Henry Russell Sanders

Henry Russell Sanders

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Henry Russell Sanders

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"Red Sanders" redirects here. For the tree, see Pterocarpus santalinus.
Henry Russell "Red" Sanders (May 7, 1905 – August 14, 1958) was an American college football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Vanderbilt University (1940–1942, 1946–1948) and the University of California at Los Angeles (1949–1957), compiling a career college football record of 102–41–3. Sanders' 1954 UCLA team was named national champions by the Coaches' Poll and the Football Writers Association of America. Sanders was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1996.

Known for being witty and hard driving, Sanders used the single-wing formation at Vanderbilt and UCLA. He is widely credited with coining the saying, "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing". When asked about the UCLA–USC rivalry, Sanders said "it's not a matter of life and death, it's more important than that!"


Sanders spent most of his youth in Nashville, Tennessee, where he attended Duncan Preparatory School for Boys. One of his best boyhood friends and fellow classmate at Duncan was renowned sports writer Fred Russell, with whom he would remain close friends his entire life.


Sanders attended college at Vanderbilt University. He was a four-year letterman both in football and baseball. He was captain of the baseball team in his senior...
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