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Intercollegiate Athletics

Collection Outline
Digital Archives

See Centre College Digital Archives - Athletics for digitized versions of selected items from the following inventory

Collection Description

The first organized athletic contests waged by Centre appear to be the football games with Transylvania University in 1879 and 1880. A Transylvania Student from Australia had seen the game played in England, and interested his fellow students in the game. Transylvania ordered a ball and a rule book, and promptly issued a challenge to Centre. Centre accepted - provided of course Transylvania would be sportsmanlike and send them a rule book also.

Centre's first organized team play began, however, in 1891 when games were scheduled with the Louisville Athletic Club, Central University (Richmond) and the "State College" (University of Kentucky). Throughout the 1890's and into the early 20th century, Centre continued to build a football dynasty, culminating in the "Praying Colonels" glory years from 1917 to the mid-1920's when the college became one of the nation's football powerhouses. During those years, Centre met such modern day powers as Harvard ; Auburn; Clemson; Texas A&M; Tulane; Arizona; Georgia; Alabama; Michigan State; and Tennessee, and defeated many of them. The Praying Colonels glory years began with Centre alumnus "Chief" Robert L. Myers returning to his alma mater as head coach. Myers recruited such greats as Bo McMillan, Matty Bell, Sully Montgomery, Red Weaver, and Bill Janee from a Fort Worth high school where he had coached. These players, along with Red Roberts, formed the nucleus of the team. Myers accepted the post of athletic director, and "Uncle Charlie" Moran arrived in 1917 to lead the Colonels to some of their most memorable triumphs, including Centre's defeat of Harvard on October 29, 1921 - still regarded as one of the one of the greatest football upsets of the century. Centre continued to field fine football teams, though by the 1930's the college began to de-emphasize its prominence as a football power, and later ceased awarding athletic scholarships.

In 1962 Centre became a founding member of the College Athletic Conference, a conference of schools that believed intercollegiate sports should not offer athletic scholarships, and offered competition in football, soccer, cross-country, basketball, baseball, golf, track and tennis.

Though football has been the most documented sport offered at Centre, it is by no means the only one. Organized sports at Centre seem to date from 1891, when the college proudly dedicated its new Boyle-Humphrey Gymnasium, and hired Walter D. Berry as "Instructor in Physical Culture." Centre offered competition in track, tennis, gymnastics, and of course baseball, where the college produced a number of pennant winning teams.

Collection Description

The collection has been divided into sub-groups representing the various sports Centre has offered, in addition to files of athletic directors such as Robert L. Myers and Briscoe Inman. The sub-groups for baseball and football constitute the largest share of the materials and each has been divided by series, with each series containing a different type of document. The single largest series consists of football programs from 1919 to the present.

This collection consists for the most part of programs, schedules, manuscripts and related materials. Additions will be made to this collection on a regular basis, as current sports materials are forwarded to the archives. It should be noted that a recent addition - the files of (Thomas) Briscoe Inman (who served in various capacities as athletic director and coach of football, basketball, wrestling, golf, and baseball from 1952-1977), provide a wealth of information concerning sports at Centre during the last three decades. The inventory for the Inman Papers consists of a container listing of subject files (arranged alphabetically by topic), though an addendum has been added, providing explanations behind some of the subject titles on the list.

Collection Inventory
CC-10.1 Basketball
Series A Programs
Folder 1Basketball team programs, programs from tournament, 1928-1979
Folder 2Basketball team programs, programs from tournament, 1980-date
Series B Miscellaneous
Folder 1Basketball team rosters, records and statistics, individual players
Folder 2Basketball media guides, 1962-1980
Folder 3Basketball team schedules, undated and dated, 1955-1975
Folder 4Miscellaneous papers concerning basketball (including training tips), undated and dated 1925-1969
CC-10.2 Fall Sports
Folder 1Miscellaneous materials concerning fall sports, including season tickets, sports schedules and programs, media guides, NCAA collegiate championship handbook for soccer and cross country, 1979
CC-10.2.1 Men's Soccer
Folder 1Miscellaneous material, dated 1982-
CC-10.2.2 Cross Country
Folder 1Miscellaneous schedules, team rosters, meet results, 1971-
CC-10.3 Football
Series A Football Programs
Box 11919-1971
Box 21919-1971
Series B Miscellaneous Football
Folder 1Records of Centre College football teams, 1879-1984, list of head football coaches, 1879-1980
Folder 2Manuscripts and articles concerning the history of Centre College football
Folder 1Manuscripts and articles concerning the history Praying Colonels and the Centre Harvard games
Folder 2W. Dorant Berry correspondence, 1893-1894. (Physical Director, 1891-1894)
Folder 3Media Guides, team rosters, team statistics, date booklets, 1919-1972
Folder 4Media Guides, team rosters, team statistics, date booklets, 1974-1975
Folder 5Media Guides, team rosters, team statistics, date booklets, 1976-1977
Folder 6Media Guides, team rosters, team statistics, date booklets, 1978-1979
Folder 7Media Guides, team rosters, team statistics, date booklets, 1980-1981
Folder 8Media Guides, team rosters, team statistics, date booklets, 1981-1984
Folder 9Football game and season tickets, undated and dated 1921-1969; team schedules, 1908-1960, 1991-date
Folder 10News releases, miscellaneous materials concerning College Athletic Conference and football, undated and dated, 1977-date
Folder 11Miscellaneous correspondence concerning football, 1973
Folder 12Miscellaneous materials concerning other CAC football teams, 1971-1978
Folder 13Miscellaneous Centre football materials, including a diagrammed football play from the 1890's, training tips and duties of various positions. Ticket to Centre/Transy game (Nov. 16, 1929), Centre/UPI (Nov. 16, 1940), Centre/W&L (Nov. 5, 1938-gift of Al Mead), Georgetown/Centre Thanksgiving Day Game announcement
Folder 14Miscellaneous invoices concerning football equipment and games, dated Sept. 12, 1922-Jan. 10, 1923
Folder 15Run That By Me Again, Centre vs. Harvard 1921 (Aired on KET Sept. 18, 1977) 1 VHS copy, 1 DVD copy

