George Washington Woodruff
File:George W. Woodruff.jpg
Biographical details
Born(1864-02-22)February 22, 1864
Dimock, Pennsylvania
DiedMarch 24, 1934(1934-03-24) (aged 70)
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Playing career
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
3 National (1894–1895, 1897)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1963 (profile)
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
In office
January 20, 1923 – January 18, 1927
Governor Gifford Pinchot
Preceded by George Alter
Succeeded by Thomas Baldrige
Personal details
Political party Republican

George Washington Woodruff (February 22, 1864 – March 24, 1934) was an American football player, rower, coach, teacher, lawyer and politician. He served as the head football coach at the University of Pennsylvania (1892–1901), the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (1903), and Carlisle Indian Industrial School (1905), compiling a career college football record of 142–25–2. Woodruff's Penn teams of 1894, 1895, and 1897 have been recognized as national champions. Woodruff was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1963.

Playing career and educationEdit

File:George Washington Woodruff 1898.jpg

Woodruff graduated from Yale University in 1889, where he was a member of Skull and Bones,[1][2]:65 and the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his LL.B. law degree in 1895. His football teammates at Yale included Amos Alonzo Stagg, Pudge Heffelfinger, and Pa Corbin.

Coaching careerEdit

At Penn, Woodruff coached Truxtun Hare, Carl Sheldon Williams, John H. Outland, his brother Wylie G. Woodruff, and Charles Gelbert. In his ten years of coaching at Penn, Woodruff compiled a 124–15–2 record while his teams scored 1777 points and only gave up 88. He also coached one year each at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

Political careerEdit

After coaching, Woodruff practiced law and was active in politics as a Republican. His political posts included Finance Clerk in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Attorney General, federal judge for the territory of Hawaii, chief law officer of the US Forest Service under friend and fellow Yale alumni Gifford Pinchot, Acting Secretary of the Interior under President Theodore Roosevelt.[3]

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Penn Quakers (Independent) (1892–1901)
1892 Penn 15–1
1893 Penn 12–3
1894 Penn 12–0
1895 Penn 14–0
1896 Penn 14–1
1897 Penn 15–0
1898 Penn 12–1
1899 Penn 8–3–2
1900 Penn 12–1
1901 Penn 10–5
Penn: 124–15–2
Illinois Fighting Illini (Western Conference) (1903)
1903 Illinois 8–6 1–5 7th
Illinois: 8–6 1–5
Carlisle Indians (Independent) (1905)
1905 Carlisle 10–4
Carlisle: 10–4
Total: 142–25–2
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.

Note: Before 1936, national champions were determined by historical research and retroactive ratings and polls.
1894 Poll Results = Penn: Parke H. Davis, Princeton: Houlgate, Yale: Billingsley, Helms, National Championship Foundation, Parke H. Davis
1895 Poll Results = Penn: Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, National Championship Foundation, Parke H. Davis, Yale: Parke H. Davis
1897 Poll Results = Penn: Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, National Championship Foundation, Parke H. Davis, Yale: Parke H. Davis
George Woodruff's last game as a coach was the 1905 Carlisle-Army game after which he went to Washington for a government job. Ralph Kinney completed Carlisle's season, going 3–2 over the five games played after Woodruff's departure.


  1. Who's Who In America, 1908
  2. "Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University Deceased during the Year 1933-1934". Yale University. October 15, 1934. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  3. "Penn Biographies: George W. Woodruff (1864 -1934)". University of Pennsylvania University Archives and Records Center. Retrieved March 24, 2011.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
George Alter
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Thomas Baldrige
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ellis Ward
University of Pennsylvania Head Rowing Coach
Succeeded by
Ellis Ward

Template:Pennsylvania Attorneys General

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