On this day in sports history

BY COLIN “BIG C”

MACGUIRE

The Greenville Standard

Alabama football has had players to earn All-America recognition over the years. The first player to earn this distinction was William T. Van de Graff, better known as Bully. Van de Graff attended Tuscaloosa High School and played tackle at Alabama from 1913-15. He was named All- America in his senior year. Van de Graff was 6’ 1” 187 pounds which is a slight size difference from today’s lineman in college. Van de Graff was named to the AP Southeast Area All- Time Team from 1869-1919 which was the first fifty years of college football. Van de Graff was an assistant coach at Alabama from 1921-1926. Van de Graff was on the staff of Coach Zen Scott and Coach Wallace Wade. During Van de Graff’s last two years, Alabama won the national championship. Van de Graff was able to parlay this into a head coaching job at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Co. Van de Graff coached from 1927-1939. His record was 49- 47-6. Coach Van de Graff then joined the military. Coach Van de Graff retired as colonel. Coach Van de Graff passed away on April 26, 1977 at the age of 82 in Colorado Springs. Next week I will cover another All-American.

 

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