Hugo Francis Bezdek (April 1, 1884 – September 19, 1952) was a Czech American athlete who played
American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American football field, field with goalposts at each end. T ...
and was a coach of football,
basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary objective of #Shooting, shooting a basketball (ball), basketball (appro ...

, and
baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team (baseball), fielding team, called the pit ...

. He was the head football coach at the University of Oregon (1906, 1913–1917), the
University of Arkansas The University of Arkansas (U of A, UArk, or UA) is a public land-grant research university in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System and the largest university in Arkansas. Founded as Arkansa ...
(1908–1912), Pennsylvania State University (1918–1929), and Delaware Valley College (1949). Bezdek also coached the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Mare Island Marines in the 1918 Rose Bowl and the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Rams of the National Football League (NFL) in 1937 Cleveland Rams season, 1937 and part of the 1938 Cleveland Rams season, 1938 season. In addition, Bezdek coached basketball at Oregon (1906–1907, 1913–1917) and Penn State (1919), coached baseball at Arkansas (1909–1913), Oregon (1914–1917) and Penn State (1920–1930), and served as the manager of Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates (1917–1919). He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1954.

Early years

Bezdek was born near Prague, Bohemia (now part of the present-day Czech Republic). His fore fathers had been school-teachers, strong men and athletes. His family emigrated to America in 1891 when he was 6 years old. They lived in Cleveland's Slavic Community. His father James (Valcav), worked at as a butcher in Cleveland. His father, hence Hugo, can be found in the Cleveland City directory at 51 (5787) Portage Ave in 1895. and 156(5500) Fleet Ave. from 1896-98 St. The Fleet Ave. address still stands today. Around 1900 the family, James, Frances and Hugo moved to 4846 South Paulina St., Chicago Ill. where his father continued working as a butcher and 16 year old Hugo is "at school." It appears this structure is also standing. From here, young Hugo launched his Athletic Career. He enjoyed playing sports typical of the day. While he favored football, he also boxed, wrestled and played baseball.

Coaching career

After playing as a Fullback (gridiron football), fullback at the University of Chicago, Bezdek began his football coaching career at the University of Oregon in 1906, but left after a year to become head coach at the
University of Arkansas The University of Arkansas (U of A, UArk, or UA) is a public land-grant research university in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System and the largest university in Arkansas. Founded as Arkansa ...
. Arkansas athletic teams carried the name of Cardinals until the close of 1909 season. Coach Bezdek referred to his team as "a wild band of Razorbacks" at a post-season rally following their 1909 Arkansas Razorbacks football team, unbeaten season of 1909. This nickname has been applied to Arkansas teams since that time. After five years at Arkansas, he returned to Oregon for six seasons. While coaching in Oregon, Bezdek also served as a scout for Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates, who hired him as their manager (baseball), manager in the middle of the 1917 Pittsburgh Pirates season, 1917 season. He managed the Pirates through 1919, compiling a 166–187 record. While managing the Pirates, Bezdek continued his football coaching career, moving from Oregon to Pennsylvania State University, Penn State in 1919. He was head coach there until 1929, amassing a 65–30–11 record that included two undefeated seasons and an appearance in the 1923 Rose Bowl. Bezdek was noted for changing the Nittany Lions' style of play. Bezdek also served as Penn State's athletic director from 1918 to 1936, was interim Penn State Nittany Lions men's basketball, basketball coach in 1919, garnering an 11–2 record, and director of the School of Physical Education and Athletics from 1930 to 1937. In 1937, Bezdek was hired by the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Rams as their first head coach after the team joined the National Football League (NFL). His career with the Rams was brief, ending three games into the 1938 season with an abysmal 1–13 record. Nevertheless, Bezdek holds the distinction of being the only person to have served as both manager of a Major League Baseball team and head coach in the NFL. As a college football coach, Bezdek tallied a career record of 127–58–16. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. He is the only person in history that coached both a professional Football and Baseball team.http://cis.ieee.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=780:5-minutes-with-dr-james-c-bezdek&catid=17:e-newsletter-news-a-announcements

Head coaching record

College football

Professional football

See also

* List of College Football Hall of Fame inductees (coaches) * List of presidents of the American Football Coaches Association


External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Bezdek, Hugo 1884 births 1952 deaths American people of Bohemian descent American football fullbacks American men's basketball coaches Chicago Maroons football coaches Chicago Maroons football players Cleveland Rams coaches Arkansas Razorbacks baseball coaches Arkansas Razorbacks football coaches Delaware Valley Aggies football coaches Oregon Ducks men's basketball coaches Oregon Ducks football coaches Penn State Nittany Lions athletic directors Penn State Nittany Lions baseball coaches Penn State Nittany Lions football coaches Penn State Nittany Lions basketball coaches Pittsburgh Pirates managers College Football Hall of Fame inductees Austro-Hungarian emigrants to the United States People from the Kingdom of Bohemia Czech players of American football Sportspeople from Prague