Levene, Izzy : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Levene, Izzy

Israel George Levene

Levene was an All-American end at the University of Pennsylvania and returned to his alma mater to be the end coach under John Heisman in 1920. Following his coaching days, Izzy became a football official and authored a book titled Twenty Modern Football Plays.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. May 1, 1885 - d. November 12, 1930

Career Highlights:
In 1905 and 1906, Levene was named first team All-America by a number of newspapers, as well as being named Casper Whitney second team All-America, and Walter Camp third team All-America. In 1905, Penn went 12-0-1 and Levene was noted for his inspired play. The New York Globe said, "Levene has shown himself to be a wonder in getting downfield under kicks, notably in the Harvard and Cornell games. He was not 'boxed' all season and invariably split the plays which came his way and nailed the runner."

The Alumni Register of Pennsylvania also singled out Levene's play following the Harvard game, a 12-6 Penn victory. It said, "To Levene...too much credit cannot be given. The smallest man of either team, he alone did much to stop Harvard's attack. He was in on every play and bolstered up the supposedly weak left side of the line considerably. Levene was knocked out three times in the first half and on each occasion was barely able to get back to play. At the close of the half Levene fainted on the way to the dressing room and had to be resuscitated on the field."

In 1906, when the forward pass was legalized, Levene became one of the first outstanding pass-catching ends, and Penn finished the year 7-2-3. The New York Sun noted that Levene had great speed and said he was, "...a cracking good man at receiving the forward pass."


Career Dates:
Levene played end for the University of Pennsylvania from 1905-1906. He then coached the University of Tennessee's football team from 1907-1909. He was End Coach at Penn in 1920, and Head Coach at Wake Forest in 1922.

Physical description:
5'7 1/2", 159 pounds

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)