Considered the "Father of Illini Athletics," George Huff was a player, coach and athletics director during the first 46 years of the Athletic Association. Huff was a member of Illinois’ first varsity football team in 1890, served as head football coach from 1895-99, compiling a record of 21-16-3, served as head baseball coach from 1896-1919, tallying a mark of 317-97-4 and was director of athletics at Illinois from 1901-36. Huff briefly managed Boston Americans (later Red Sox) at start of 1907 season, but managed only eight games before returning to Illinois. He led Illinois to 11 Big Ten baseball titles. Huff was the driving force behind construction of Memorial Stadium and Men’s New Gym, later named Huff Hall. The first school for collegiate athletic coaches was that which he organized in 1919. In his earlier years, Huff, during the summer, scouted for the Chicago Cubs and later for the Boston Red Sox. His greatest scouting achievement was the discovery of future hall of famer Tris Speaker in the Texas bushes. He was selected to the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (1968) and is a member of NACDA Hall of Fame (1973). Huff was Instrumental in establishing the Western Conference, the forerunner of the Big Ten Conference, in 1896. Huff died in 1936 at the age of 64.

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