On this day in Alabama history: Auburn’s first football coach was born

On this day in Alabama history: Auburn’s first football coach was born
Montgomery native George Petrie (1866-1947) was a progressive historian and educator at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now Auburn University) who also coached the school’s first football team. His career in Auburn spanned more than 50 years and he was involved in the inception of the Alabama Department of Archives and History. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Auburn University Libraries)

April 10, 1866

George Petrie was born in Montgomery. He was a historian, college professor and coach of Auburn University’s first football team. Petrie fell in love with the new sport of football while a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University. In 1891, he organized and coached the first football team at what was then the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. The school played its first game in Atlanta against the University of Georgia and won 10-0. Petrie helped Thomas M. Owen establish the Alabama Department of Archives and History in 1901, the first state archives in the nation. Petrie also wrote “The Auburn Creed,” which is said to embody the spirit of Auburn.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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