Springville, N Y - At first glance it looks like another one of the stately homes along Springville's Main Street. But as the signs outside indicate, tucked inside onebuilding is the legacy of one of the greatest college football coaches ever. And at this museum named for Glenn "Pop" Warner you can find out more about the Springville native and his 43 year coaching career at universities such as Georgia, Stanford, Iowa State, Cornell, Pittsburgh, and Temple. From 1895 to 1938, he had a record of 319 wins and wonfour national championships. And of course there is the football little league named for him. The Pop Warner Little Scholars program was where kids could play sports like football if they got good grades.
Museum trustee Bob Whitehead says"The man helped make football what it is today.Not only did Pop have a fantastic record, but he also was an innovator in the sport of football. He was first to create the single wing formation, the double wing formation, the lateral pass, and all kinds of innovations with improving equipment. Things like knee pads, shoulder pads, and other things of this nature."
Concord Town Historian DavidBatterson adds "Warner was the one to come up with the jersey numbers...the numbers on the backs of all the football players, the spiral punt, the tackling dummy."
And of course there was a trick play or so. It was not just the bootleg where the quarterback tries to hide the ball from the defense. It was something more sneaky. "He sewed pockets in the jerseys and they would put the ball into the pocket and run with. Well that didn't last too long...the rule book came up with a no-no."
NowPop Warner is the star at the museum which his estate donated money for. Butyou can also find other displays and elements honoring local folks like Dr. Ralph Waite, a dentist who helped develop painless dentistry with the use of the cocaine based painkiller eventually called Novacain to pull teeth. There is also legendary lyricist Jack Yellin who wrote the words for numerous records and movies and songs like "Happy Days are Here Again." And George Schuster who helped develop early automobiles and the round the world race. And you can take in other exhibits of life in the early 1900's like household items and a lovingly restored general store known as the Concord Mercantile. But it's the people like Pop Warner who are a drawing card. Museum Curator Don Orton "These are national figures and we have to kind of remember that we have a very vivid past with a lot of residents of our town."