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Gopher Honors


Ray Ecklund, E, 1923
Earl Martineau, HB, 1923
Herb Joesting, FB, 1926-1927
Harold Hanson, G, 1927
George Gibson, G, 1928
Kenneth Haycraft, E, 1928
Bronko Nagurski, FB/T, 1929


George Abramson, G, 1924
Shorty Almquist, QB, 1927
Ted Cox, T, 1924
Ray Ecklund, E, 1923
Mitchell Gary, T, 1926-1927
George Gibson, G, 1928
Harold Hanson, T/G, 1926-1927
Kenneth Haycraft, E, 1927-1928
Fred Hovde, QB, 1928
Herb Joesting, FB, 1926-1927
Earl Martineau, HB, 1922
Bronko Nagurski, T, 1929
Robert Tanner, E, 1929
Festus Tierney, G, 1920
Len Walsh, G, 1925
Roger Wheeler, E, 1926


Dr. Henry Williams, 1920-1921
William Spaulding, 1922-1924
Clarence Spears, 1925-1929

1920's Gopher Links

Gopher Scores, 1901-1920:
Gopher Scores, 1921-1940:
Bronko Nagurski:

Minnesota Golden Gopher Football- 1920's

As the "Roaring 20's" began Dr. Henry Williams found
himself in an increasingly difficult position as head
coach of the Gophers. For all that he had contributed
to the school and to football, he could not appear to
keep up with the full-time demands of coaching and still
work his medical practice.  He also wasn't getting the
material at Minnesota that he had enjoyed during the
previous two decades, so after the 1921 season he was
let go.

The Gophers hired a relative unknown in William Spaulding
to replace him. Spaulding would go 11-7-4 during his 
three-year stay at Minnesota, but by far his brightest
moment came in 1924 against Illinois in a game dedicating
the new Memorial Stadium.

Illinois' Red Grange had been running rough-shod over the
Big Ten in 1924, but the Gophers stacked him up early and
often and eventually knocked him out of the game. Filling
the void left by Grange was the Gophers' own Clarence
Schutte, who stole Grange's thunder by running for 282
yards in a 20-7 Gopher victory.

The Gophers decided they wanted a new coach, though, and
they hired Dr. Clarence Spears for the 1925 season. Spears
only knew one way to coach and one way to play- hard and
brutal. Spears guided the Gophers to a 5-2-1 record in 1925
and a 5-3 mark in 1926. His teams were quickly gaining
a reputation for their physical play, but not to be overlooked
was the talent he as assembling.

By 1927, his Gophers were ready to roll. Aiding him 
considerably was a strong, young sophomore by the name of
Bronko Nagurski. By the time he was through at Minnesota,
Nagurski would become a Gopher football legend. In the years
following his name would become synonomous with the sport

Nagurski would play, and excel at, both line and backfield
positions during his three-year Gopher career. The Gophers 
finished tied for the Big Ten Championship in 1927, finishing
with an overall 6-0-2 record. In both 1928 and 1929 they
would go 6-2-0 and finish 3rd in the Big Ten. During those
two seasons the total losing margin in those 4 losses was
only 5 points.

Ironically, just as Spears had returned the Gophers to the
upper echelon of college football, he left. Now the Gophers
entered the new decade in search of new leadership.