When Pitt Ruled the Gridiron

Jock Sutherland’s Five-Time National Champions, 1929–1937


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About the Book

Between 1929 and 1937, Hall of Fame coach Jock Sutherland took the championship program at the University of Pittsburgh that was built by his mentor Glenn “Pop” Warner, and won five of the nine national championships the school now claims. While a successful period, it was also controversial: Sutherland enjoyed the support of a group of wealthy boosters named the Golden Panthers, who helped him secure the services of the best players western Pennsylvania had to offer. While they made sure the players had what they needed, the school also made sure they had enough money to be comfortable. Critics accused Pitt of employing what amounted to professional athletes in a college sport. These accusations not only embarrassed the school administration, but led to the end of their dynasty and its coach. This book tells the exciting tale of their championship run, and describes how their downfall began what has since been a continual academics versus athletics tug-of-war at the school.

About the Author(s)

Dave Finoli is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research as well as the National Football Foundation. He works in retail management and lives in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

David Finoli
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: 21 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9426-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1750-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Introduction 1

1. The Building Blocks 3

2. 1929: Uansa’s Boys 12

3. 1930 Rose Bowl: A California Nightmare 43

4. 1931: A Quick Rebuilding Process 51

5. 1932: The Program Up and Running 88

6. 1933 Rose Bowl: A Rematch Gone Bad 112

7. 1933: Close but No Championship 121

8. 1934: A Forgotten Title 147

9. 1936: Everything for Football 176

10. 1937 Rose Bowl: Pitt’s Greatest Day 209

11. 1937: The Troubled Championship 219

12. The End of the Glory Days 253

Appendix 261

Notes 264

Bibliography 268

Index 270