The George Washington University: Athletics News

John Fenlon
John Fenlon

Football, Basketball & Baseball (Inducted 1974)


John Fenlon was a three-sport athlete who played both football and basketball in 1930-'33, and baseball from 1932-'33. Nicknamed "Soapy," Fenlon was rated the best passer in the East and mentioned for all-American honors as halfback and quarterback for the football team. Fenlon played guard in basketball and third base for the GW baseball team, for which he batted nearly .600.

After graduating in 1933, Fenlon played independent professional football with the Washington Federals and the Richmond Arrows; he played basketball with the Heurich Brewers in the early days of professional basketball.

Fenlon went on to coach football at the University of Richmond, as well as work as a life insurance agent for the Equitable Life Assurance Society. He was the Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 1946, when the University of Richmond Spiders finished 6-2-2, one of Richmond's best football records. Fenlon is credited with introducing the "T formation" to Richmond football, and was inducted into the University of Richmond Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.

Fenlon, who died in 2000, was twice a widower and had one daughter, Jane.

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