CFRA Biographies- Legendary Penn State Nittany Lions

George Washington “Doc” Hoskins

Position: Head Coach

Schools: Pennsylvania State College 1892-1895, Western University of Pennsylvania 1896, Bucknell 1899-1906; 1909

George W. Hoskins - Wikipedia

Joe Paterno ranks first in all-time wins at Penn State with 409, but George Washington “Doc” Hoskins ranks first in school win percentage at a .760 mark. Hoskins was the first coach of the Penn State football team in 1892, then called Pennsylvania State College. Hoskins’ first three seasons were among the best at school at the time. In his first ever game as head coach, on October 1, 1892, Hoskins brought his team to Philadelphia to square off against the Penn Quakers. Penn State was shut out 20-0 by another first year head coach, George Washinton Woodroof. Hoskins regrouped his team to win the next five games, all shutouts, to finish at 5-1. 1893 proved to be another successful season, at 4-1. Penn State opened with a 6-0 win at the Southern champion, Virginia, who finished at 8-2. The inaugural meeting between Penn State and rival Western University of Pennsylvania (now the University of Pittsburgh) occurred on November 6, 1893. It was the first ever contest played at Beaver Field, with Penn State prevailing, 32-0. 1894 was an unbeaten 6-0-1 campaign that featured wins over in-state foes Bucknell, Lafayette, Gettysburg College, and Washington & Jefferson. Hoskins finished his career at Penn State with a record of 17-4-4. He took the head coaching position at the Western University of Pennsylvania in 1896. The athletic board at the school was lured by his football genius. Hoskins was highly regarded with his educational coaching. After each game, he would gather the players to analyze plays and educate them on strategy. The hopes were high, but the team stumbled to a 2-7 record. Hoskins departed following the season. He resumed coaching at the collegiate ranks in 1899 at Bucknell, where he would spend the next eight years, along with a return stint in 1909. His Bucknell teams never finished better than 6-4 (1901, 1902), and did not contend with other Eastern Independent football powers such as Harvard, Yale, Penn, and Cornell. Hoskins compiled a 39-38-5 record at Bucknell. He finished his collegiate coaching career with a record of 59-48-9.



“First Penn State Grid Coach Is Dead At 93.” The Daily American, 05 February 1958, p. 17.


Charley Way

Position: Halfback, Quarterback

School: Penn State 1917, 1919-1920

Ranking the top 100 players in Penn State football history: Nos. 51-75 -

Known for his elusive running style and quickness, Charles Ash Way was a superstar halfback on the 1920 Penn State football team. Way teamed with backs Henry “Hinkey” Hines, Joe Lightner, and Glenn Killinger, as part of an extremely talented backfield that helped power the Nittany Lions to an unbeaten 7-0-2 season. The team recorded wins over powerhouses in Dartmouth (14-7), Nebraska (20-0), and the University of Pennsylvania (28-7), largely due to their strong rushing attack, and timely defensive play. After arriving on campus in 1917 slated to play quarterback, at a skimpy 125 pounds, Way was summoned to military service for World War I. Upon his return, he found his groove in the backfield. His quickness and runaway speed earned him a consensus selection on the 1920 All-American team. Way joined teammate Percy Griffiths (guard) and Henry Hines as All-Americans. In 1921, he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in finance. Way continued his foray in collegiate football and was hired by the Dayton Flyers as head coach. Way coached Dayton to an 0-7-1 mark prior to resigning mid-season. He then played professionally for the NFL’s Canton Bulldogs (1921), Frankford Yellowjackets (1924), and the AFL’s Philadelphia Quakers (1926). Way had an outstanding season in 1924 with the Yellowjackets, who went 11-2-1. He scored four touchdowns, and was voted a first-team all-pro by the Green Bay Press Gazette and Collyers Eye Magazine. Following football, Way worked in finance for a number of years, before passing away in 1988 at the age of 90.

References: University, Dayton, “Dayton Football Media Guide – 2018” (2018). Football Media Guides. 12.


Article written by Matthew Keddie (CFRA Member/Contributor)


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