Wonderful 100: NC State's First All-American Athlete

J. H. Ripple became NC State's first All-American athlete in 1918.

J. H. Ripple became NC State's first All-American athlete in 1918.

The 1918 football season was disappointing for NC State.  We played only four games and lost three of them.  That season had a bright note, however, in that one team member,  J. H. "Gus" Ripple, became the first NC State athlete selected as an All-American.  The 1919 Agromeck described him as "our husky, hustling left tackle" and went on to say he was "one of the four best tackles in the United States for the season of 1918." 

NC State's 1918 football squad.

J. H. (John Hollis) Ripple (1897-1965) was an All-American because of his football record, but he also excelled in basketball and was one-time team captain.  After graduating in 1921 with a B.E. in textiles, he had a long managerial career in industry, mainly for Fieldcrest Mills.

Special Collections holds a scrapbook documenting Ripple's time as a student at NC State (1917-1921).  Photos of a few of the scrapbook pages appear below, and more information about it can be found in an online collection guide.  To see the scrapbook, please contact us through our online request form.