Tales from the Morgue: UA's new football coach

2012-01-18T08:15:00Z Tales from the Morgue: UA's new football coachJohanna Eubank Arizona Daily Star
January 18, 2012 8:15 am  • 

A new head football coach for the University of Arizona was named to replace Bob Winslow, who resigned at the end of 1951. The new coach wasted no time in naming a couple of his assistants.

From the front page of the Arizona Daily Star, Feb. 1, 1952:

 

 

Woodson Is Chosen New Arizona Coach
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Warren Woodson, Hardin-Simmons football coach and athletic director, was named to replace Bob Winslow yesterday as head mentor of the Arizona varsity.

Last night Woodson selected Henry Stanton, former Wildcat great, as end coach and retained Odis Crowell as line coach.

In a telephone interview with the Arizona Daily Star from his home in Abilene, Tex., Woodson also said that he hopes to name his new backfield coach shortly.

Ned Mathews, current UA backfield coach, and End Coach Don Vosberg will not be retained on the staff, Woodson said. Both intend to remain in Tucson in business.

Woodson is a native of Fort Worth, Tex. A light 132-pounder, he was a reserve on great Baylor football teams. In 1927 he coached at Texarkana Junior College and won 52, lost 21 and tied six through 1934. He moved to Arkansas State Teachers' College in 1935 and in six seasons had a record of 40 wins, seven losses and three ties.

The 48-year-old veteran coach took over at Hardin-Simmons in 1941. He piloted the Cowboys to one Border conference championship and two ties. His eight-year record there shows 58 wins, 23 losses and six ties.

At Arizona Woodson will begin his 23rd season of coaching. He is married and has a six-year-old daughter, Dawn. Woodson said yesterday that he will arrive in Tucson next Tuesday and begin spring practice here Feb. 11.

Stanton was a Little All-America end for Arizona in 1941 and set three national pass catching records, one of which still stands. Crowell came to Arizona from West Texas last year.

In announcing the appointment of Woodson, Dr. Richard A. Harvill, University of Arizona president, made the following statement:

"I believe that Mr. Woodson is splendidly qualified for the position of head football coach and professor of physical education at the University of Arizona. He has enjoyed many years of experience and has demonstrated outstanding ability as a teacher and a coach. He possesses the personal and professional qualifications that we seek in the person who is to provide the leadership for the kind of a football program we have in mind at the University of Arizona.

"He was selected from a list of more than 75 applicants who are from all parts of the United States. We have been gratified in being able to make a choice from a number of well-qualified persons."

At Hardin-Simmons President Rupert N. Richardson said that the school is already working on a replacement for Woodson.

President Richardson added: "We deeply appreciate the extraordinary record which Mr. Woodson made at Hardin-Simmons and wish him every success in his new post. We appreciated him not only as a coach but as a man of character on and off the football field."

 

The Sports section featured more information about the new coach. He said he would aim for first place in the Border conference, although any coach worth his salt should say that. One must always strive for the top.

From the Sports section of the Star, Feb. 1, 1952:

 

Woodson Eyes Top BC Spot for UA Grid Club
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New Arizona Football Mentor Says
Wildcats Will Aim for First Place in Circuit,
Despite Extra-Strong Competition

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By ABE CHANIN
Star Sports Writer

Arizona football will aim for the top of the Border conference under its newly-appointed head coach, the veteran Warren Woodson of Hardin-Simmons.

In a telephone interview with the Arizona Daily Star yesterday Woodson said that although he knows the 1952 Border conference will have many very strong teams, "we'll aim for the top."

The 48-year-old coach had several strong recommendations for his appointment at Arizona:

1)—He won the 1946 BC championship and tied for two others.

2)—His Hardin-Simmons teams defeated Arizona in five of seven meetings and, rather incidentally, his Cowboys won eight straight over Tempe.

3)—His plans for Arizona football are co-ordinated with the administration's desires which were announced as no further emphasis on the sport but no de-emphasis.

4)—Although he was given free reign to pick a staff of assistants, he took suggestions that he have an Arizona product.

Woodson's choice of an Arizona product was Hank Stanton as end coach. Big Hank is called Arizona's all-time greatest offensive end. In 1941, Stanton, who came to Arizona from Clifton, set a national record of 50 catches in one season for 820 yards gained and an average of 82 yards per game. He was first team Little All-American and played in the East-West game in 1941.

Stanton graduated that year and in between military service, played pro ball with the New York Giants. After the war, Hank went to Tempe to finish out work towards (sic) his master's degree and then went on the Tempe staff as end coach.

Odie Crowell, retained as line coach by Woodson, came to Arizona last year after turning out a brilliant line at West Texas State. He was a professional star on the line for the San Francisco 49ers.

Woodson was still undecided as to his backfield coaching choice.

The dark-haired new head coach was very pleased with his selection.

"Arizona is tops to me," Woodson said over the phone from Abilene, Tex. "If I looked all over the country at coaching jobs, I would pick Arizona. I like the climate out there. They have dry weather at Tucson they tell me. You know that is good for passing and we're going to pass a lot at Arizona. Fans like a wide open game with lots of passing.

"Allan Stanton looked very good to me as a passer. Yes, we'll do an awful lot of passing."

Woodson said his aim is to do the best with what is available at Arizona.

"First I want to fit the football program in with Arizona's wants. And I want to stay within bounds of reason with the administration's plans. The Border conference will be very tough in 1952 but we will aim at the top.

"Tempe is already ahead of us. Texas Tech is ahead of everyone. That's natural enough. They are working hard at Lubbuck. They are good now and they will be better in the future."

Woodson has already set spring practice for Feb. 11. His plans for the spring drills are:

"We'll work on the fundamentals first. By fundamentals I mean everything. How to pass; how to catch passes; how to block and tackle. I understand that is the usual practice there."

After spring practiuce the first thing Woodson said he will do is to go after Arizona high school material. "We are going to try to convince them that the University of Arizona is the place where they belong."

Woodson said he hasn't had a chance to do any recruiting in Texas and hasn't any junior college transfers coming to enroll here for the second semester.

"I just didn't have time to do anything. I didn't have the authority to speak for Arizona until this morning (Thursday). What boys I have talked to, I guess are going to Hardin-Simmons."

Woodson said he will install the winged-T formation and, of course, promises plenty of passing. As far as the potential of present Arizona material, Woodson remarked: "It wouldn't be fair to the boys to say anything now. But I'll be able to tell you right after we finish with spring training."

 

Well, we all know the feeling of optimism a new coach brings to the team as many of us feel that way now with new UA Football Coach Rich Rodriguez.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com

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