Henry Clifford Carlson

A colorful and charismatic bench coach, Clifford Carlson was a coach that opposing fans loved to hate. Shrewd and cunning, Carlson knew how to win and how to extract the most out of his talent. His antics on the sideline would often infuriate fans, opposing coaches, and players. The kind of coach who could occasionally pull off the upset, his teams were disciplined and nothing would make him alter his style. Although his own fans loved him, playing against his team was no fun. In 1922, Carlson designed the Figure 8 offense as coach at the University of Pittsburgh. This classic play, an innovative series of offensive patterns, weaves, and ball control, was based on movement and determination, and was widely copied. In 1928, Pittsburgh went a perfect 21-0 and won the national championship. Carlson’s Panthers won a second national championship in 1930. Carlson coached 31 seasons at Pittsburgh including one undefeated season in 1928.