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Gil Dobie, who was born in Hastings, Minn., in 1879, was one of the most successful college football coaches in the country of the first half of the 20th century.

Dobie, who played quarterback for the University of Minnesota under Dr. Henry L. Williams in 1901-02, became the coach at North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University) in 1906.

He was unbeaten in his first 11 seasons as a college coach.

After going 8-0 in two seasons at North Dakota Agricultural, he became the University of Washington coach in 1908. In nine seasons as the Washington coach, his teams did not lose a game, going 58-0-3. In one stretch, the Huskies won 40 consecutive games, which is the second longest in NCAA Division I history.

In 1917, he became the coach at the U.S. Naval Academy. In his three seasons at Navy, he coached the Midshipmen to an 18-3 record. But following the 1919 season, he abruptly resigned. When asked why he told reporters, "Too many admirals trying to coach football."

In 1920, he became the coach at Cornell. He led Cornell three consecutive 8-0 seasons in 1921, 1922 and 1923, winning the national championship in each season.

In 1921, he reached 100 career coaching victories (in just his 108th game). That stood as the NCAA football record for fewest games needed to reach 100 victories until 2014.

He coached at Cornell until 1935. After coaching Boston College the next three seasons, he retired following the 1938 season. His career coaching record was 182-45-15.

The Minneapolis Tribune described Dobie's coaching career in 1963, "He was hard taskmaster and the center of much controversy because of his grim, unyielding driver to win and his insistence upon absolute perfection. However he produced winning teams wherever he went."

He was named to the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1951.


Class: 1963.

Sport: Football.

Teams: Gophers, North Dakota Agricultural, Washington, Navy, Cornell.