|Claude (Tiny) Thornhill was Beaver County’s first
professional football player. After graduating from Beaver
High School, Tiny played sandlot football in Beaver County.
Wagner of Monaca persuaded Tiny to enter the University of
Pittsburgh in 1913, and the big bruiser was on his way. After
playing fullback at Pitt for two seasons, Tiny was switched to tackle in 1915 when Pop Warner became
coach. As a senior in 1916, Tiny was an All American tackle. In
his four years at Pitt, the Panthers had an amazing 30-3-1 record.
Following his graduation from Pitt, Tiny became an assistant coach
to Pop Warner but left midway through the season to play
pro football in Massillon, Ohio, with teammates that included Knute
Rockne, Jock Sutherland, Gus Dorais, Bob Higgins, and Bob Peck.
After three years in the pros, Tony became an assistant coach at
Centre College, Kentucky, and Centre upset Harvard in 1921 to win the
national collegiate title. Tiny left Centre in 1922 to rejoin Pop
Warner, this time at Stanford. Tiny became head coach at Stanford in
1933 and his teams played in the Rose Bowl three times, winning
once. His six year record at Stanford was 35-23-7.