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  Legend of the Game


William Brownell Goodwin

Oct 7, 1866 - May 17, 1950


A member of the Yale Track and Field team in 1886 & 1887, Goodwin organized the first college football team on the Pacific Coast at the University of Washington in 1889 (American Rugby rules).  In 1892 he founded the Seattle Athletic Club which won the first "championship" on record known as, the Great Northern Railway Silver Cup in 1894.  From 1898 - 1899 William trekked to the Yukon territory in search of gold, spending two winters at the Arctic Circle.  Upon his return he added another footnote to his athletic career:  Referee of the very first transcontinental football game between the University of California at Berkeley and the Carlisle Pennsylvania Indian School.  Even with ringers from Stanford, the Californians lost to Carlisle 2-0.

A constant pioneer with a passion for sport and adventure, Goodwin orchestrated the first international rowing race between Vancouver and Seattle in 1890 and the first intercollegiate four-oared boat race between the University of California and his former associates at the University of Seattle.

An astute businessman with such companies as Aetna and J.P. Morgan, Goodwin wrote books about Leif Ericsson and the Vikings and historic ruins in Jamaica.