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Bill Spears


William Douglas Spears

Inducted 1962

Date of Birth



Jasper, TN


Vanderbilt University (1925-1927)


Sports writing great Grantland Rice was nothing less than amazed when he saw Vanderbilt quarterback Bill Spears in action. "He is the fastest of the nation's quarterbacks," Rice raved, "and one of the most remarkable offensive backs to be seen in college football in years." Spears was fast and flashy, leading coach Dan McGugin's Commodores to 16 victories in 20 games during his junior and senior seasons. As a junior in 1926, Spears paced the Vandy team to an 8-1-0 record, the sole loss coming at the hands of rival Alabama, 19-7. The next year, an All-America campaign for Spears, he led the Commodores to an 8-1-2 mark which included a bitter 13-6 defeat at the hands of Texas and ties with arch rival Tennessee (7-7) and Georgia (0-0). Spears spurred his team to victories over Kentucky in each of his final two campaigns, prompting UK coach Harry Gamage to compare him with the legendary Red Grange of Illinois. His own coach, Dan McGugin said, "Spears was a classic example of the results a boy can gain if he works hard enough and has a fighting heart. Bill was as skillful as any man who ever played football. A great student of the game, our boys had implicit confidence in his judgment." Spears went on to become a prominent attorney in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and served as a trustee at his alma mater.



Weight 155

Career Highlights

  • 1927 First Team All-America
  • 1926 Second Team All-America
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