon. Tech's entrants into the NBA include Dennis Scott, Mark Price, John Salley, Stephon Marbury, and Chris Bosh. Award-winning baseball stars include Mark Teixeira, Nomar Garciaparra, and Jason Varitek. In golf, Bobby Jones founded The Masters, David Duval was ranked #1 in the world in 2001, and Stewart Cink won the 2009 British Open.

List of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees from defunct NFL franchises

This is a list of inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame that includes players, coaches, and contributors (e.g., owners and team or league officials) who have "made outstanding contributions to professional football". These inductees played or coached for franchises that are no longer active. The "charter" class of seventeen was selected in 1963.Enshrinees are selected by a 44-person Selection Committee which meets each year at the time and location of the Super Bowl. Current rules of the committee stipulate that between four and seven individuals are selected each year. Any person may nominate an individual to the hall, provided the nominee has not played or coached for at least five seasons prior to the nomination. Not including the charter class, 67 players have been inducted in their first year of eligibility.In addition to the regular Selection Committee, which primarily focuses on contributions made over the past approximately thirty seasons, a nine-member Seniors Committee (which is a subset of the larger committee) submits two nominees each year whose contributions came prior to 1985. These nominees are referred as "Seniors nominees" (formerly "old-timer" nominees).Two Hall of Famers, Joe Guyon and another Indian halfback, Jim Thorpe, stayed paired together from 1919–1924 on four defunct teams. Starting with the 1919–1920 Canton Bulldogs, they next played for the 1921 Cleveland Indians, 1922–1923 Oorang Indians, and the 1924 Rock Island Independents.

Offensive backfield

The offensive backfield is the area of an American football field behind the line of scrimmage. The offensive backfield can also refer to members of offense who begin plays behind the line, typically including any backs on the field, such as the quarterback, halfbacks and fullback.

Oorang Indians

The Oorang Indians () were a traveling team in the National Football League from LaRue, Ohio (near Marion). The franchise was a novelty team put together by Walter Lingo to market his Oorang dog kennels. All of the Indians players were Native American, with Jim Thorpe serving as its leading player and coach. The team played in the National Football League in 1922 and 1923. Of the 20 games they played over two seasons, only one was played at "home" in nearby Marion. With a population well under a thousand people, LaRue remains the smallest town ever to have been the home of an NFL franchise, or probably any professional team in any league in the United States.

Pete Calac

Pedro "Pete" Calac (May 13, 1892 – January 30, 1968) was a professional football player who played in the Ohio League and during the early years of the National Football League. Over the course of his 10-year career he played for the Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, Oorang Indians and the Buffalo Bisons.

Rock Island Independents

The Rock Island Independents were a professional American football team, based in Rock Island, Illinois, from 1907–1926. The Independents were a founding National Football League franchise. They hosted what has been retrospectively designated the First National Football League Game on September 26, 1920 at Douglas Park.

In 1926, the Independents left the NFL to become a charter member of the first American Football League, the only NFL team to do so. The Independents then folded along with the entire league in 1927.Pro Football Hall of Fame alumni Jimmy Conzelman (1920–1921), Joe Guyon (1924), Ed Healey (1920–1922) and Jim Thorpe (1924–1925) played for the Independents.

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