Coach William G. “Bud” Houghton

1941, 1946 – 1947 – Won 21, Lost 6, Tied 3
State Champion – 1941

William O. “Bud” Houghton inherited a football factory. Appointed head coach of the Massillon Tigers on February 8, 1941, Houghton also had to replace a legend who took his genius and coaching staff to Ohio State, Paul Brown left an indelible mark on Massillon football, winning a un-precedented six consecutive State Championships and two straight National championships. He posted an incredible record of 80-8-2 from 1932-40, numbers and accomplishments that beckoned a call to Columbus.

YearWonLostTiedMass.Opp.State *

* – Popular Acclaim

This is what Bud Houghton had to strive for when he was named the fifth head coach at Massillon at the age of 37. His agenda was filled with a list of things to do in preparation for the 1941 season: the selection of a coaching staff; the implementation of his systems and theories; the replacement of four graduated All-Ohio First Team standouts including the 1940 Ohio Outstanding Scholastic Player of the Year, end Horace Gillom; and the maintenance of a superpower program that was so dominating that it blew out a college team, Kent State University, 47-0 in a practice game in 1910.

Houghton knew the Massillon way. He served as coach of Longfellow Junior High from 1934-40. He also served as head basketball coach. He was graduated from Washington High School in 1928. He had the endorsement from Paul Brown.

Houghton was a disciple of Brown’s innovative ways of building a program. That meant a premium on fundamentals, practice regimen and discipline which established a systematic program. Houghton would not deviate from the system that made Massillon a perennial state and national power. On the field, Houghton also inherited a 33-game undefeated streak that started in 1937. The ’40 team recorded nine shutouts and allowed six points the entire season.

This team, however, would be led by the open field running of Fred “Pokey” Blunt. Running behind All-Ohio First Team guard John Hill, Blunt led an attack that averaged 31.4 points per game. Blunt, who also was named to the All-Ohio First Team, scored 35 touchdowns in his three-year career and still stands as Massillon’s seventh all-time lending scorer with 213 points. Massillon’s undefeated streak reached 38 games before a 6-6 tie against a Mansfield team that would not lose a game in ’41.

The Tigers regrouped and swamped their last four foes by a tally of 131-19. That included a season-final 32-0 win at Canton McKinley before a record Fawcett Stadium crowd 25,000.

By popular acclaim, the Tigers, under first year head coach Dud Houghton, were selected Ohio State Champion for a seventh consecutive season. Houghton left the Tigers in 1942 for a more worthy service: World War II. He enlisted in the physical fitness program of the Navy and served at the  Iowa pre-flight school as a coach and physical education teacher under Bernie Bierman, who gained fame as head coach of the perennial National Champion University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Later, Houghton was athletic director for Fleet Air Wing 6 in Seattle, Washington and athletic director at Darin Field (Alabama), an outlying field of the Pensacola Naval Training Station.

After his discharge in 1945 with the rank of lieutenant that was later commissioned lieutenant commander, Houghton returned to Massillon as head
coach in 1946.

Houghton coached the Tigers for two more years and had a three year career record of 21-6-3. He was appointed head coach at The University of Akron in 1948.

Houghton’s Career:

  • Played football at Massillon High in 1922, 1924 and 1925
  • All-County 1924 and 1925
  • All-Ohio 1925
  • Massillon High basketball center 1924-26, guard 1925-26
  • Massillon High track ran 100. 200, 400 and relay 1925-26
  • 1925 set Massillon High 440 record of 50.2
  • Grove City College halfback 1927 1930
  • All-District team 1929 and 1930
  • Selected to Grove City College All-time team in 1960
  • Grove City College track ran 100, 200, 440 1928 1931
  • Broke Carnegie Tech 440 track record in 1930 at 51.8
  • Grove City College Baseball center field 1928 1931
  • Played Semi-pro football with Massillon Panhandles, Ex Highs and IGAs