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Hustle Hall of Fame Inductee: John Heisman

This Akron Zip was a Zip before they were Zips. Or Akron.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Features Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve been keeping up with the Hustle Hall of Fame over the last few weeks, you are aware of what’s happening. Fan voting has decided the first of two entrants for each MAC member to craft an inaugural Class of 2017 for the Hustle Hall of Fame. Next up to be inducted to the Hustle Hall of Fame is former member of the Akron Zips, John Heisman.


You know you’re a special person in the history of athletics when you died in 1936 but your contributions and legacy lives on as a central fabric to the sport you were associated. That’s what’s called a lasting legacy and John Heisman is most certainly that.

You likely know him best because of the stiff-armed trophy named in his honor awarded annually to the best college football player. But did you know that his impact to football is far greater than that.

For example, while at Akron, he invented the modern day center to QB snap. The center used to roll the ball to the QB. Of course, back then it wasn’t called Akron, it was called Buchtel College. But that would eventually transform to Akron, and thus, Heisman was dropping MACtion on people before the MAC even existed.

Perhaps best known as an innovator from things like the aforementioned snap to other advancements like “hike”, playing quarters instead of halves, and being a proponent of the forward pass, Heisman was also known best for being the head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. He won 77% of his games, had three straight undefeated seasons, and won 32 straight at one point. And he also coached track, basketball, and baseball. That’s Hustle Hall of Fame worthy if anything ever was.