Monday
Jun222009

Henry Clifford Carlson

Enshrined 1959
Murray City, OH
July 4, 1894 - November 1, 1964

Biography

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 would win another title in 1930. Carlson also doubled as a physician.

Career Highlights

Created the Figure 8 offense, 1922
Helms National Championship with Pittsburgh, 1928, 1930
First coach to take an Eastern team out West, 1931
Advocate of intersectional collegiate play