Coach Fielding Harris ‘‘Hurry-Up’’ Yost (April 30, 1871-August 20, 1946) was born in Marion County. He was a tackle on West Virginia University’s football team in 1895 and 1896, while earning a law degree. Best known as a college football coach, Yost was also a businessman with coal, oil, and real estate interests in West Virginia and Tennessee. Yost was the brother-in-law of social activist Lenna Lowe Yost.
Yost began his coaching career at Ohio Wesleyan in 1897. After one season, he coached at Nebraska, Kansas, and Stanford for one year each. In 1901, Yost became coach at the University of Michigan, where he spent the remainder of his career. In his first season there, the Wolverines compiled an 11-0 record, including the 49-0 defeat of Stanford in the first Rose Bowl, and the school’s first national championship. Not a single opponent scored against Michigan that season. Averaging 55 points a game, the Wolverines became known as the ‘‘point a minute’’ team. Yost earned the ‘‘Hurry-Up’’ nickname for emphasizing a fast offensive pace and is credited with inventing the no-huddle offense, the fake kick, and the position of linebacker. From 1901 to 1905, his teams were undefeated in 56 consecutive games.
In 1904, Yost’s team defeated WVU 130-0, the worst defeat in the Mountaineers’ history. Yost retired as Michigan’s athletic director in 1941. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and was one of the first inductees of the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1950. He was named to WVU’s 1891–1917 all-time team. Yost died in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
This Article was written by Judie Smith
Last Revised on November 05, 2010