Year Inducted: 2019
The 2019 posthumous recognition goes to a pioneer in American College Football and a true son of Missouri, the late Don Faurot (1902 – 1995). Faurot was a football, baseball and basketball player, coach and college athletics administrator. Through those roles he had an eight-decade association with the University of Missouri. Faurot was the athletic director at Missouri from 1935 to 1942 and again from 1946 to 1967. He lettered in three sports at Missouri in the early 1920s: in football, as a halfback, basketball and baseball.
Faurot was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1961. His major contributions were two-fold: retiring the $500,000 debt through scheduling Ohio State over nine of 11 years (losing all of them) and most notably to the game of football through his innovation of the Split-T offense at Mizzou in 1941. In the post-World War II era, many coaches adopted the Faurot formation. More than 60 years later, it is still in vogue today at all levels of football. Several of football’s most notable formations—the Wishbone, Wingbone, Veer or I-attack and others—utilize Faurot’s option play as their basic concept.
In 1972, the Tigers’ football playing surface was officially named Faurot Field in his honor. In 1995, he placed the final square of sod as MU successfully converted the stadium’s floor back to natural grass.