Don Faurot, Option Inventor

The roots of the Flexbone attacks seen in today’s Georgia Tech and Navy teams can be directly traced back to the work of Missouri University coach Don Faurot and his Split-T offense.  The same can be said for all Wishbone, Veer, and other option-heavy offenses.  Faurot’s biggest contributions were widening the T-formation and then “optioning” defensive players, which allowed for a fast, flanking attack.

Coach Faurot diagrams the option-pass play.

Faurot was a high school star in football, baseball, and basketball—no easy feat, and even more impressive considering he’d lost two fingers during a childhood farming mishap.  He had already been coaching college football almost twenty years when the idea of the option play struck him.  His inspiration was basketball, more specifically the defender’s dilemma during a two-on-one break.  A proper two-on-one essentially forces the defender into making a mistake.  Barring a screw-up by the players on the break, the defender has to leave someone open for an easy bucket…

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