Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Howard Harpster

Howard Harpster


  • Position: Quarterback
  • School: Carnegie Mellon (Pa.)
  • High School: Akron, OH (Unknown)
  • Years: 1926-1928
  • Inducted: 1956
  • Place of Birth: Salem, OH
  • Date of Birth: May 14, 1907
  • Place of Death: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Date of Death: Apr 09, 1980
  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 160

Member Biography

While quarterback remains a position that requires leadership and strategic thought, these qualities were even more necessary of quarterbacks in years gone by. Carnegie Tech's Howard Harpster was a such a strategist whose ability to pull off the unexpected brought him acclaim as one of the great Eastern quarterbacks of the late 1920's. He was one of the first to challenge enemy defenses by passing from his own end zone, making it a successful maneuver. During a 1928 game against Notre Dame, Howard called for a quarterback sneak on a third-down-and-15 play, turning the surprise call into a 35-yard gain. His game-situation reactions prompted many to say he had the mind of a coach. He rarely threw interceptions and led Carnegie Tech to a 7-1 record in 1928, garnering All-America laurels along the way. Harpster was equally impressive as a safety. During his three varsity seasons, Tech's goal was crossed only three times, once on a fumble recovered by Notre Dame in the end zone. Howard did all of his team's kicking and punting and was noted for consistently booting within the 60 to 65 yard range. In 1933, at the youthful age of 25, Harpster became Carnegie Tech's head coach. In four seasons, against a major-college schedule, his team had a 12-20-3 record. He posted victories over Notre Dame, Temple, and Purdue and tied Pitt and Michigan State.