A Journal of Strength, Health, and Self Cultivation
Frederick E. Schacht was a star football player, medical doctor, and coach. As a coach, he led Kentucky State College (now the University of Kentucky) to an impressive 9-1 season in 1904. Unfortunately, Dr. Schacht became seriously ill shortly after the 1905 football season, and he died on December 1, 1906 at the age of 31. The cause of his death could not be verified, but some have suggested that he fell victim to Bright’s disease. Public domain photograph.
Frederick E. Schacht was the football coach at Kentucky State College (now the University of Kentucky) during the 1904 and 1905 seasons. Before becoming a football coach, Schacht served with the 13th Minnesota Volunteers during the Spanish-American War, attended the University of Minnesota where he starred as a running back on their football team, and worked as a physician in Seattle, Washington after graduating with a degree in medicine.
During his football days at Minnesota, Schacht was known as “a terror on offense,” and he was “hailed throughout the west as the greatest tackle of a decade.” On one occasion, despite suffering from three broken ribs, Schacht refused medical attention, and he led his team to a tie with Michigan. This was the first game that Michigan did not win in nearly three years.
Coach Schacht, bottom row at right, poses with his winning Kentucky State College football team, 1904 season. Only two of the ten teams that State College faced managed to score against them. Public domain photograph.
With Frederick Schacht aboard, Kentucky blossomed and became a powerhouse team. During the 1904 season, the first under their new coach, State College won 9 of their 10 games, and they scored a total of 271 points while allowing their opponents to amass just 15 total points! The only blemish came when Cincinnati defeated Kentucky State College 11-0. However, this loss triggered the mighty coach into a vengeance, and his determined squad clobbered Georgetown College 35-0 and Central College 81-0 a few games later. And, during the final game of the 1904 season, nearby and rival Kentucky University (now Transylvania University) gave up 22 points to State College, but at least they managed to get four points on the score board. If you do the math, you’ll see that Kentucky University was only the second (and last) team to score against Kentucky State College during the 1904 season; eight opponents failed to score any points.
Dr. Schacht had a knack for bringing out greatness in people. He stressed to his players that “work wins,” and he showered them with his enthusiasm for the game of football. As put in the 1906 edition of The Kentuckian, the coach “. . . had the ability to put giant spirits in little men, and football hearts into the heavier weights.” Thus, hard work, heart, and enthusiasm were key to Schacht’s success, and they can give you success in whatever endeavor you seek to excel in as well.