Feathers from 1933 Volunteer
|Sport(s)||Football, basketball, baseball|
August 20, 1909|
|Died||March 11, 1979
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
|1940||Green Bay Packers|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1954–1960||Texas Tech (assistant)|
|1961–1977||Wake Forest (assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1 Southern (1932)|
|NFL 1930s All-Decade Team
SEC Player of the Year (1933)
|College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1955 (profile)
William Beattie "Big Chief" Feathers (August 20, 1909 – March 11, 1979) was an American football player and coach of football and baseball. He played college football and college basketball at the University of Tennessee. He starred as a halfback from 1931 to 1933 for the Tennessee Volunteers football team led by head coach Robert Neyland. Feathers was a consensus selection to the 1933 College Football All-America Team. In December 2008, Sports Illustrated undertook to identify the individuals who would have been awarded the Heisman Trophy in college football's early years, before the trophy was established in 1935. Feathers was selected as the would-be Heisman winner for the 1933 season.
Feathers played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) with the Chicago Bears, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Green Bay Packers from 1934 to 1940. In his rookie season of 1934 he became the first player in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in one season. His average of 8.44 yards per attempt that same year remains an NFL record (minimum 100 carries).
After his career in the NFL, Feathers coached college football and college baseball. He served as the head football coach at Appalachian State Teachers College—now known as Appalachian State University—in 1942 and at North Carolina State University from 1944 to 1951, compiling a career college football coaching record of 42–40–4. Feathers was the head baseball coach at NC State in 1945, at Texas Tech University from 1954 to 1960, and at Wake Forest University from 1972 to 1975, tallying a career college baseball coaching mark of 79–135–1.
|Appalachian State Mountaineers (North State Conference) (1942)|
|NC State Wolfpack (Southern Conference) (1944–1951)|
|1946||NC State||8–3||6–1||3rd||L Gator||18|
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