(Born April 5, 1871) -- The name of Pop Warner has become closely associated with the game of football. His connection to Western New York isn't as well known, even around here.
Warner was born in Springville and played football for Cornell from 1892 to 1894. He picked up the nickname "Pop" because he was older than most of his contemporaries.
Warner was hired to coach at the University of Georgia in 1895, and he was also hired at Iowa State that year to do the same job. Somehow he made the logistics work. Warner returned to Cornell a couple of times, and then worked at Carlyle in Pennsylvania where he coached all-time great Jim Thorpe.
From there it was on to Pittsburgh, where Warner did some of his best work. He won three national championships for the Panthers, with titles coming in 1915, 1916 and 1918. Warner had a record of 60-12-4. then it was on to Stanford, where he won a fourth national title, and to Temple.
Football would have a different look without Warner. For example, he invented the screen pass, and pioneered the use of shoulder and thigh pads.
Meanwhile, a youth football program was set up to honor him well after retirement. There are now more than 300,000 children involved in Pop Warner football. He's even been on a stamp.
--- Budd Bailey
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