Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Don Faurot, Legend at Missouri U., Dies at 93 'He Was All the Tiger There Ever Was'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Don Faurot, Legend at Missouri U., Dies at 93 'He Was All the Tiger There Ever Was'

Article excerpt

Don Faurot, gentleman, college football pioneer and pillar of the University of Missouri, died Thursday (Oct. 19, 1995) of congestive heart failure in Columbia, Mo. He was 93.

Mr. Faurot's 80-year honeymoon with Missouri athletics began with him hiding from ticket collectors in the bleachers at old Rollins Field and ended with a stadium named for him.

"He was the University of Missouri," former MU coach Warren Powers said. "As long as the university was around, Don Faurot was around."

His influence and reputation, though, spanned the nation. Mr. Faurot once reported one of his players to the National Collegiate Athletic Association for going 17 cents over his yearly allowable income. He was known for his spirit of sportsmanship and fair play.

"If everybody in collegiate athletics was a Don Faurot," former Big Eight and Big Ten commissioner Wayne Duke once said, "then collegiate athletics would be what it is supposed to be."

Along the way, his innovations revolutionized the game of college football and triggered a series of changes that manifest themselves even today. He was so obsessed with his tinkering that he once forgot an appointment with President Harry S Truman as he was drawing plays on a napkin in a Maryland restaurant. He continued to splice film and send it to his former players virtually until the time of his death.

"He made the only significant change in offensive football in, I used to say 50 years but now I'd say 75 years," former Missouri coach Dan Devine said. "Almost everything is an offshoot of his old `Split T.' "

Along the way, his integrity, energy and goodwill inspired generations of fans, coaches and administrators.

"The man has a magical name in football," Mizzou coach Larry Smith said.

"He was all the Tiger there ever was," former MU assistant coach Mike Ward said.

Mr. Faurot, in fact, maintained a vigorous presence in the MU football program even in the last few years - whether it was giving former coach Bob Stull game critiques on Sundays, driving to clinics with former coach Woody Widenhofer or even diagramming an offensive play for first-year coach Smith last season. …

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