The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame comprised a winning group of football players at the University of Notre Dame under coach Knute Rockne. American football, known in the United States and Canada simply as football, is a competitive Team sport known for mixing strategy with The University of Notre Dame du Lac (or simply Notre Dame) (ˌnoʊtɚˈdeɪm is a private Roman Catholic Research university located in Knute (pronounced "kah-noot" ("noot" is the anglicized nickname Kenneth Rockne ( March 4, 1888 &ndash March 31, They were the legendary backfield of Notre Dame's 1924 football team. Year 1924 ( MCMXXIV) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The players that made up this group were Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, Jim Crowley, and Elmer Layden. Harry Augustus Stuhldreher ( October 14, 1901 — January 26, 1965) was a three-time All-American Quarterback and member of Don Miller ( May 30, 1902 - July 28, 1979) was an American football player and coach James H "Jim" Crowley ( September 10 1902 – January 15 1986) American Football player and coach born in Chicago Elmer Francis Layden ( May 4, 1903 &ndash June 30, 1973) served as Commissioner of the National Football League and as head
In 1924, a dramatic nickname coined by a poetic sportswriter and the quick-thinking actions of a clever student publicity aide transformed the Notre Dame backfield of Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller and Layden into the most fabled quartet in college football history, the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.
Quarterback Harry Stuhldreher, left halfback Jim Crowley, right halfback Don Miller and fullback Elmer Layden had run rampant through Irish opponents' defenses since coach Knute Rockne devised the lineup in 1922 during their sophomore season.
The foursome needed some help from Grantland Rice, a sportswriter for the former New York Herald Tribune, to achieve football immortality. Grantland Rice ( November 1, 1880 &ndash July 13, 1954) was an early 20th century American sports-writer. After Notre Dame's 13-7 upset victory over a strong Army team, on October 18, 1924, Rice penned a famous passage of sports journalism:
"Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are the forces of man's destruction described in the Christian Bible in chapter six of the Book of Revelation. These are only aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds this afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down upon the bewildering panorama spread out upon the green plain below. "
George Strickler, then Rockne's student publicity aide and later sports editor of the Chicago Tribune, made sure the name stuck. The Chicago Tribune is a major daily Newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and owned by the Tribune Company After the team arrived back in South Bend, he posed the four players, dressed in their uniforms, on the backs of four horses from a livery stable in town. The wire services picked up the now-famous photo, and the legendary status of the Four Horsemen was assured.
"At the time, I didn't realize the impact it would have," Crowley said later. "But the thing just mushroomed. After the splurge in the press, the sports fans of the nation got interested in us along with other sportswriters. Our record helped, too. If we'd lost a couple. I don't think we would have been remembered. "
After that win over Army, Notre Dame's third straight victory of the young season, the Irish were rarely threatened the rest of the year. A 27-10 win over Stanford in the 1925 Rose Bowl gave Rockne and Notre Dame the national championship and a perfect 10-0 record. Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly known as Stanford University or simply Stanford, is a private Research university located in The 1925 Rose Bowl was a College football Bowl game. It was the 11th Rose Bowl Game.
As it usually is with legends, the Four Horsemen earned their spot in gridiron history. Although none of the four stood taller than six feet and none of the four weighed more than 162 pounds, the Four Horsemen might comprise the greatest backfield ever. As a unit, Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller and Layden played 30 games and only lost to one team, Nebraska, twice. They played at a time when there were no separate offensive and defensive teams. All players had to play both sides. Once a player left the field, he could not come back into the game.
Stuhldreher, a 5-7, 151-pounder from Massillon, Ohio, was a self-assured leader who not only could throw accurately but also returned punts and proved a solid blocker. Massillon is a city in Stark County in the US state of Ohio. The population was 31325 at the 2000 census. Ohio ( is a Midwestern state of the United States. As part of the Great Lakes region, Ohio has long been a cultural and geographical crossroads He emerged as the starting signal caller four games into his sophomore season in 1922. He was often labeled cocky, feisty and ambitious, but his field generalship was unmatched.
