Allison Thomas Stanislaus “Pooley” Hubert is remembered as one of the South’s greatest college football players. Hubert had a prolific football and coaching career that spanned more than 40 years — a career that began in the early 1920s at Missouri Military Academy.
Hubert was born on April 6, 1901, in Meridian, Mississippi. He dropped out of high school to fight in World War I, but when he returned, he enrolled at MMA where he played baseball and football. His MMA education and athletic abilities awarded him a football scholarship to Princeton University, but unfortunately, he lost his scholarship by arriving late for the entrance exams. As a 20-year-old freshman, Hubert enrolled at the University of Alabama.
From 1922 to 1926, Hubert played fullback and quarterback for Wallace Wade’s University of Alabama football team. At 5’10” and 190 pounds, Hubert was noted as the greatest defensive back of all time. While Hubert was at Alabama, teams played one-platoon football, meaning that players could play defensive and offensive positions.
Hubert was a well-rounded player who uplifted his teammates throughout their games. Zipp Newman, a sports editor and writer at Birmingham News, wrote: “No player deserves more credit for getting Alabama started up the ladder than Hubert — a football coach on the field. He wasn’t fast, but he could pass, punt, buck for short yardage, and inspired his teammates.”
While he served as captain of the 1924 team, Alabama went to its first conference championship. At the end of the 1924 season, Hubert was selected for the All-Southern team, an all-star football team for the top college players in each position. In 1925, Hubert led Alabama to victory in the national championship in a 7-0 win over Georgia Tech — a game that awarded him a position on All-Southern two years in a row.
Hubert ended his collegiate football career in “the game that changed the South,” the 1926 Rose Bowl. Hubert scored the first touchdown of the game against the Tide Washington Huskies and led his team to a 20-19 victory. Alabama’s historic win in the 1926 Rose Bowl helped restore pride to the South.
In 1931, Hubert transitioned from a coach on the field to a coach off the field. He was appointed as head football coach at the Mississippi State Teachers College in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, now known as University of Southern Mississippi. From 1931 to 1936, he led the college to a 26-24-5 record. Hubert served as head football coach at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, from 1937 to 1946 where he led the team to a 43-45-8 record. In 1938, his team had four tied games, which set a school record. In 1940, Hubert coached his best season yet, where the team went 7-2-1.
In 1964, Hubert was inducted as a player in the College Football Hall of Fame, a great honor bestowed upon college football players and coaches who were voted first team All-American by the media.
In his later years, Hubert lived in Waynesboro, Georgia. He owned a peach orchard and coached high school football at Waynesboro High School. Following a lengthy illness, Hubert passed away in Augusta, Georgia, on February 26, 1978, at the age of 76.
Pooley Hubert’s prolific work in football inspires collegiate players and coaches to this day. He uplifted players and fans alike, and Missouri Military Academy is proud to have been a part of his journey.
Missouri Military Academy fall 1920 varsity football squad. Courtesy of the 1921 MMA Viewbook.
A talented athlete, Hubert also served as captain of the 1921 baseball team. Courtesy of the 1921 MMA Viewbook.