NOTE: See CC-53, Miscellaneous Posters and Handbills for an oversize poster announcing a football game between the Centre and Kentucky State freshmen in Danville on October 20 (no year given) and a handbill for the Centre-Georgetown game, 1919

Series C Football Volumes
Volume 1Brown, John Y., Sr. Legend of the Praying Colonels
Volume 2Haughton, Percy D. Football, and How to Watch It. (Contains photos from the Centre-Harvard games of 1920 and 1921)
Volume 3Haughton, Percy D. How to Watch and Understand Football. (Written by the coach of the Harvard team, 1908-1916, this volumes contains photos from the 1920 Centre-Harvard game)
Volume 4Those Prayin' Colonels, 25th Reunion of the 1955 Centre Football team October 17-18, 1980
Volume 5College Football; modern record book. 1972
Volume 6NCAA Championships Handbook: Football. 1979
CC-10.4 Sports - Miscellaneous
Folder 1Sports miscellaneous. Includes: Centre season tickets; constitutions of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Association, 1914, and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, 1926; lists of names of donors to boxes in Centre College stadium with letter of August 4, 1936 (prior to the elimination of those boxes); Centre sports related programs; Intramural Sports Handbook, dates inclusive 1910-1983; ticket register, State-Centre Football game, Lexington, Kentucky, 1924
Folder 2Sports miscellaneous. Includes: College Athletic Conference results and records 1969-1970 and 1981-1972; Centre College Athletic Handbook, 1972; Centre College letterman, 1973-1974; pamphlets discussing athletics at Centre, 1976-1981. "Centre College Athletic Board of Control" letterhead stationary; NCAA Collegiate Championships 1970, 1973, 1976/1977, 1978/1979; "History of sports at Centre" (beginning dates) 1985; summary of C.A.C. championships 1962/1963 - 1977/1978; C.A.C. Spring Sports Festival, 1977-1978; Intercollegiate athletic programs, 1976/1977; 1977/1978; 1978/1979
Series B Athletic Letters/Certificates Awarded
  • Allen, Frank - Football 1917
  • Bell, Madison - Football and basketball 1917-1918
  • Davis, Allen - Basketball 1918
  • Davis, W.T. - Track 1927
  • Ervin, Joe - Track 1918
  • Faurest, Henry - Football and baseball, 1926-27
  • Faurest, Henry - Football and baseball, 1927-28
  • Glein, Franklin - Football
  • Green, James E. - Football 1923
  • Hudgins, Hope - Football 1923
  • James, William - Track 1918
  • Leather, John Allen, Jr. - Baseball and basketball 1925
  • Lemon, Clifton W. - Football and baseball 1922-1923
  • McMillin, Alvin "Bo" - Football, basketball, and baseball 1919-1920
  • McMillin, Alvin "Bo" - Track, football, and basketball 1917-1918
  • Moran, Thomas - Football
  • Ogden, Robert - Track 1918
  • Rubarth, Frank - Football 1922
  • Snowday, Terry H. Football and basketball 1922-1923
  • Spurlock, Albert - Football 1923
  • Tate, T.B. - Basketball and football 1917-1918
  • VanAntwerp, H. - Football
  • Walden, Julian - Basketball and track 1918
  • Walden, William J. - Basketball and track 1919-1920
CC-10.5 Spring Sports
Folder 1Schedules, programs, media guides for Spring sports, 1873, 1949-1966
Folder 2Schedules, programs, media guides for Spring sports, 1969-1992
Folder 3Schedules, miscellaneous materials for baseball team, undated and dated 1909
Folder 4Schedules, media guides for baseball team, 1973-1975; Centre baseball: historic highlights
Folder 5Miscellaneous schedules, media guides for golf team, 1975-1983; Historic highlights
Folder 6Miscellaneous schedules, results, rosters, for tennis team, 1973-1975; Men's tennis: historic highlights
Folder 7Programs for track and field events, 1893, 1927-1929
Folder 8Miscellaneous track and field materials, undated, and dated 1922-1983; Men's track: historic highlights
CC-10.6 Swimming and Water Sports
Folder 1Miscellaneous materials concerning the swim team, water sports, and Boles Natatorium
