Robert A. Higgins

Photo added by Kenneth Gilbert

Robert A. Higgins

Corning, Steuben County, New York, USA
Death 6 Jun 1969 (aged 75)
Bellefonte, Centre County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial State College, Centre County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 60335972 · View Source
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Professional Football Player, College Football Coach, Civil Rights Pioneer. Higgins played end for the Penn State football team in 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, and 1919, missing the 1918 season due to service in World War I, and was named All American by Walter Camp in 1919. In 1920 and 1921 he played professionally for the Canton Bulldogs of the American Professional Football Association, the precursor to the National Football League; he was Canton's leading scorer in 1921 with 14 points (two touchdowns and two extra points). He took up coaching as head coach at West Virginia Wesleyan (1920 and from 1922 to 1924) and Washington University in Saint Louis (1925 to 1927). Higgins returned to Penn State in 1928 as an assistant and took over as head coach in 1930, which position he held until 1948. He integrated Penn State football in 1942 and led Penn State to two notable decisions: the refusal to play the University of Miami in 1946 when Miami would not permit Penn State's two black players to participate and the integration of the Cotton Bowl in 1948 vs SMU with the same two players. He retired after the 1948 season with a record of 91-57-11 at Penn State and an overall record of 123-83-16. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. He was the brother of Margaret Sanger. Son-in-law Steve Suhey played for him in on the 1948 Cotton Bowl team and then was a guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers, while grandson Matt Suhey won the Super Bowl as a fullback with the Chicago Bears in 1985.

Bio by: Kenneth Gilbert

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Kenneth Gilbert
  • Added: 19 Oct 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 60335972
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robert A. Higgins (24 Nov 1893–6 Jun 1969), Find a Grave Memorial no. 60335972, citing Centre County Memorial Park, State College, Centre County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .