Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

George Woodruff

George Woodruff


  • Position: Coach
  • School: Pennsylvania, Illinois, Carlisle
  • Years: 1892-1905
  • Inducted: 1963
  • Place of Birth: Dimmock, PA
  • Date of Birth: Feb 22, 1864
  • Place of Death: Harrisburg. PA
  • Date of Death: Mar 23, 1934

Member Biography

George Woodruff reported for football at Yale in 1885, and immediately began to introduce innovations to the game. As a four-year starter, Woodruff invented the "running guard", and later pioneered the guards-back play, a forerunner of Minnesota and Army coach Henry Williams' tackle-back set. Woodruff also devised the idea of crashing ends on defense. In his playing days from 1885-1888, Yale had a 38-1-1 record and outscored opponents 2262-27. He was on the track team, captain of the crew team, a Phi Beta Kappa student, and winner of the Winthrop Award for excellence in Greek and Latin. He coached Pennsylvania from 1892-1901. His team had winning streaks of 34 and 31 games. In 1894-97 they went 55-1. The 1895 and 1897 teams were national champions. His 10-year record at Pennsylvania was 124-15-2, scoring 1777 points to 88. He obtained a law degree at Pennsylvania and began practicing law in between football seasons. He returned to coaching at Illinois in 1903 and Carlisle Indian School in 1905. His career record for 12 years was 139-25-2, a percentage of .854. Woodruff was associated with famous players. His teammates at Yale included Amos Alonso Stagg, Pudge Heffelfinger, and Pa Corbin. At Penn he coached John Heisman, Truxton Hare, and Charles Gelbert. His law career included these positions: Law officer U. S. Forestry service 1903-07; U. S. Assistant attorney general 1907-1909; acting Secretary of Interior 1907; U. S. district judge, Hawaii, 1909-1910; regent, College of Hawaii 1910; secretary treasurer Pocahontas College of West Virginia 1910-1918; chief Pennsylvania Department of Forestry 1920-21; Pennsylvania attorney general 1923-27; Pennsylvania public utilities commission 1931-34. George Washington Woodruff was born February 22, 1864, in Dimmock, PA. He died March 23, 1934.