James H. Speer
Speer while playing for Furman
Furman PaladinsNo. N/A
Halfback/Quarterback Graduate
Major: {{{major}}}
Date of birth: (1895-03-05)March 5, 1895
Place of birth: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Career history
Furman (1916–1921)
Career highlights and awards
*All-Southern (1919, 1920)
  • South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame
  • Furman Athletic Hall of Fame

James Harrel "Speedy" Speer (March 5, 1895 – September 2, 1976)[1][2] was a college football player for the Furman Paladins of Furman University and a high school football coach. He was elected to the South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame in 1974,[3][4] and the Furman Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981.[5]

Furman[edit | edit source]

Citizens of Greenville raised the money for his college tuition, making him the first player ever recruited to Furman University.[6] Speer also played basketball, baseball, and track. He was captain of the football team for two years, the basketball team two years, and the baseball team one year.[3] Contemporary opinion held Speer as the greatest athlete in school history.[7]

Football[edit | edit source]

Speer was a running back, playing quarterback and halfback on Billy Laval's Furman Purple Hurricane.

1919[edit | edit source]

Speer was selected All-Southern quarterback by Atlanta Journal sporting editor Morgan Blake in 1919.[8]

1920[edit | edit source]

Before the season, he and coach Laval spent time at the University of Illinois learning strategy.[9] From the halfback position, he helped lead the 1920 team to a 9–1 record, outscoring opponents 286–16[10] and losing only to SIAA champion Georgia. Teammates included quarterback Milton McManaway and lineman Manning Jeter.

Baseball[edit | edit source]

Speer batted .400 in each of his three seasons on the baseball team.[11]

High school football[edit | edit source]

Speer coached at Greenville High School for 21 years, taking his team all the way to the state final in 1938 and 1944.[3] In 1942 his South Carolina team won the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.[11]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918 [database on-line] Registration State: South Carolina; Registration County: Greenville; Roll: 1877665; Draft Board: 2
  2. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935–2014 [database on-line]. Number: 248-12-0772; Issue State: South Carolina; Issue Date: Before 1951.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "'Speedy' Speer Named To Hall". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. May 4, 1974. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1876&dat=19740504&id=q3ssAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xMwEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4906,673890.
  4. "Honorees". http://www.southcarolinaathletichalloffame.org/.
  5. "Furman Athletic Hall of Fame". http://www.furmanpaladins.com/paladin_club/HallofFame.
  6. 2014 Furman Paladins Record Book. p. 105. http://catalog.e-digitaleditions.com/i/336821/106.
  7. Bill Sharp (May 15, 1921). "Furman Hero Is Speedy Speer Of Winston-Salem". Winstom-Salem Journal: p. 11. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/2083514/winstonsalem_journal/. Retrieved March 28, 2015. open access
  8. "All-Southern Elevens". Spalding Football Guide. 1920, 1921. pp. 41, 69; 27, 67. https://archive.org/stream/officialfootball1920nati#page/n51/mode/2up/search/%22All+southern%22.
  9. "Billy Laval Lines Up Furman Outfit; Speedy Speer Back". The Charlotte Observer: p. 10. September 16, 1920. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/2083543//. Retrieved March 28, 2015. open access
  10. Ernie Trubiano. South Carolina Sports Legends. p. 44. https://books.google.com/books?id=JvcXtlwG9EsC&pg=PA44#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  11. 11.0 11.1 ""Speedy" Speer Named To S. C. Hall of Fame". The Index-Journal: p. 6. May 3, 1974. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/2083530//. Retrieved March 28, 2015. open access

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:Furman Paladins quarterback navbox

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