Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Earl "Tuffy" Abell

Earl "Tuffy" Abell


  • Position: Tackle
  • School: Colgate
  • High School: Portage, WI (Portage HS)
  • Years: 1912-1915
  • Inducted: 1973
  • Place of Birth: Portage, WI
  • Date of Birth: May 29, 1892
  • Place of Death: Pardeeville, WI
  • Date of Death: May 26, 1956
  • Height: 5-11
  • Weight: 204

Member Biography

They called him "Toughy", and Colgate's Earl Abell lived up to the name with a vengeance. A colossal broad-shouldered, thick-necked hulk of a man well suited to play the reckless, bruising brand of football known in the Pioneer years of the game. Ellery Huntington, a teammate on the 1913 team, remembered Abell as being, "remarkably fast. He broke through like a streak to spill the play before it formed. Abell was fast enough to play end." "Toughy" was as versatile as he was huge, often handling Colgate kicking and punting chores. He once drop-kicked a field goal from the 41-yard line in a 1915 game against Yale. That same season, Abell captained the Colgate team and gained All-America recognition. The Maroon finished with five victories in six games. The 1915 team shut out five opponents and scored 107 points against R.P.I. During Earl's playing career, Colgate won 21, lost six and tied two. Abell returned to Colgate as an assistant coach in 1925 and as a head coach in 1928. Abell ended his collegiate career coaching at the University of Virginia the following two seasons.