Wednesday, December 20, 2006


#13 - EDWIN "BABE" HORRELL - CENTER (1922-1924)
Cal's 13th greatest Golden Bear is also the worst head coach in UCLA history (though he is presently being challenged for that title by a man whose surname, oddly enough, rhymes with the Babe's). Horrell gets demoted a spot or two on this list for his work with the Bruins, but he was a tremendous center, stout defender and leader for Andy Smith's Wonder Teams of the early 1920s.

How can you evaluate the work of a center who played during Prohibition? You read the quotes from contemporaries, starting with his coach. Andy Smith said that "Horrell's ability and skill constitutes 25% of our team." St. Mary's coach Slip Madigan went even further, saying that "Horrell was about 50% of the psychological effect of the Bears. He could get his men together better than any football captain I ever saw. Andy Smith could have stood the loss of five good men better than the graduation of Horrell."

Horrell's teams never lost a game, and tied only three times in 29 tries. He basically beat Stanford by himself in 1923, recovering his own blocked punt for a score and also recording a safety in Cal's 9-0 shutout victory. He was voted to Walter Camp's All-America team in 1924, becoming only the second player from west of the Mississippi to be so honored.

Following his coaching career, Horrell was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969. He passed away on June 13, 1992 at the age of 89.


At 4:00 PM, Blogger Pete Morris said...

The fact he was known as "Babe" during the 1920s speaks for itself. That's the equivalent of being called "The Great One" during the 1980s, "MJ" during the 1990s, or "Tiger" today.

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Babe Horrell was an amazing Great Grandfather! Yes, he is my Great Grandfather. Pete I want to thank you for refering to my great grandfather as the "great one." after reading the article at the top i was a bit disturbed! He is a man who came along way in his life and created alot for his family! HE IS A MAN WHO NEEDS TO BE REMEMBERED!!!

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Grandfather was Jack A. Horrell (nephew of Babe) Just curious who this anonymous post was stating that they are related to Babe Horrell.


Bryan Stever

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Babe Horrell's mother, Lucy Riley, was my great aunt. I would be delighted to find some of the Horrell family.


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