The Origin of the Football Huddle

Although there is no documented proof of who actually invented the football huddle, I found three claims:

  1. Some websites I found, such as eHow.com, give credit to the creation of the first football huddle to Paul Zuppke, University of Illinois football coach in 1921.
  2. Referenced in my textbook Deaf Heritage by Jack Gannon, Fuzzy Woodruff claimed in his book History of Southern Football that the first huddle was used in the 1896 match-up of the University of Georgia and Auburn University.
  3. However, the earliest claim for the creation of the football huddle goes to Gallaudet University QB Paul Hubbard in 1892. Hubbard was frustrated that his opponents could read the sign language used to call plays. In order to thwart his opponents, he had his team gather around him in a huddle when he called (signed) the play.


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