George E. Pyle
|George E. Pyle|
Head-and-shoulders photo of G. E. Pyle|
G. E. Pyle from 1911 Seminole yearbook
August 1, 1949 (aged 63)|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
George E. Pyle (1886 – August 23, 1949) was an American college football coach and college athletics administrator. He was the second head coach of the Florida Gators football team that represents the University of Florida. Pyle served as the athletic director for West Virginia University from 1914 to 1917.
Pyle replaced Jack Forsythe as the Florida head football coach, and he held that position for five seasons, from 1909 to 1913. During that period, he accumulated a 26–7–3 record and a 0.764 winning percentage, making him the third winningest coach in school history after Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer. In 1911, Pyle led Florida to its first and only undefeated season when the newly named Gators posted a 5–0–1 record.
In 1912, Florida posted a 5–2–1 record. After the season, the team participated in its first post-season game, the Bacardi Bowl held in Havana, Cuba. It was actually a two-game series against different Cuban athletic clubs. The first game was played on December 25 under the so-called "old rules" that existed before the American football reforms of 1906. In that game, Florida defeated the Vedado Tennis Club, 28–0. On December 30, Florida played the Cuban Athletic Club of Havana under the "new rules." According to one source, the game's referee was a former coach for the Cuban team, and the officiating was blatantly biased. After two Florida touchdowns were nullified by questionable officiating, Pyle protested a fifteen-yard penalty. When the referee offered a five-yard penalty instead, Pyle and his team left the game in protest. Another source states that the game ended late in the first quarter after a fight broke out between the teams; Florida accused the Cuban team of still playing under "the old rules." Regardless of the reason for the forfeiture, Pyle was arrested by the Cuban authorities. He was charged with violating a law that prohibited a game's suspension after money had been collected. After his trial was delayed, Pyle and the Gators left the island country, which caused him to be branded a "fugitive from justice."
Life after football
Pyle left the University of Florida after the 1913 season and became the athletic director for West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. After leaving college athletics, he worked as an insurance agent in Bristol, Tennessee. Pyle died in Chattanooga, Tennessee on August 23, 1949; he was 63 years old.
Head coaching record
- Florida Gators
- Florida Gators football, 1906–1909
- Florida Gators football, 1910–1919
- History of the University of Florida
- University Athletic Association
- West Virginia Mountaineers
- College Football Data Warehouse, All-Time Coaching Records, G.E. Pyle Records by Year. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
- 2012 Florida Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 107, 115, 116 (2011). Retrieved September 16, 2012.
- College Football Data Warehouse, Florida Coaching Records. Retrieved February 23, 2009.
- Antonya English, "100 things about 100 years of Gator football," St. Petersburg Times (August 27, 2006). Retrieved February 9, 2009.
- College Football Data Warehouse, 1912 Game by Game Record. Retrieved February 23, 2009.
- Floyd Conner, Football's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of the Great Game's Outrageous Characters, Fortunate Fumbles, and Other Oddities, Brassey's, Dulles, Virginia, pp. 191–192 (2000). Retrieved March 1, 2010.
- "Football Row in Havana; Florida University Students Hooted for Breaking Up Game," The New York Times, p. S1 (December 29, 1912). Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- "West Virginia Is Coming Along Well," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sporting Section, p. 3 (September 20, 1914). Retrieved March 23, 2010.
- Associated Press, "Former Gator Coach Praises Florida Pilot," Sarasota Herald-Tribune, p. 8 (November 4, 1938). Retrieved March 23, 2010.
- Associated Press, "G.E. Pyle Dies, Ex-Florida Coach," Miami Daily News, p. 2A (August 24, 1949). Retrieved March 23, 2010.
- The University of Florida football team adopted the nickname "Gators" in 1911.
- 2012 Florida Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida (2012).
- Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
- Conner, Floyd, Football's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of the Great Game's Outrageous Characters, Fortunate Fumbles, and Other Oddities, Brassey's, Dulles, Virginia, pp. 191–192 (2000). ISBN 1-57488-309-7.
- Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
- McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
- McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
- Proctor, Samuel, & Wright Langley, Gator History: A Pictorial History of the University of Florida, South Star Publishing Company, Gainesville, Florida (1986). ISBN 0-938637-00-2.