Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Walter "The Father of Football" Camp

Walter "The Father of Football" Camp


  • Position: Coach
  • School: Yale, Stanford
  • Years: 1888-1895
  • Inducted: 1951
  • Place of Birth: New Britain, CT
  • Date of Birth: Apr 17, 1859
  • Place of Death: New York, NY
  • Date of Death: Mar 14, 1925

Member Biography

Walter Chauncey Camp is known as "The Father of American Football". Born in New Britain, Conn., April 17, 1859, he would be a Yale halfback and captain, and a member of the Intercollegiate Football Rules Committee for 48 years. His innovative mind would restructure the game from rugby to American football, creating the scrimmage line, the 11-man team, signal-calling and the quarterback position. Camp was the originator of the rule whereby a team had to give up the ball unless it had advanced a specified distance within a set number of downs. Camp studied medicine at Yale for two years, but gave it up to go to work in his uncle's watch factory and coach the 1888 Yale football team. Camp and Caspar Whitney collaborated in selecting the first All-America team one year later. Camp was the first man to publish a book on football, and was also a pioneer in the use of pictures and illustrations as coaching aids. He coached Yale 1888-92 and Stanford 1892, 1894-95. In 1892 he coached both. First he led Yale to a 13-0 season, then he went to Stanford, where the season started Dec. 17, and had a 2-0-2 record. Camp headed the rules committee and was editor of the official guide. He died March 14, 1925.