Pete Henry



  • Canton Bulldogs (1926 )
  • Pottsville Maroons (1928 )
  • 4x All-Pro selection ( 1920-1923 )
  • 3x NFL Championship (1922, 1923, 1927)
  • NFL 1920s All- Decade Team
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame (1963 )
  • College Football Hall of Fame (1951 )

Wilbur Francis " Pete " Henry ( born October 31, 1897 in Mansfield, Ohio, USA, † February 7, 1952 in Washington, Pennsylvania), nicknamed Fats was an US- American football player and coach. He played in the National Football League ( NFL), among others, in the Canton Bulldogs.

Playing career

College career

Henry studied from 1915 to 1919 at Washington & Jefferson College, where he played American football on the position of a tackle. In 1918 he joined the U. S. Army. However, he could continue his studies. The Army had set up a training camp on the campus and Henry was obliged to attend. Despite a body weight of 111 kg at a height of 180 cm, which Henry also earned his nickname, he was a very agile player. His agility led to the well-known sports journalist Grantland Rice described him as "human rubber ball ."

In 1919, the team from the University of Pittsburgh refused to play against the team of Henry. Those in charge of the college considered Henry as illegal college player because he had participated in the Army Training 1918. Although the leaders of all the colleges agreed to these players to approve still use in their teams and the team had already played in Pittsburgh against teams, the players with the same problems in their ranks had sat Henry to difficulties for his team to avoid the game against the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Panthers won against their local rivals 7-6.

In the years 1917 to 1919 Pete Henry was chosen in each case to the All American.

Professional career

On September 17, 1920 was obliged Pete Henry of the American Professional Football Association ( APFA ) Team of the Canton Bulldogs. The APFA was the forerunner of the NFL, and had been at the same time with the responsibility of Henry. Henry was teammate of Joe Guyon and Jim Thorpe, who also served as coach of the team. The Bulldogs were 1920 and 1921 with little success. A championship win they did not succeed.

With Guy Chamberlin returned in 1922 a former player the Bulldogs to the team from Canton as player-coach back. The Bulldogs managed a very good season, they could win 10 games and had only twice with an undecided satisfied. Henry won by his team its first championship title. The following year, the Bulldogs reach 11 wins in a draw, so the championship could be defended. Immediately after the championship win, the Bulldogs were sold to Cleveland and renamed Indians. Most players move with the team. Pete Henry was not among them. Since he was unable to agree on a treaty with the Indians. He played this year for the Pottsville Maroons. The Maroons played in 1924 in the Anthracite League. The league consisted of only one year and the Maroons won the only ever been played title.

After a short stint with the Akron Pros Henry returned to the Bulldogs in 1925, founded back again. In the same year he was also assistant coach of the team and took over in 1926 the Office of the Head Coaches.

In 1927, Henry joined the New York Giants. The Giants already had the All-Star player Steve Owen and Cal Hubbard under contract and could not commit Joe Guyon in the same year. The team from New York City won the NFL championship this year. However, the share of Henry in this item was low. During the season, he had switched to the Maroons, who had joined the NFL in 1925. After the 1928 season, he finished his career there.

Pete Henry held for 12 years with 45 yards NFL record for the longest drop kick, and with 94 yards set the record for the longest punt.

Coaching career

Pete Henry was coach of the Canton Bulldogs in 1926 and took office in 1928 even with the Pottsville Maroons. In 1931, he was sports director at his old college; 1942 and 1945 he also held the office manager there. Until his death in 1952 Henry remained sports director at the college, although one leg had to be amputated because of a diabetes him. Henry is on the Mansfield Cemetery, a cemetery in his native town, buried.


Pete Henry was elected four times to the All- Pro. He is a member of the NFL 1920s All- Decade Team, since 1963 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and in 1951 into the College Football Hall of Fame. His college named a sports hall after him, and give in his name annually a golf tournament.