Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

QB Joe Kapp Welcomes Coach Pete Elliott to Cal

Hart High Class of 1955 (Kapp)

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January 16, 1957 — Cal Bears sophomore quarterback Joe Kapp (the big player in the middle) welcomes coach Peter R. "Pete" Elliott to the University of California's Berkeley campus. Joining Kapp (Hart High Class of 1955) at the gym for the meet-and-greet are halfback Jack Hart of Garden Grove (next to Elliott) and center Bill Cooper of Hawthorne, Calif.

It was anticipated Elliott would introduce the Golden Bears to the split-T formation, which was popular in the 1940s and '50s, and which Kapp had run at Hart High, according to the San Francisco Examiner (below). "It's a good offense," Kapp said in a brief interview. "I think he'll get us going, give us a lot of hustle," Kapp said of Elliott, who had coached the 1956 season at the University of Nebraska.

Despite an 8-10 conference record (10-21 overall) during Elliott's three seasons with Cal (1957-59), Elliott's coaching and Kapp's quarterbacking led the Bears to the 1959 Rose Bowl game — which the Bears lost to Iowa, 38-12. Jack Hart scored both Cal TD's, one on the ground and one in the air.

Kapp went on to become (and still is) the only person ever to quarterback in all three championship games — the Rose Bowl, Super Bowl and Canada's Grey Cup (twice). Never mind that he went 1-3.

For his part, Elliott (1926-2013), himself an All American quarterback who'd led the Michigan Wolverines to a national championship, took Illinois to a Big Ten title and a 1964 Rose Bowl victory over the Washington Huskies. He was the athletic director at the University of Miami in the 1970s and served as executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame from 1979-1996.

Above: Associated press wire photo, 8x10 inches. Cutline reads:

(FX1) BERKELEY, CALIF., JAN. 17 — ELLIOTT MEETS SOME OF THE BOYS

Pete Elliott, new University of California football coach, strikes up a conversation with three players on last season's squad during a visit yesterday at California Memorial Stadium. Talking with Elliott, who signed a three-year contract at UC after holding similar post last year at Nebraska are halfback Jack Hart, second from left, of Garden Grove, Calif.; quarterback Joe Kapp, third from left, of Newhall, Calif.; and center Bill Cooper of Hawthorne, Calif.

(APWIREPHOTO)(tdil/h50400stf-clh)'57


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LW3727: 9600 dpi jpeg from original photograph purchased 2019 by Leon Worden.
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