Birthplace: County Down, Ireland
Joe Thompson was an Irish youth of 18 when his parents came to the United States and settled in Pennsylvania. Thompson began his football career at Geneva College in 1902 and 1903 before moving on to Pittsburgh for post-graduate work in law. In 1904, Joe helped the Panthers log a 10-0-0 record which was the first undefeated season in Pitt history. The next year, Thompson took over captaincy of the team and began forming the leadership he was to further as the Pitt coach from 1908 to 1912. Under his direction, Pitt was 30-14-2. His 1910 squad finished with a perfect nine game record and did not allow an opponent to cross its goal. After graduating from Pittsburgh's Law School, Thompson entered the military and fought in Mexico and World War I. His service in France during WWI earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor after he had suffered wounds and been gassed by enemy assault units.
University of Pittsburgh