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Walter Steffen


Walter Peter Steffen

Inducted 1969

Date of Birth



Chicago, IL


University of Chicago (1906-1908)


Walter Steffen was a clever, resourceful ball carrier for Amos Alonzo Stagg during one of Chicago's finest eras. "I have never seen anyone who could even approximate his abilities," Stagg said of Steffen. "He's shifty, and an artful dodger." Steffen began his career as a sophomore halfback at Chicago in 1906 and was moved to quarterback the next year, replacing Walter Eckersall, another Hall of Famer. The 158-pound Steffen made All-America in both 1907 and 1908 and All-Big ten three times. Maroon wins included beating Illinois by scores of 63-0 and 42-6; Purdue was pounded 39-0 , 56-0, and 39-0; Indiana crumbled to 33-8, 27-6, and 29-6 thrashings and Minnesota was victimized, 29-0. During Steffen's three varsity seasons, he scored 156 points and the Maroons were virtually unbeatable. After completing his eligibility, Steffen joined Stagg's coaching staff at Chicago. He added a law degree, began a law practice, and was named a judge in the Chicago system. He served as head football coach at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh 1914-1917, 1919-1932. Steffen was known as the "commuter coach." On certain weeks he would preside as judge in a Chicago court early in the week, while his assistants handled football practice at Carnegie. Steffen would join the football team on weekends and would direct the team in its games. Steffen's record for 18 seasons was 88-53-6. His most famous victory came Nov. 27, 1926. Notre Dame entered this game with an 8-0 record. Carnegie was 6-2, having lost to New York University and Washington & Jefferson. Carnegie upset Notre Dame 19-0.


Height 5'9

Weight 158

Career Highlights

  • 1908 All-Conference
  • 1908 Consensus All-America
  • 1907 All-Conference
  • 1907 Third Team All-America
  • 1906 All-Conference
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