J. W. Knibbs
Biographical details
Born(1880-11-08)November 8, 1880
Worcester, Massachusetts
DiedJuly 5, 1953(1953-07-05) (aged 72)
Mount Vernon, New York
Head coaching record

John William "Billy" Knibbs, Jr.[1] (November 8, 1880 – July 5, 1953) was an American football player and coach.

Knibbs was born in Massachusetts on November 8, 1880.[2] He attended Dartmouth College from which he graduated in 1905. He played on the Dartmouth Big Green football team from 1901 to 1904, and was the team captain in his senior year.[3]

After graduating from Dartmouth, he was hired to serve as the head football coach at the University of California, Berkeley for the 1905 college football season. He led the team to a record of 4–1–2 in his only year as the coach. An account written by a student described Knibbs' coaching style as follows:

"All hopes and fears of our University are now bound up in the coming Stanford-California football game. We are lying very low and keeping very quiet, as the policy of our Eastern coach, Knibbs, of Dartmouth, is most conservative. Most of the practising is secret, and the field is closed to all save the squad except two afternoons of each week. The work his [sic] year has been tackled in a serious, dogged style by all those out; this alone has won much respect for our new coach."[4]

After retiring from football, Knibbs had a lengthy career with the Otis Elevator Company. In 1909, he was employed by Otis at St. Louis, Missouri.[5] At the time of the 1910 United States Census, he was living in Denver, Colorado, with his wife, Marion (age 29), and their daughter, Olive (age 1-8/12). He was employed as a manager for an elevator manufacturing company.[6] In 1915, he was employed as an Otis salesman in San Francisco.[7] In 1918, he was a western selling agent for Otis Elevator Company.[8] In a draft registration card completed in September 1918, Knibbs indicated he was living in Winchester, Massachusetts, and working as an elevator salesman for the Otis Elevator Co. in Boston.[9] At the time of the 1920 United States Census, he was living in Mount Vernon, New York with his wife, Marion, and their two children, Olive (age 11) and John (age 9). He was employed as a salesman for a contracting business.[10] At the time of the 1930 United States Census, he was living in Mount Vernon, New York with his wife, Marion, and their two children, Olive (age 21) and John. W., Jr. (age 17). He was employed as an elevator salesman.[11] He died at a hospital in Mount Vernon on July 5, 1953.[12] His wife, Marion, had predeceased him in 1951.[13] They were buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.

Knibbs' son, John W. Knibbs III, also played football at Dartmouth.

Head coaching record[edit | edit source]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
California Golden Bears (Independent) (1905)
1905 California 4–1–2
California: 4–1–2
Total: 4–1–2
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Gridiron Gossip College Football". The Meriden Daily Journal. November 11, 1905. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=IABgAAAAIBAJ&sjid=jgINAAAAIBAJ&pg=3543,4277910. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  2. Emerson, Charles Franklin (1911). General Catalogue of Dartmouth College and the Associated Schools 1769-1910. Concord, New Hampshire: Rumford Press. p. 426. https://archive.org/stream/generalcatalogue00dart#page/426/mode/2up. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  3. "Football Letterwinners". DartmouthSports.com—Official Web Site of Dartmouth Varsity Athletics. Dartmouth College. July 6, 2010. http://www.dartmouthsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=48870&SPID=4719&DB_OEM_ID=11600&ATCLID=204965944&ATCLPID=4#K. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  4. The Rainbow of the Delta Tau Delta, Volume 29. Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. 1906. p. 101. https://books.google.com/books?id=GS0UAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  5. Catalogue of the Alpha Delta Phi. Alpha Delta Phi. 1909. p. 196. https://books.google.com/books?id=PIFHAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  6. Census entry for John W. Knibbs, age 29, born in Massachusetts. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: Denver Ward 10, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T624_116; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0127; Image: 667; FHL Number: 1374129.
  7. Transactions of the Commonwealth Club of California, Volume 9. Commonwealth Club of California. p. 766. https://books.google.com/books?id=guMpAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  8. William Richard Cutter (1918). Memorial encyclopedia of the State of Massachusetts, Volume 2. The Amer. Historical Soc., Inc.. p. 404. https://books.google.com/books?id=VQc9AAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  9. Draft registration card for John William Knibbs, Jr., born November 8, 1880. Ancestry.com. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Registration Location: Middlesex County, Massachusetts; Roll: 1684686; Draft Board: 30.
  10. Census entry for John W. Knibbs, Jr., age 39, born in Massachusetts. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: Mount Vernon Ward 5, Westchester, New York; Roll: T625_1277; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 101; Image: 837.
  11. Census entry for John W. Knibbs, Jr., age 49, born in Massachusetts. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: Mount Vernon, Westchester, New York; Roll: 1662; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 207; Image: 48.0.
  12. http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%2010/Yonkers%20NY%20Herald%20Statesman/Yonkers%20NY%20Herald%20Statesman%201953%20Grayscale/Yonkers%20NY%20Herald%20Statesman%201953%20Grayscale%20-%203292.pdf
  13. https://www.nytimes.com/1951/05/27/archives/obituary-1-no-title.html
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