William Beattie "Big Chief" Feathers (August 20, 1909 – March 11, 1979) was an American football running back in the NFL. In college he played for the Tennessee Volunteers. In December 2008, Sports Illustrated undertook to identify the individuals who would have been awarded the Heisman Trophy in college football's early years, before the trophy was established. Feathers was selected as the would-be Heisman winner for the 1933 season.
He played for the Chicago Bears, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Green Bay Packers during his seven-year career. He was the first player in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in one season (1934), where he gained 1,004 yards. He holds the NFL single season record for most yards per carry when he averaged 8.44 yards per attempt that same year (minimum 100 carries). He attended Virginia High School in Bristol, and led the school to its first state championship as team captain before going on to the University of Tennessee.
After his career in the NFL, Feathers went on to coach football at Appalachian State and North Carolina State. He also coached baseball at Texas Tech and Wake Forest. In 1981, Feathers was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
- ^ Mike Beacom (2008-12-12). "Who would have won the Heisman from 1900-1934". Sports Illustrated.
- ^ "Infographic: NFL on Wednesday". Profootballhof.com. 2010-02-07. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- ^ "Texas Tech Official Athletic Site: 2008 Baseball Media Guide". Texastech.cstv.com. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
By Dean Hanley
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