American Football Database
John Outland

Portrait of Outland from The World of New York, September 26, 1898
Biographical details
Born(1871-03-07)March 7, 1871
Hesper, Kansas
DiedMarch 24, 1947(1947-03-24) (aged 76)
Laguna Beach, California
Playing career
Penn (IA)
Position(s)Tackle, halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Franklin & Marshall
Haskell Indian Nations
Head coaching record
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
All-American, 1897
All-American, 1898
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2001 (profile)

John Henry Outland (March 7, 1871 – March 24, 1947) was an American football player and coach. He played football at Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa, the University of Kansas, and the University of Pennsylvania. He was twice named an All-American while playing for the Penn Quakers, in 1897 as a tackle and in 1898 as a halfback. After playing, Outland coached at Franklin & Marshall College in 1900, the University of Kansas in 1901, and Washburn University from 1904 to 1905, compiling a career college football record of 21–15–2. He is the namesake of the Outland Trophy, an annual award established in 1946 and given to the best interior lineman in college football. Outland was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 2001.

Early life and playing career

Outland was born in Hesper, Kansas to Thomas Outland and Mahala Outland (née Kemp) into a Quaker family who settled in Kansas from Indiana around 1860 during the Bleeding Kansas period as part of a larger Quaker immigration to Kansas in support of the Free state cause. He grew up mostly in Johnson County, Kansas in the towns of Lexington, Kansas[1][2] and Edgerton, Kansas[3] though. He was a member of the first football team at Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa in 1891.[4] Outland captained the team in 1892, scoring 32 of the team's 36 points. After starring in football and baseball at the University of Kansas in 1895 and 1896, Outland went to Philadelphia to complete his medical education at the University of Pennsylvania. There he became one of the few men ever to win All-American football honors as both lineman and the backfield player. He was picked by Walter Camp as a tackle as a first-team All-American in 1897. In 1898, he was selected again, this time as a halfback. He was captain of the 1898 Pennsylvania team and was voted "Most Popular Man" at the University of Pennsylvania.

Outland worked his way through college and spent his last two summers as a companion to rich young men who were alcoholics. To keep them away from alcohol, Outland took them on camping trips in the Wyoming mountains.[5]

Coaching career

Franklin and Marshall

In 1900, Outland coached the football team for the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for one season. His team produced a mixed season of 4 wins and 5 losses.[6] He was the 11th coach of the program that began in 1887.[7]


Outland was the eighth head football coach for the University of Kansas Jayhawks located in Lawrence, Kansas and he held that position for the 1901 season. His overall coaching record at Kansas was 3 wins, 5 losses, and 2 ties. This ranks him 32nd at Kansas in terms of total wins and 29th at Kansas in terms of winning percentage.[8]


Outland also coached at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. He was the ninth head football coach for Washburn and he held that position for two seasons, from 1904 until 1905. His overall coaching record at Washburn was 14 wins, 5 losses, and 0 ties. This ranks him tenth at Washburn in terms of total wins and eighth at Washburn in terms of winning percentage.[9]

Outland's 1905 season ended with an experimental game with Fairmount University where a new rule forcing the offense to earn a first down in three plays instead of four was in effect. The experiment was considered a failure.[10]

Later life

After receiving his medical degree, Outland returned to Kansas in 1900 where he set up his medical practice first in Lawrence, Kansas which lead to his hiring as the head football coach of the University of Kansas. On January 28, 1902 Outland married Ethel Arnett Grimes in her hometown of Dana, Indiana. He then moved his practice to Topeka, Kansas in 1904 in order to coach the Washburn University football team. In 1906 Outland moved his family to Kansas City, Kansas[11] where he joined the very first staff of the brand new Trinity-Lutheran hospital in Kansas City, Missouri as a general practicing surgeon. Later, in about 1916, while still on staff with Trinity-Lutheran hospital he moved his family across state lines to Kansas City, Missouri[12][13] where he lived until his retirement. During his time as a practicing surgeon he extensively used his own plane, often flying with famous Kansas City early aviation pioneer pilot John Kerr "Tex" LaGrone, to visit patients in rural areas and far flung towns, being the first doctor in the Kansas City area to do so.[14] While practicing medicine in the Kansas City region, Dr. Outland served for many years on the athletic board of the University of Kansas alongside other notable KU alumni, Dr. James Naismith and Dr. Forrest "Phog" Allen amongst others. Upon his retirement he moved to Laguna Beach, California. He also served as a major in the United States Army Medical Corps during World War I.

Kansas Relays

Outland was the founder of the Kansas Relays, having obtained the inspiration for that event at Penn, when as a student, he saw the Penn Relays just getting under way. For many years he held the post of honorary referee of the Kansas events.

Outland Trophy

Outland conceived the idea of the Outland Trophy because of his belief that interior lineman were not given enough recognition in college football. The trophy is the third oldest college football trophy. Selection of the winner is made by the Football Writers Association of America.


Outland suffered a stroke in March 1947 and died at his home in Laguna Beach, California two weeks later on March 24, 1947.[15][16] He was survived by his wife, Ethel, daughter Mrs. Mary McDougall of New Orleans, Louisiana, and son John Grimes Outland of Dallas, Texas. Outland was laid to rest in Maple Grove Cemetery in Wichita, Kansas near his parent's graves.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Franklin & Marshall Diplomats (Independent) (1900)
1900 Franklin & Marshall 4–5
Franklin & Marshall: 4–5
Kansas Jayhawks (Independent) (1901)
1901 Kansas 3–5–2
Kansas: 3–5–2
Washburn Ichabods (Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) (1904–1905)
1904 Washburn 7–2
1905 Washburn 7–3
Washburn: 14–5
Total: 21–15–2


  1. Template:Cite census
  2. Template:Cite census
  3. Template:Cite census
  4. Statesmen Athletics Hall of Fame John Outland
  5. "Gene Howe Says". Atchison Daily Globe. 1947-03-28.
  6. College Football Data Warehouse Franklin and Marshall results 1900
  7. College Football Data Warehouse Franklin and Marshall coaching records
  8. Kansas Coaching Records
  10. New York Times "Ten Yard Rule a Failure" December 26, 1905
  11. Template:Cite census
  12. Template:Cite census
  13. Template:Cite census
  14. "Obituaries". The Kansas City Star. March 24, 1947.
  15. "Kansas Relay Organizer Dies". Hutchinson News Herald. 1947-03-25.
  16. California Death Records. State of California, March 24, 1947

External links