American Football Database
Sam Francis
Date of birth: (1913-10-26)October 26, 1913
Place of birth: Dunbar, Nebraska
Date of death: April 23, 2002(2002-04-23) (aged 88)
Place of death: Springfield, Missouri
Career information
Position(s): Fullback, Halfback
College: Nebraska
NFL Draft: 1937 / Round: 1 / Pick 1
 As player:
Chicago Bears
Pittsburgh Pirates
Brooklyn Dodgers
Playing stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Harrison Samuel "Sam" Francis (October 26, 1913 – April 23, 2002) was an American football player, coach, and shot putter. He played college football at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where, in 1936, he was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.[1] Francis was the first overall selection in the 1937 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. His rights were traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for Bill Hewitt and $4,000 in cash on February 15, 1937.[2] He played in the NFL for four years with the Bears, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Brooklyn Dodgers before leaving to serve in the Army during World War II. Francis was also an exceptional athlete in track and field and placed fourth in the shot put at the 1936 Summer Olympics.[3] Francis served as the head football coach at Kansas State University for one season in 1947, compiling a record of 0–10. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1977.

Coaching career

Francis served as the 21st head football coach at Kansas State University, helming the team for the 1947 season. He is the only Kansas State football coach to lose every game that he coached. The program's first coach, Ira Pratt, was winless in his one season in 1896, but tallied one tie for a record of 0–1–1. Francis' 1947 Kansas State squad was outscored 283 to 71, and was shut out on three occasions. Their closest contest was a two-point loss to New Mexico at home, and their most lopsided defeat was a 55–0 rout by rival Kansas.[4]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Kansas State Wildcats (Big Six Conference) (1945)
1947 Kansas State 0–10 0–5 6th
Kansas State: 0–10 0–5
Total: 0–10



  • Lyons, Robert S. (2010). On Any Given Sunday, A Life of Bert Bell. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1-59213-731-2

External links