Perry Titus Wells Hale (1902-1903)

Ohio State turned to an All-American fullback to be their sixth coach in the school's history.  Perry Hale, who starred at Yale, was hired to replace the most successful head coach to date in the decade-plus of football in Columbus.

On October 7, 1878, Perry Titus Wells Hale was born in Portland, Connecticut. As a young boy, he picked up the nickname of "Periwinkle" because of his affinity for shells.  It eventually shortened to "Winkle" and then ultimately, "Wink" as he was mostly known by in Portland.  He'd live most of his life in the small town outside of Hartford.

After graduating from Portland High School, Perry would enroll at Sheffield Scientific School on the campus of Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut.  In 1900, he was a consensus All-American for the Bulldogs at the fullback position.  He helped Yale to a 12-0 record, including a 28-0 triumph over Harvard to win the National Championship.

Immediately following his graduation, he played professionally for the Homestead Library & Athletic Club and coached the squad at Phillips Exeter Academy.  In 1902, Ohio State looked to fill the void left by the winningest coach the school had seen in it's twelve seasons of football.

The bar was raised with Coach John Eckstorm leading the Buckeyes to a 22-4-3 mark from 1899-1901.  After he left to coach Ohio Medical College, OSU turned to Perry Hale to continue the momentum of the past three seasons. 

Hale was able to continue the string of winning seasons by leading Ohio State to a 6-2-2 mark in 1902 and an 8-3 record in 1903.  He was not able to win an Ohio Athletic Conference title though, finishing second in both years he was coach.  The Buckeyes were also 0-2 against Fielding Yost's Michigan teams, including an 86-0 defeat that will likely always serve as the widest margin ever in the storied rivalry between the schools.

Following his two seasons in Columbus, Hale returned to his hometown in Connecticut where he'd become a successful engineer.   He started the Engineering firm of Wilcox and Hale in 1904 and headed up Middletown, Connecticut's Water Department until 1908.  He'd become an engineer and surveyor for a couple of local railroad companies from 1909-1913.   

In 1913, Hale began experimenting after seeing his wife's chickens get stolen from their yard as they slept through the night.  To try and prevent it from happening again, he came up with a burglar alarm that would make a loud bang and awaken the neighborhood and scare off the thieves.  While constructing it, a short circuit caused a chemical explosion that injured two others and left Hale blind for the remainder of his life.

Perry would continue his work as an inventor, despite his lack of vision.  He is credited with the patent for a successful toy aeroplane back in 1920, just a couple of years after the first World War.  It was a winged kite that was the first of its kind, needing very little wind to keep it aloft.   The kite was very successful and had advertisements ran in Boys' Life and other popular mechanics magazines of the time.

He served as tax collector in Portland and held various other offices from 1923-1948.  

Hale was married three times, but only had children with his third wife.  He had his first child at the age of 59 and his last incredibly at 63 years old.

Perry Hale passed away due to heart disease at the age of 69 on April 7, 1948. 


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