Albert Ernest "Al" Herrnstein (1906-1909)

When you think of those that spent time at both Ohio State and Michigan, you immediately think of Bo Schembechler and Gary Moeller. Schembechler was twice an assistant coach under Woody Hayes at Ohio State and Moeller played for the Buckeyes from 1961-1963. However, the earliest known tie between schools belongs to Albert Ernest Herrnstein, who was born on August 15, 1882, in Chillicothe, Ohio.

The Ohio native would star at the University of Michigan for legendary head coach, Fielding Yost. While playing for the Wolverines, Herrnstein won National Championshps in both 1901 and 1902. Ironically, the highlight of his playing career came against the Buckeyes, scoring six touchdowns during an 86-0 rout in 1902.

He kicked a 21-yard field goal in the 1902 Rose Bowl, the first ever college bowl game, in a 49-0 win over Stanford.

Immediately following his playing days, Al was hired to be the head football coach for the Haskell Indians in Kansas. In his two seasons, he led the Indians to a 15-4 mark including an 8-1 record in his final season.

In 1905, he was hired by Purdue to be their head football coach. The Boilermakers only tasted defeat once that season and tied rival Indiana. Their only loss was to Alonzo Stagg's Chicago squad that finished 10-0 and were voted National Champions.

Following the season, Herrnstein would return home to Ohio to coach the Ohio State Buckeyes. In his first season, he led Ohio State to an 8-1 mark, falling to Michigan 6-0 in their only loss. It was that season that Ohio State recorded their first forward pass, a 10-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Walter Barrington to end Harry Carr.

Herrnstein's 1908 club came closest to knocking off his alma mater, dropping a 10-6 decision in Columbus to the Wolverines.

He'd spend four seasons at Ohio State, combining for a 28-10-1 mark. He left as the winningest coach in school history, topping the previous mark of 22 career wins held by Jack Ryder.

Following his coaching career, Albert operated the Herrnstein Hardware Company in Chillicothe for over 50 years. He also held the title of President of the National Retail Hardware Association in 1944.

Herrnstein became ill and passed away of a heart ailment the day before his 76th birthday in 1958.


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