Recently, I visited Columbia University to continue researching Tom Howard. According to newspaper accounts, he was Columbia’s first paid hockey coach. However, newspapers sometimes simplify or modify stories to make them easier to understand. As a result, I searched Columbia’s archives for definitive proof.
My search started with the pink sheets. Pink sheet are the official game record. For their minor sports, Columbia’s archives start in Fall 1911. Next, I searched committee meeting notes and news clippings. I found an interesting picture in the Alumni Newspaper. The image was attached to an article about the team’s second place finish. Unfortunately, Columbia’s sports reporting, especially in The Spectator, was more inaccurate than other accounts of the time.
Student player-coaches ruled the ice in early college hockey. There was usually a student manager, too. But rarely a dedicated staff or faculty member, aka coach. Howard could have been a trainer or an adviser who donated time.
I did find my answers. The story will be published later on the SIHR website.
1. Columbia Alumni News (Volume 3, No. 25, March 15, 1912, pp. 451-452), Call # CQ3 Al83, University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
2.Individual Athletic Records: Fall of 1911 to Spring of 1915 Inclusive, January 22, 1912, Series IV: Athletics – Athletic Dept Records (Box 11, Folder 1), University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.