CC-10.7 Winter Sports
Folder 1Winter sports schedules for men's and women's basketball, swimming and wrestling 1968-1983. Media guide (1986/1987-1987/1988)
CC-10.8 Women's Athletics
Folder 1Miscellaneous materials concerning women's athletics
Folder 2Miscellaneous materials concerning women's basketball, individual players
Folder 3Women's basketball team programs, programs from tournaments, 1975-date
Folder 4Miscellaneous materials concerning women's Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, 1983-1992
Folder 5Miscellaneous materials concerning women's softball, 1982-1983
Folder 6Miscellaneous materials concerning women's tennis, 1981-1982
Folder 7Miscellaneous materials concerning women's track, 1982-1983
Volume 1Baird, Kitty Rogers. Women in Physical Education and Sports at Centre College, 1854-1978
Volume 2Womens's Recreation Association scrapbook, 1966-1967 (located in CC-37 Scrapbooks)
Volume 3WRA Guestbook for volleyball sportsday, 1961-1968
CC-10.9 Robert L. Myers Papers
Folder 1Correspondence, Robert L. Myers, Director of Athletics, 1920-1922
CC-10.10 Briscoe Inman Papers
Box 1
All Sports Banquet
Athletic awards
Athletic Committee
Athletic inventories
Athletic policies
Baseball - 1948 - Statistics
Budget - 1967-1969
Budget - 1969-1970
Budget - 1970-1971
Budget - 1971-1972
Budget - 1972-1973
"C" Club
College Athletic Conference - Constitution and bylaws
College Athletic Conference - Minutes
College Athletic Conference - Miscellaneous
College Athletic Conference - Results - 1960s
College Athletic Conference - Results - 1970s
College Athletic Conference - Results - 1962-1974
College Athletic Conference - Tournaments - May 8-10, 1969
College Athletic Conference - Trophies
Conditioning program
Correspondence - Centre President
Danville High School
Equipment orders - Golf - 1971-1974
Equipment orders - Men - 1968-1969
Equipment orders - Men - 1969-1970
Equipment orders - Women - 1968-1970
Equipment orders - Wrestling - 1971-1975
Evaluation sheets - 1974
CC-10.10 Briscoe Inman Papers
Box 2
Fetterman, John
Football - 1955 - Reunion
Football - 1956 - Statistics
Football - Defensive statistics - 1974-1975
Football - Defensive statistics - 1976
Football - Miscellaneous
Football playbook
Golf - Rules
Golf - 1966-1967
Golf - 1968
Golf - 1968-1969
Golf - 1969-1970
Golf - 1971
Golf - 1972-1973
Golf - 1974
Golf - 1975
Golf - 1976
Intramurals - Softball - 1973-1974
Intramurals - Softball - 1975-1976
Intramurals - Softball - 1977
Intramurals - Volleyball - 1973-1974
Intramurals - Volleyball - 1975-1976
Intramurals - Volleyball - 1977
KWIC - Basketball tournament - 1977
Letter orders
NCAA - Pamphlets
Physical Education - Courses
Physical Education - Miscellaneous
Physical Education - Proposed program - 1977
Physical fitness charts
CC-10.10 Briscoe Inman Papers
Box 3
Team records - 1952-1953
Team records - 1953-1954
Team records - 1954-1955
Team records - 1955-1956
Team records - 1956-1957
Team records - 1957-1958
Team records - 1958-1959
Team records - 1959-1960
Team records - 1960-1961
Team records - 1961-1962
Team records - 1962-1963
Team records - 1963-1964
Team records - 1964-1965
Team records - 1965-1966
Team records - 1966-1967
Team records - 1967-1968
Team records - 1968-1969
Team records - 1969-1970
Team records - 1970-1971
Team records - 1971-1972
Team records - 1972-1973
Team records - 1974-1974
Team records - 1974-1975
Team records - 1975-1976
Team records - 1977-1978
Wrestling - 1970-1971
Wrestling - 1971-1972
Wrestling - 1972-1973
Wrestling - 1973-1974 - Medical exams
Wrestling - 1974
Wrestling - 1974-1975 - Physicals
Wrestling - 1975
Wrestling - 1976
Wrestling - Physicals
CC-10.11 Sports Newsletters/News Releases
Folder 1Football Parents Newsletter
Folder 2Colonel's Report, 1983-1986
Folder 3Colonel's Report, 1987-1991
Folder 4Colonel's Report, 1991-1993
Folder 5News Releases, 1990-1994