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Encyclopedia of Baldwin Wallace University History: Personnel - F

An Index of Historical Content and Their Sources

Findley, Guy B.

CitationBette Lou Higgins, The Past We Inherit: A history of Baldwin-Wallace College 1835 - 1974 (printed by the author, 1974), 100.

Baldwin-Wallace Trustee, Judge Guy B. Findley was known as a magistrate who “mixed judicial dignity with a sharp wit and an occasional sharp tongue where he thought it would do the most good.”

Guy Findley received his law degree from the University of Michigan. His first public post came in 1911 when he was made city solicitor of Elyria. Serving in that office for two terms, he then moved on to spend two sessions as Lorain Common Pleas Court in Lorain County where he continued without primary or general election opposition until his retirement on October 14, 1950.

Judge Findley took a special interest in promoting welfare organizations especially for youngsters. He served as trustee of the Cleveland Christian Home for Children for 10 years; on the executive board of the Firelands area council of Boy Scouts of America and the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis; and on the editorial committee of the Ohio Probation Association. In Elyria, he served for 25 years as a trustee of the First Christian Church; and as president of the Elyria Izaak Walton League and the local Community Chest.

Remembering happy hours spent in the woods during his childhood the Judge donated 890 acres of forest near Wellington to the state of Ohio as part of his fight against juvenile delinquency. The park has been named Findley State Forest.

Judge Findley not only donated forests, he served as president of the Ohio Forestry Association and vice president of the American Forestry Association (for which he was given the honor of being made vice president for life by an amendment to the constitution made by the group members).

The House of Representatives of the state of Ohio paid tribute to Judge Findley’s achievements in the adoption of a resolution “in commendation of the life and services of a great jurist and the contribution he made to legal jurisprudence and the political, social and cultural growth of the community in which he has so ably served, and the molding of the lives of those whose sphere of activity touched directly or indirectly (his) life.”

Finnigan, Edward "Eddie" L.

Citation: Frances F. Mills, ed., “Athletics,” Baldwin-Wallace Alumnus 11, no. 4 (1933): p. 26.

A young Eddie Finnigan smiles for the camera. Source: Page 26, August 1933 Alumnus. Click on the image to enlarge.

"Eddie" Finnigan, graduate and former athletic star at Western Reserve University will assume his duties as instructor in the department of health and physical education and assistant football and basketball coach when the fall football practice begins on September 11. As varsity quarterback, Finnigan was W. R. U.'s outstanding gridder for the past three years, captaining the team in 1932. He also starred in basketball and track.

Eddie is a graduate of John Adams High School in Cleveland, Ohio, and is very popular and well known in Cleveland scholastic circles.

It is the opinion of Acting President Grover and the members of the Athletic Committee of the Board of Trustees that in Mr. Finnigan we have secured a most excellent man for the position.

Citation: Marion Cole, ed., “After Sixteen Years At B-W It's HEAD COACH FINNIGAN,” Baldwin-Wallace Alumnus 27, no. 4 (1949): pp. cover-1.

"It's very easy to be ordinary, but it takes a lot of courage to excell -and we must excell."

In the Fall of 1933 an enthusiastic youngster fresh from Western Reserve University hired himself out to Baldwin-Wallace as an assistant football coach and brought this philosophy with him.

Anyone who knows Eddie Finnigan at all well probably has heard him use his pet adage a number of times; and his firm conviction in excellence and the advantages of being on top has assured the great majority of Baldwin-Wallace football followers that Eddie will lead the Yellow Jackets brilliantly.

Sixteen seasons after his baptism he finds himself in the driver's seat -the head coach, now that Ray Watts has chosen to retire from the gridiron after more than two decades as Jacket headmaster.

Basically, Finnigan is the same vivacious guy whose personable, invigorating manner stacked up popularity and friendships as soon as he struck the campus. Except for a dimishing crop of brunette locks, Eddie might well be mistaken for a recent GI college graduate. But despite his youthful appearance, the smiling bow tie-wearing Irishman is a real coaching veteran.

He'll need all his experience and coaching skill, though. Succeeding Ray Watts as head football coach is certainly not the easiest task in the. world. Watts occupied the throne room for 21 seasons and lifted the Yellow Jackets from pigskin obscurity to national prominence-especially in 1935 and 1936 when they topped the nation's colleges in scoring.

The Wattsian Era produced 104 -victories and 14 ties against 54 losses, a truly remarkable record that stands as a testimonial to a fine mentor.

Naturally Watts would be particular about the heir to his job. "It's the most important thing on my mind; we certainly want to be sure we pick the right man for the job," Watts said last Spring when it was ascertained that he was leaving football.

