Billy Suter
Suter, c. 1901
Sport(s)Football, baseball
Biographical details
Born(1874-12-10)December 10, 1874
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
DiedOctober 31, 1946(1946-10-31) (aged 71)
Bronxville, New York
Alma materPrinceton University
Playing career
Position(s)Quarterback (football)
Outfielder (baseball)
Head coaching record
Overall29–6–3 (football)
Accomplishments and honors
1 SIAA (1899)

Herman Milton "Billy" Suter (December 10, 1874 – October 31, 1946)[1] was an American football and baseball player, coach, referee, and athletic director. He was also a newspaper publisher.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Suter was born on December 10, 1874 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania to Henry Suter. Henry was from Sutersville, Pennsylvania and died in 1883.[2]

Playing years[edit | edit source]

Suter played for Washington & Jefferson and Penn State before enrolling at Princeton University.[3] As a member of the Princeton Tigers he once ran for a 95-yard touchdown against Harvard.[1][3]

Coaching career[edit | edit source]

J. G. "Lady" Jayne, coach of the 1898 Sewanee team, also a Princeton grad, was hired to coach in North Carolina. Jayne recommended Suter, with whom he had roomed at Princeton. Suter coached the famed "Iron Men" of the 1899 Sewanee Tigers which went 12–0, outscored opponents 322 to 10, and won 5 games on a 6-day road trip all by shutout. It is recalled memorably with the phrase "...and on the seventh day they rested." Grantland Rice was a shortstop on the Vanderbilt baseball team at the same time as Suter coached Sewanee. Rice praised his value as a leader, "yet he was one of the strictest disciplinarians I've ever known."[3] Suter coached the Georgetown Blue and Gray for a year, going 7–3.[4]

Officiating[edit | edit source]

Once while officiating a game between Bucknell and V. P. I. in 1906 in which Bucknell won 10 to 0, V. P. I. had an 80-yard touchdown run derailed by a holding call from Suter. Fans disagreed with the call and rushed the field after Suter, hitting Suter over the head with a cane on which was a V. P. I. flag. Players on both teams assisted Suter, and police eventually rushed in with revolvers drawn to restore order.[5]

Publishing career[edit | edit source]

After coaching, Suter went into the publishing business. He was a publisher in Washington, D. C. for four years, then he became the publisher of the Nashville Tennessean from 1907 to 1912,[1] where he gave Grantland Rice his first job as a sports writer.[6] There was an interval between publishing jobs from 1915 to 1918. Suter was a book publisher in New York City during this period, and at the time of the First World War worked for the Foreign Press Cable Service Bureau of the Committee on Publish Information.[1] Suter, former president Herbert Hoover, and others then acquired the Washington Herald at the end of 1919, for which Suter and one Walter S. Rogers was in charge until 1920.[1][7] Suter throughout his life had once been publisher of the Herald, the Philadelphia Evening Times, The Elmira Advertiser and the Elmira Sunday Telegram.[1][8] By 1924 he joined the New York City firm of Palmer, Suter, and Palmer which handled disposition of newspaper properties with an estimated value of $100 million.[1]

Head coaching record[edit | edit source]

Football[edit | edit source]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Sewanee Tigers (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1899–1900)
1899 Sewanee 12–0 11–0 T–1st
1900 Sewanee 6–1–1 5–0–1 4th
Sewanee Tigers (Independent) (1901)
1901 Sewanee 4–2–2
Sewanee: 22–3–3 16–0–1
Georgetown Blue and Gray (Independent) (1902)
1902 Georgetown 7–3
Georgetown: 7–3
Total: 29–6–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Herman Suter, Ex-Publisher, Is Dead at 72". The Herald Statesman. November 1, 1946.
  2. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925; Roll #: 631; Volume #: Roll 0631 - Certificates: 46000-46249, 16 Nov 1918-18 Nov 1918.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wendell Givens (2003). Ninety-Nine Iron: The Season Sewanee Won Five Games in Six Days. University of Alabama Press. pp. 25–26.
  4. "Head Coaches".
  5. "V. P. I. Game Ends In Fight". The Atlanta Constitution: p. 2. November 11, 1906. Retrieved June 12, 2015. open access
  6. David Alter (September 9, 2014). "Alter Fills In The Gaps In Princeton Football Lore".
  7. "Washington Herald Changes Hands". Paper: Devoted to the Manufacture, Sale and Use of Pulp and Paper 25: 54. December 10, 1919.
  8. "Suter Adds Telegram To Advertiser". Editor & Publisher 53: 3. May 14, 1921.

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