A Stagg Party in Forest Grove

Amos Alonzo Staff, "The Grand Old Man of Football," joins his son, former Pacific Head Coach Dr. Paul Stagg, and Paul's son, Skip, in Spring 1948.

Football History

Pacific University hosts the University of Chicago in football for the first time on Oct. 26, 2013. There are a number of historic connections between the two schools, particularly in the Stagg family. Dr. Paul Stagg was head coach of the Pacific University Badgers in their heyday, and his father — the famous Amos Alonzo Stagg, long with the University of Chicago — played a role in his development as a coach and with Pacific football.

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Perhaps Paul saw something in Pacific that made him think he could win. The Badgers had gone 4-3-1 in their 1946 return under Ozzie Gates after the program was shuttered for three seasons during World War II.
"Having recently received my doctor's degree, I would like to change to a liberal arts college, where it is possible to have a normal physical program and where I would be the director," Paul Stagg wrote in his application letter. "I am also interested in changing to an institution where the athletic material offers a reasonable chance to win."
The arrival of Paul Stagg to Pacific in 1947 hastened changes in the program that showed that he was truly here to win.
"The new Badger mentor wasted little time during the first week as he introduced the T formation to the squad," wrote The Pacific Index prior to the first game.
True to form, Pacific went 6-2 in their first season under Stagg, scoring shutouts over Lewis & Clark and Portland State in their first two games and coming within 7-6 of Linfield. The Badgers finished second to Willamette in the Northwest Conference standings and saw "Tug" Thorgerson and Stan Russell named to the All-NWC Team.
Although the 1947 season was a success, Stagg was cautious on his outlook for the future.