Clemson & ND

Nov 16, 2018

ClemsonAgricultural College was founded in 1893...fifty one years after Fr. Sorin founded Notre Dame du Lac.  Both schools were all male for a long time.  Both have had a long tradition of military programs on campus.  Other than that, there has not been a lot to join the two colleges together, being 750 miles apart.

Frank Shaughnessy is the one person who has a link to the football programs of both colleges.

Francis Joseph “Shag” Shaughnessy was born April 8, 1884, in Amboy, Illinois.  He enrolled at Notre Dame in 1901, receiving a Pharmacy Degree in 1903 and a law degree in 1906.  His father was an Irish immigrant, who worked as a farmer.  The 6’, 178# Shaughnessy starred in baseball and football for ND.  He would go on to have a very diverse career in athletics, stretching into seven decades.

Shag played outfield and catcher for ND baseball and starred as an end for the football team, which he captained in 1904.  He was the starting Right End on the 1903 team which is the only team in Notre Dame history which held every opponent scoreless during the 8-0-1 (0-0 tie with Northwestern) season.  The star player, Captain, and Coach of the 1903 team was Louis “Red” Salmon, Notre Dame’s first All American and inarguably the greatest player of the first 30 years of Notre Dame Football.  During the one game that Salmon did not play, Shag moved over to his fullback spot. 

Shaughnessy started a 20 year professional baseball career in 1903, while still a student.  In 1905, he played briefly for the Washington Senators.  In 1908, he played 8 games for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics, hitting .310 in 29 at bats.  That team featured six future Hall of Famers.  One of his teammates, Catcher Michael “Doc” Powers, had also played football and baseball at ND.  For his long career in Minor League Baseball, Shag is featured in an edition of Minor League Baseball Stars, published by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).  Shaughnessy owned and coached various Minor League teams from 1909 through 1936, often as player manager.  He won four consecutive league championships at one time.  He later became the long-time President of the International League.  He coached the McGill University Football team for 16 years and their Hockey team for five years, also coaching their women’s hockey team.  He was a Detroit Tigers coach.  In 1933, he became known as the “man who saved the Minor Leagues” when he created the “Shaughnessy Plan” for post season playoffs.

Frank spent the 1907 football season as the eighth Coach of Clemson College, leading them to a 4-4 record.  Two of Frank’s predecessors at Clemson were quite famous.  John Heisman was their fourth coach, leading them to a 19-3-2 (.833) record.   Eddie Cochems was their sixth, leading them to a 3-2-1 (.583) record, in 1905.  After the season, he wrote an article about uses of the newly legalized forward pass.  The following year, as the Head Coach of the University of St. Louis, he was the man who introduced the forward pass, which would put Knute Rockne and Notre Dame Football on the national map, on November 1, 1913.

 

This is what the Clemson Football Media Guide says about Shaughnessy:

 

FRANK SHAUGHNESSY, 1907

 

Frank Shaughnessy was known for his ability as a sports administrator. He served many positions, from a pro hockey coach to the International Baseball League Commissioner. A graduate in pharmacy at Notre Dame, he was captain of the baseball and football teams during his senior season. After his graduation in 1905, he coached baseball at Notre Dame. The summer before coming to Clemson, he played for Ottawa of the Eastern League. That summer, he played left field and ended the season with a .352 batting average. He also played with Washington and the Philadelphia Athletics. At Clemson, he coached the baseball teams during 1907 and 1908, and he was head football mentor in 1907, where he posted a 4-4 record. Shaughnessy made his name in baseball, but he took part in many other sports. Besides being a sports legend at Notre Dame, he managed the NHL’s Ottawa Senators to the 1915 Stanley Cup Finals and coached football teams at Clemson, Washington & Lee and McGill. He retired as the president of the International Baseball league. In a game against Kansas, Shaughnessy ran 107 yards for the only Irish score, as Kansas won the game 24-5. Football fields were 110 yards back then and touchdowns were five points. This is still a Notre Dame record.


Other news