The name of Pop Warner has become closely associated with the game of football. His connection to Western New York isn't as well known, even around here.
Warner was born in Springville and played football for Cornell from 1892 to 1894. The nickname "Pop" came because he was older than most of his contemporaries.
Warner was hired to coach at the University of Georgia in 1895, and he was also hired at Iowa State that year to do the same job. Somehow he made the logistics work. Warner returned to Cornell a couple of times, and then worked at Carlisle in Pennsylvania where he coached all-time great Jim Thorpe.
It was on to Pittsburgh, where Warner did some of his best work. He won three national championships for the Panthers, with titles in 1915, 1916 and 1918. Warner had a record of 60-12-4. Then on to Stanford, where he won a fourth national title, and to Temple.
Football would have a different look without Warner. For example, he first used the screen pass and pioneered the use of shoulder and thigh pads.
Meanwhile, a youth football program was set up in his honor with more than 300,000 children involved in Pop Warner football. He's even been on a stamp.
-- Budd Bailey
Sports Ink blog at buffalonews.com/blogs