Stagg's University: The Rise, Decline, and Fall of Big-Time Football at Chicago
by Robin Lester
University of Illinois Press, 1995
Paper: 978-0-252-06791-4 | Cloth: 978-0-252-02128-2
Library of Congress Classification GV958.U519L47 1995
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.332630977311


The legendary University of Chicago football program had an unusual beginning, a dazzling middle, and an inglorious conclusion. Its architect: Amos Alonzo Stagg, the most creative and entrepreneurial college coach of his time. A former all-American gridiron star at Yale, Stagg joined an elite academic institution that boasted intellectual notables like John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen, and Albert Michelson. Within fifteen years, the fame of Stagg's football program had eclipsed even Michelson's renown as the first American citizen to win a Nobel Prize. 

Robin Lester follows the commercial trail blazed by Stagg and University President William Rainey Harper and the subsequent transformation of college football into a mass entertainment industry that changed campuses and captured the national imagination. Fascinating and detailed, Stagg's Universityreveals how the University of Chicago's football industry prefigured today's billion-dollar sport juggernaut and details the life and leadership of one of its foundational personages.

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