Crowley, who came to Notre Dame in 1921 from Green Bay, Wisconsin, stood 5-11 and weighed 162 pounds. Green Bay is a city in and the County seat of Brown County in the U Wisconsin ( or wɪˈskɑnsɨn (French Ouisconsin) is one of the fifty United States of America, located in the north central part of the United States Known as "Sleepy Jim" for his drowsy-eyed appearance, Crowley outmaneuvered many a defender with his clever, shifty ballcarrying.
Miller, a native of Defiance, Ohio, followed his three brothers to Notre Dame. Defiance is a city in the northwestern part of the US state of Ohio, in Defiance County, about 55 miles southwest of Toledo. Ohio ( is a Midwestern state of the United States. As part of the Great Lakes region, Ohio has long been a cultural and geographical crossroads At 5-11, 160 pounds, Miller proved to be the team's breakaway threat. According to Rockne, Miller was the greatest open-field runner he ever coached.
Layden, the fastest of the quartet, became the Irish defensive star with his timely interceptions and also handled the punting chores. The 6-foot, 162-pounder from Davenport, Iowa, boasted 10-second speed in the 100-yard dash. Davenport is a City along the Mississippi River in the American state of Iowa. The State of Iowa ( is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States of America.
All four players eventually were elected to the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame — Layden in 1951, Stuhldreher in 1958, Crowley in 1966 and Miller in 1970.
While it's been over 80 years since the quartet played college football, their legend lives on. There may be no more recognizable nickname in all of sports than the one Rice bestowed upon the four players. That was underscored in 1998 when the United States Postal Service honored the Four Horsemen with their own stamp as part of 15 commemorative postage stamps saluting "The Roaring Twenties. "
After graduation, the lives of the Four Horsemen took similar paths. All began coaching careers, with three of the four occupying top positions.
Layden coached at his alma mater for seven years and compiled a 47-13-3 record. He also served as athletic director at Notre Dame. After a business career in Chicago, Layden died in 1973 at the age of 70.
Crowley started as an assistant coach at Georgia. The University of Georgia ( UGA) is a public research University located in Athens, Georgia, the oldest and largest of the He quickly moved to head coaching positions at Michigan State and Fordham University where his famed line, the "7 Blocks of Granite", included Vince Lombardi. Michigan State University ( MSU) is a co-educational public Research university in East Lansing, Michigan USA. Fordham University is a private University in the United States, with three campuses located in and around New York City. Vincent Thomas Lombardi ( June 11, 1913 &ndash September 3, 1970) was an American football coach His Fordham teams played in the Cotton Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The Cotton Bowl Classic is a United States College football Bowl game played annually since 1937 at the self-named stadium in Dallas Texas The Sugar Bowl is an annual American College football Bowl game played in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans Louisiana. His overall record was 78-21-10. He later entered business in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The last surviving Horseman, Crowley died in 1986 at the age of 83.
Stuhldreher, who died in 1965 at the age of 63, was the head football coach for 11 years at Villanova University, then became athletic director and football coach at Wisconsin. Villanova University' is a private university located in Radnor Township, a suburb northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States He later worked for U.S. Steel. The United States Steel Corporation ( is an integrated Steel producer with major production operations in the United States, Canada, and Central Europe
Miller left coaching after four years at Georgia Tech and began practicing law in Cleveland. The Georgia Institute of Technology, commonly known as Georgia Tech, or Tech, is a public, Coeducational Research university in He was appointed U. S. District Attorney for Northern Ohio by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Miller died in 1979 at the age of 77.
Notre Dame had lost only two games combined in the 1922 and 1923 seasons. Both loses came against the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln before packed houses. The University of Nebraska is the public University system in the state of Nebraska, USA. The City of Lincoln ( Umóⁿhoⁿ: Nískithe Tʰóⁿwoⁿgthoⁿ ˈnĩskiˡðe ˌtʰãwãŋgˡðã meaning "Salt Village" for Salt Creek which was the
All good backfields depend on their linemen. After the Horsemen got their name, someone named the line the "Seven Mules. " Two members of the line are also in the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.
That makes 6 members of the 1924 team who were elected to the Hall of Fame.