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Encyclopedia > Gus Dorais
Charles "Gus" Dorias
Date of birth July 2, 1891
Place of birth Chippewa Falls, WI
Position(s) Head Coach
Athletic Director
Quarterback
College Notre Dame
Awards 1913 Consensus All-American
Honors College Football HOF
Coaching Stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
1910-1913
1918
Notre Dame
Massilon Tigers
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1914-17
1919
1920-1924
1925-1942
1943-1947
Columbia College
Notre Dame
Gonzaga
Detroit
Detroit Lions
College Hall-of-Fame

Charles "Gus" Dorias (born July 2, 1891 in Chippewa Falls, WI, died January 3, 1954 in Birmingham, MI), was a football player and coach at the collegiate level and a coach at the professional level. Dorais developed into one of football's foremost students and tutors, a man possessed with untiring devotion to the sport. Although he and Knute Rockne would be recognized as one of the finest passing tandems of all time (during their time at Notre Dame), it would be as a coach - not as a player -that Dorais would gain election into the College Football Hall of Fame. July 2 is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 182 days remaining. ... 1891 (MDCCCXCI) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Chippewa Falls is a city located in Chippewa County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. ... In American football, each team has 11 players on the field at one time. ... The head coach in sports coaching is the coach who is in charge of the other coaches. ... NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. ... This is a list of athletic conferences of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). ... The University of Notre Dame IPA: or IPA: is a leading Roman Catholic institution located in Notre Dame, Indiana, immediately northeast of South Bend, Indiana, United States. ... The College Football Hall of Fame, located in South Bend, Indiana, United States, is a hall of fame devoted to college football. ... Bills Dolphins Patriots Jets Ravens Bengals Browns Steelers Texans Colts Titans Broncos Chiefs Raiders Chargers Cowboys Giants Eagles Redskins Bears Lions Packers Vikings Falcons Panthers Saints Buccaneers Jaguars Cardinals Rams 49ers Seahawks The National Football League (NFL) is the largest professional American football league, consisting of thirty-two teams from... The University of Notre Dame IPA: or IPA: is a leading Roman Catholic institution located in Notre Dame, Indiana, immediately northeast of South Bend, Indiana, United States. ... Bills Dolphins Patriots Jets Ravens Bengals Browns Steelers Texans Colts Titans Broncos Chiefs Raiders Chargers Cowboys Giants Eagles Redskins Bears Lions Packers Vikings Falcons Panthers Saints Buccaneers Jaguars Cardinals Rams 49ers Seahawks The National Football League (NFL) is the largest professional American football league, consisting of thirty-two teams from... Loras College is a private four-year Catholic university located in Dubuque, Iowa, with a general attendance of approximately 1,800 students. ... The University of Notre Dame IPA: or IPA: is a leading Roman Catholic institution located in Notre Dame, Indiana, immediately northeast of South Bend, Indiana, United States. ... Gonzaga University is a private, co-educational university located in Spokane, Washington. ... University of Detroit Mercy is a private, co-educational Roman Catholic university located in Detroit, Michigan, USA. It was founded in 1878 as the University of Detroit by the Society of Jesus. ... City Detroit, Michigan Team colors Honolulu Blue, Silver, and Black Head Coach Rod Marinelli Owner William Clay Ford, Sr. ... July 2 is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 182 days remaining. ... 1891 (MDCCCXCI) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Chippewa Falls is a city located in Chippewa County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. ... January 3 is the 3rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Birmingham is a city located in Oakland County, Michigan, United States. ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ...


Collegiate career

Courtesy Charles "Gus" Dorais didn't invent quarterbacking, nor was he the first in college football to play the position. Or even the first at Notre Dame.


But he was the first to etch the position into the lore of American sport.


Not just the position of Notre Dame quarterback, either, although Dorais was the first to do that.


In a very real sense, Dorais was college football's first modern quarterback.


And certainly the first passer to capture the nation's imagination.


Dorais (5-feet-7, 145), who arrived at Notre Dame from Chippewa Falls, Wis., in the summer of 1910, started four seasons for the Irish at quarterback, but it was during his senior season that he became part of college football history.


During the summer of 1913, Dorais and a Notre Dame teammate - Knute Rockne - worked as lifeguards and busboys at Cedar Point Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. During their free time there, the story goes, the duo practiced passing on the beach with Dorais throwing to Rockne, an end.


"We mastered the technique of catching the football with hands relaxed and tried to master the more difficult feat of catching it with one hand," Rockne later wrote.


The Irish, 17-1-3 in Dorais' first three seasons as a starter, outscored their first three opponents in 1913 by a margin of 169-7. On November 1, 1913, the Irish - still known mainly in the Midwest at the time despite just one loss in three seasons - traveled to West Point to face heavily-favored Army. Notre Dame's roster size? Eighteen players.


Although Dorais and Rockne are often credited with inventing the forward pass that day against the Cadets, the maneuver had been legal since 1906 - and had been used effectively as a weapon in several less high-profile situations and at less high-profile programs. Dorais first completed a pass to Rockne two seasons before.


But never before had there been a passing day like this.


Dorais, an Irish co-captain and the first Irish player named consensus All-America, completed 14 of 17 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns that day. At the time, his 40-yard pass to Rockne was the longest pass ever completed, and after taking a 14-13 halftime lead, Notre Dame pulled away from a confused Army team for a 35-13 victory that changed the landscape of college football.


No longer were the Irish an obscure Midwestern power.


And no longer was the forward pass an obscure weapon, or little-used gimmick, something to be used when trailing late in games.


"The press and the football public hailed this new game, and Notre Dame received credit as the originator of a style of play that we simply systematized," Rockne said.


Coaching career

He and Rockne were roommates at Notre Dame, and in their coaching days, Dorais served as an assistant under Rockne. Together, they developed mental maneuvers which would serve them well as two of the most outstanding coaches ever to grace the gridiron. Dorais was head coach at Loras 1914-17, assistant at Notre Dame 1919, head coach at Gonzaga 1920-24 and Detroit 1925-42. He also coached the Detroit Lions 1943-47. His real name was Charles; he was always called "Gus."

Preceded by:
John Karcis
Detroit Lions Head Coaches
1943–1947
Succeeded by:
Bo McMillin
Portsmouth Spartans/Detroit Lions Head Coaches
Griffin • G. ClarkD. ClarkHendersonG. Clark • Edwards • KarcisDoraisMcMillinParkerWilsonGilmerSchmidtMcCaffertyForzanoHudspethM. ClarkRogersFontesRossMoellerMornhinwegMariucciJauronMarinelli

 
 

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