He didn't have to look far. Watts' loyal assistant for 16 years, Finnigan was the logical selection and, as they would say in Flatbush, "The Peepul's Cheree.''

Finnigan came to Berea with a glowing reputation as a cracker-jack athlete and student. At John Adams High School in Cleveland and during his own campus days at Western Reserve he had stood opponents on their collective ears with his feats on the gridiron and basketball court.

In his senior year at Reserve he crashed the national spotlight by being picked as forward on the famous Chuck Taylor All-American basketball team.

Eddie tutored the basketball team at B-W for a few years but his continuous jobs have been those with the track squad and the football backfield.

It has been in track that Finnigan has gained his highest coaching accolades. His feats with the Jacket cinder squad have paralleled Watts' development of football.

When he took over, the tracksters would have had difficulty in consistently licking a small high school team. But it served as a challenge, and systematically the team grew in strength and prestige. By 1942 the Jackets climbed to the Number 2 Spot in the Ohio Conference and the following year, when Finnigan's great pupil Harrison Dillard became a sophomore, track at Baldwin-Wallace came of age.

The Jackets stepped to five straight Ohio Conference crowns and four consecutive All-Ohio titles. In 1945 and 1946 they were unbeaten and a 26- meet string of victories was snapped only by an elegant Ohio State team in 1947.

The B-W contingent many times was tagged the best small college track team in the U. S. by sportswriters who covered the country's harriers.

"IN HIS ROLE as track coach, Finnigan checks the cinder shoes of his most famous pupil, Harrison Dillard." Source: Page 11, November 1949 Alumnus. Click on the image to enlarge.

Harrison Dillard gave Finnigan his most cherished coaching present on July 21, 1948. The place was Wembley Stadium, London, where 82,000 people had assembled for the Olympic Games. As everyone knows, Dillard made off with the 100 meter dash honors and Finnigan had realized a lifelong ambition of handling a world champion.

Incidentally, Eddie's dynamic personality had the same effect on the English as it had had on Americans. The first thing visiting Americans saw in a London daily as they arrived in the White City for the Olympics was a story on Finnigan. Although he was not an official U. S. coach and was along just to see Dillard run, and despite the fact that the EnglandAustralia cricket tests had crowded all Olympic news off the sports pages, Finnigan was in a very prominent column.

Finnigan is given much credit for shaping the classy backfields that have blazed forth for B-W year after year. A forward passer of note in his undergraduate days, Finnigan aided in bringing the "Aerial Circus" to B-W in the golden autumn days of 1934-35-36 when the "Touchdown Twins" - Kenny Noble and Norm Schoen - were bowling over Jacket foes with touchdown throws.

This season, the Yellow Jackets are sporting perhaps their most deadly passing attack and Finnigan is reviving the "Aerial Circus." The new Touchdown Twins are Tommy Phillips and Bob Hecker who have been under the Finnigan influence from the start of their careers.

Phillips learned his flipping game at Berea High from Noble, who was the local school's backfield coach, while Hecker was schooled at Olmsted Falls by Schoen. It is appropriate that the "Aerial Circus" should be rebuilt by these two.

In 1937, Finnigan was married and he and his wife, Miriam, have a daughter, Sharon. He lists his family as the only thing closer to him than his football team.

Track has afforded Finnigan the limelight but football always has been his favorite and he always has had the desire to coach football. He finally received his chance when Watts announced his withdrawal from gridology. Then there was a tough decision, for Finnigan was being sought by the Cleveland Browns to fill a vacancy on their staff under the heralded Paul Brown.

After much thought Eddie's affect ion for Baldwin-Wallace and Berea finally led him to take up Watts' position.

Long one of the most highly-esteemed professors on the campus, Eddie couldn't tear himself from Berea. "I like the kids and the people, the school and the town too much to leave," he has said.

Once he was notified of his appointment, Finnigan went to work on football as he has done on everything else- in a terrifically ambitious, systematic, high-spirited and intelligent manner. He and his assistants- Keith Piper, Ralph Adams and Lars Wagner- met every day during the summer, plotting and planning.

The coaches dug into every angle of Baldwin-Wallace football and drew up every minute of the season. Each detail became important; organization was the key word.

"I want the kids to know this game and to enjoy it- and the way to enjoy football is to win," Finnigan has stated. "If we know more about football than the next fellow, and do our job better, we will win."

As this is written, the Jackets have taken their first three ball games and have assumed the air of a well-trained, hard-hitting outfit.

Finnigan is excelling. And there's every reason why he should. He's not afraid of hard work; he has the courage; and all who have had contact with him know that he's never been content to be just ordinary.

" It's very easy to be ordinary, but it takes a lot of courage to excell - and we must excell." - Bud Collins, ‘51

Fullmer, Edward L.