Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Knowlton "Snake" Ames

Knowlton "Snake" Ames


  • Position: Fullback
  • School: Princeton
  • High School: Faribault, MN (Shattuck Military Academy)Lawrenceville, NJ (Lawrenceville Prep)
  • Years: 1886-1889
  • Inducted: 1969
  • Place of Birth: Chicago, IL
  • Date of Birth: May 27, 1868
  • Place of Death: Chicago, IL
  • Date of Death: Dec 23, 1931
  • Height: 5-10
  • Weight: 157

Member Biography

One of college football's greatest broken-field runners, Knowlton "Snake" Ames was a member of the first All- America team in 1889. Of Ames, Pudge Heffelfinger said, "He was clever at spinning, changing direction and faking the tackler. It was fatal to go for his knees or legs. They wouldn't be there." Ames and his Princeton teammates are credited with being the first team to fully develop the "power sweep." A true football innovator, Ames was perhaps the first player to execute a fake punt and he also developed a unique running style which enabled him to duck tacklers. His speed and elusiveness resulted in many spectacular long runs. In one game alone Ames returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown, returned another kick 50 yards and ran 105 yards from scrimmage. In Ames' era, football was played on a 110 yard field. Over 100 years since his playing days ended Ames still holds nearly all the Princeton scoring records. In his career, "Snake" scored 730 points, 62 touchdowns and 176 points after touchdowns. In a single game against Pennsylvania he scored 60 points. Ames was a member of Princeton teams that compiled a 35-3-1 record in his four varsity seasons.
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