THE HISTORY OF MILES COLLEGE FOOTBALL 1910 - 1946
Competitive football at Miles College had its beginning in 1910 under the late Professor Jordon of Atlanta University, as head coach. Under coach Jordon, certain fundamentals were installed that can still be seen on present day teams. The lines have always played low and charged hard and continues to do the same.
Miles played its first football game in 1910 against Central A.M.E. Alabama College, and won by a score of 5 - 0. In 1911, Miles went undefeated for the season as they played a three game schedule.
In 1912, E.W. Windham was one of the greatest players to don the purple and gold uniform. Windham began his career by playing two positions, defensive tackle and offensive end. He ended his playing days as a fullback, where he was known as “Power House” and 205 pounds of “dynamite”. In one game against Rust College of Holly Springs, Mississippi, Miles won by a score of 28-0 and Windham scored all 28 points.
From an interview taken by Mr. John W. Tarver, Jr. on April 19, 1983 with E.W. “Power House” Windham, who stated the following information: ”Miles played three games in 1912 and won all three games, Miles 7, Selma University 0, Miles defeated Central A.M.E. Alabama College and Industrial High School. In 1913, Miles played the same three teams as in 1912 and won those games as well. In 1914, Coach Jordon coached Miles to another undefeated season against the same three teams, plus winning an additional game with Mississippi Industrial College.
Coach Osborne coached Miles from 1915 to 1919, and in 1915 Miles had another undefeated season as they played three games with Industrial High School, Mississippi Industrial College, and Selma University. Then, in 1915 Central A.M.E. Alabama College of Mason City in Birmingham, Alabama sponsored by the Methodist Episcopal Church South burned down”.
In 1918, football was suspended at Miles do to World War I. In 1920 coach Poole found himself leading the “Golden Tornadoes” now know as the: “Golden Bears” and playing such teams as Alabama A&M, Selma University, Paine College, Rust College and Mississippi Industrial College.
In 1925, under Coach Reeve’s leadership, Miles defeated Alabama State University 7 - 0 and defeated Alabama State 2 - 0 in 1926.
On December 17, 1927, Miles was admitted to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Records of the games played during the ’20 are incomplete, but the following were found in the Birmingham News: Sunday, October 7, 1928, page 5, with Miles Memorial College beating Alabama A&M Aggies 12 - 0 in Huntsville, Alabama. Millhouse scored both touchdowns in the game. Also, on Sunday, October 14, 1928, page 2; Talladega defeated Miles by a score of 19 - 12.
In 1929, Coach T. J. (Mule) Knox ushered in an era of winning football at Miles with a record of 4 - 3, which has never changed course. Dr. Knox, an alumnus of Talladega College and Me Harry Medical College. While at Talladega College, Papa Knox was one of the truly great player’s of his time as he played all four major sports, Dr. Knox, left Miles at the end of 1929, to open his own drug store. He was the Pharmacist and later a teacher and coach at Dunbar High School in Bessemer, Alabama.
In 1934, Coach (Mule) Knox returned to Miles and had the first of his five undefeated teams. In the Birmingham News, Saturday, October 13, 1934, page 8, football results: Miles Memorial defeated Tennessee State by a score of 7 - 0. On Sunday, November 4, 1934, page 16, football results: Miles 22, Lane 0, November 18, 1934, page15, Miles wins over Alabama A&M 6 - 0 in Normal, Alabama. Miles scored a touchdown shortly after the second period opened as Miles Memorial College downed Alabama A&M College. Owens ran the touchdown for Miles on a triple reverse over the right tackle for 26 yards. Reported in the Birmingham Age Herald on Saturday, November 16, 1935, page 15, Miles turned back Alabama A&M by a score of 35 - 0. Another article recorded in the Birmingham News, Saturday, November 30, 1935, page 11, Miles grid team rallies to defeat Alabama State Teachers (19 - 0).
In 1936, Coach Knox lost one game. This was the only loss he suffered from 1934 until 1938. After a scoreless half with Alabama State, State won the game by a score of 30 - 6. The game was played in Montgomery, Alabama. In Huntsville Alabama, Miles played Alabama A&M to a scoreless tie that year.
In 1937, Coach (Mule) Knox had another undefeated season. Dr. Knox lost two games in 1938. Miles lost to Alabama A&M (6 -19) in Huntsville, Alabama. Before the 19 points scored in 1938, Alabama A&M failed to score on Miles since 1932.
The other loss came at the hands of Tougaloo College by a score of (0 - 27). Miles defeated Talladega College (20 - 0), Stillman College. (20 - 12), Mississippi Industrial ( 17 - 0) and Rust College (7-0). Alvin (Cuz) Holston blocked a punt in the end zone that was recovered by William Long for a touchdown, thus giving Miles the victory over Rust College.
1939 was not a good year for the Golden Bears. Miles defeated Stillman College (12 - 6). Mississippi Industrial College, and Miles were defeated by Alabama A&M (0 - 48), Allen University (0 - 39), and Rust College (0 - 6). Alvin (Cuz) Holston was our “Silent Partner” and the captain of the team, who played guard and was a “vicious tackler” and a “hard blocker”.
The 1940 season was another winning season for the Golden Bears. After losing the first game to Stillman College (0 - 9), Miles defeated it’s other opponents. One of the highlights during this season was Miles spoiling Fort Valley State’s homecoming by a score of (6 - 0). B. T. (Flugie) King caught a pass and ran 65 yards like a “wild boor” for the touchdown.
In 1941, Miles lost its first game to Fisk University (9-12) but won the rest of its games.
In 1942, Miles had another undefeated season, but football was once again suspended after the 1942 season due to World War II until 1946.
SUBMITTED BY JOHN W. TARVER, JR. CLASS OF 1946
MEMBER OF MILES COLLEGE SPORTS HALL OF FAME
MEMBER OF THE MILES COLLEGE GOLDEN BEARS BOOSTER CLUB, INC.