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Monday, February 8, 2010

NFL's First African American player and Head coach

Fredrick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard

Pollard Along with Bobby Marshall were the first two as African American player in the NFL. Sports Writer Walter Camp ranked Pollard "as one the greatest these eyes have every seen." Pollard graduated from Lane Tech high school in Chicago where he ran track. Pollard played college football at Brown University, graduating in 1919. He played in the 1916 Rose Bowl.

He later played professional football with the Akron Pros, the team he would lead to the NFL (APFA) championship in 1920. In 1921, he became the co-head coach of the Akron Pros, while still maintaining his roster position as running back. He also played for theMilwaukee Badgers, Hammond Pros, Gilberton Cadamounts, Union Club of Phoenixville and Providence Steam Roller. Some sources indicate that Pollard also served as co-coach of the Milwaukee Badgers with Al Garrett for part of the 1922 season. He also coached the non NFL team Gilberton in 1923 and is believed to have had some coaching duties with Hammond in 1923 as well.In 2005, Fritz Pollard was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Fritz Pollard appears as a free agent in Madden NFL 09 and appears as part of the Hall of Fame feature.

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