Little Big Man
Football before the turn of the
century was a rough game. The 1890's were long before the days of the forward pass, let
alone multiple option formations. It was a game of power, determination and courage. Yet,
in this brutally physical pastime, one of the greatest stars in history was a short,
slight gentleman from Princeton University.
Philip King's athletic prowess was extraordinary by any
standards. He was not only a Princeton football immortal, he was one of the few four-time
All-American selections the game has ever known; and he achieved his honors at two
different positions. In addition, he was a magnificent baseball player, earning
All-America distinction at that sport as well. In an era when the team captain was a
virtual coach, King captained both the football and baseball teams at Princeton.
Professional teams in both sports were anxious for his services, but instead he became a
great college coach in both football and baseball. And all this from a man who, at the
peak of his playing career, stood five foot five-and-a-half and weighed in at an
underwhelming one hundred and fifty-five pounds!
Born in 1872 in Washington, D.C., King studied at Emerson
Institute in that city to prepare for Princeton. According to Princeton University
records, his standing in his class was "average." But at the University, he