A. Barr Snively

Abraham Barr Snively II (February 9, 1899 – April 15, 1964) was an American football player and coach of lacrosse, football, and ice hockey. He played football for Princeton University from 1921 to 1923 and was captain of the 1923 team. He held coaching positions at Williams College in lacrosse, football and hockey from 1928 to 1948 and at the University of New Hampshire from 1953 to 1964.

A. Barr Snively
Biographical details
BornFebruary 9, 1899
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
Died(1964-04-15)April 15, 1964
Durham, New Hampshire
Playing career
Position(s)Guard, end, back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1928Williams (line)
1929–1931Brown (line)
1932–1942Williams (line)
1945Williams (line)
1948Maine (assistant)
1953–1963New Hampshire (line)
Ice hockey
1962–1964New Hampshire
Head coaching record
Overall32–41 (lacrosse)
93–82–10 (ice hockey)
Accomplishments and honors
F. Morris Touchstone Award (1964)

Early years

Snively was a native of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.[1] He was the son of A. Barr Snively I (c. 1869 October 1944), a prominent physician and surgeon in Waynesboro, and Mary Carlisle Snively.[2] Snively played football at Waynesboro High School on a team that The Daily News (Frederick, Maryland) called "the best foot ball team ever representing the Waynesboro High School."[3]

Snively served in the U.S. military during World War I.[1] After leaving the military, Snively enrolled at Mercersburg Academy where he received varsity letters in five sports, graduating in 1919.[4][5] He subsequently attended Princeton University from which he graduated in 1924. He played as a guard for the Princeton Tigers football team from 1921 to 1923.[6] Despite playing in the line, Snively became known as "the best forward-passer in the East."[4] In December 1922, he was voted as the captain of the 1923 Princeton football team.[3][7] Throughout his athletic career as a player and coach, Snively was known by the nickname "Whoop" (sometimes "Whoops").[8][9]

Coaching career

In 1925, Snively became the head coach of the Rumford High School football team in Rumford, Maine.[4]

In 1928, Snively became an assistant football coach, in charge of linemen, at Williams College, working under College Football Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Caldwell. In April 1929, Snively was hired by Brown University as its line coach under head coach Tuss McLaughry.[10][11] Snively also coached lacrosse at Brown.[4]

Snively returned to Williams College in 1932. Over the next 11 years, he resumed his duties as line coach for the football team and also served as the head coach of the lacrosse and men's ice hockey teams.[12]

Snively took a leave of absence from Williams in 1942 to serve with the Red Cross in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.[1][4] Williams discontinued its football program during the war years from 1943 to 1945.

In March 1945, Williams was hired as an assistant football coach at Dartmouth College under head coach Tuss McLaughry.[13][14]

Snively returned to Williams in September 1945 and resumed his posts as football line coach and head coach for the hockey and lacrosse team.[15] In January 1946, he became the head football coach at Williams;[16] he held that position for the 1946 and 1947 seasons.[6] Snively noted that his greatest love in sports was ice hockey, and he coached the Williams College men's ice hockey team for 16 years.[1] While at Williams, Snively also coached freshman teams and varsity lacrosse teams.[6] In February 1948, Snively was replaced by Len Watters as Williams' head football coach, though he continued to serve thereafter as the school's lacrosse and hockey coach.[17][18]

In the fall of 1948, Snively served as an assistant football coach at the University of Maine under head coach Eck Allen.[19][20]

From 1949 through the 1951, Snively was the head football coach at Clarkson University.[21][22][23][24] When Clarkson discontinued football in 1952, Snively became the school's director of intramural athletics.[25]

In March 1953, Snively was hired by the University of New Hampshire as the line coach for its football team and as the head coach for its lacrosse team.[5] He held those positions for the next 12 years. His lacrosse teams at New Hampshire compiled and 84–43 record and won a national divisional championship and five New England divisional championships.[1][26][27][28] He was also the men's ice hockey coach at New Hampshire from 1962 to 1964.[29]

Death and posthumous honors

In April 1964, Snively died of a heart attack while at a gas station in Durham, New Hampshire.[6] He was survived by his wive, Eva (Owen) Snively; a son, A. Barr Snively III, and a daughter, Virginia O. Snively.[29]

In December 1964, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association posthumously voted Snively its Coach of the Year award. Snively's lacrosse teams accumulated 116 victories, including his 85-47 record at New Hampshire. He had also coached lacrosse at Brown, Williams, Clarkson and Maine.[30] In February 1965, the University of New Hampshire dedicated Snively Arena, named after Coach Snively, to be used by the institution's hockey team and for other athletic events.[31] The A. Barr "Whoop" Snively Scholarship Fund was established in 1966. It provides scholarship support to a third-year student who has participated in hockey, lacrosse, or football.[32]

Head coaching record

Ice hockey

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Williams Ephs (Independent) (1931–1942)
1931–32 Williams 5–3–0
1932–33 Williams 0–4–2
1933–34 Williams 5–3–0
1934–35 Williams 6–3–1
1935–36 Williams 6–3–0
1936–37 Williams 5–3–1
1937–38 Williams 10–3–1
1938–39 Williams 5–5–0
1939–40 Williams 6–5–0
1940–41 Williams 6–2–0
1941–42 Williams 4–3–0
Williams: 58–37–5
Williams Ephs (Independent) (1945–1949)
1945–46 Williams 1–4–0
1946–47 Williams 2–7–0
1947–48 Williams 4–3–2
1948–49 Williams 5–9–0
Williams: 12–23–2
New Hampshire Wildcats (ECAC Hockey) (1962–1964)
1962–63 New Hampshire 10–10–09–10–013th
1963–64 New Hampshire 13–12–013–12–015th
New Hampshire: 23–22–022–22–0

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. "Wildcat Coach, A. B. Snively, Dies Unexpectedly". Portsmouth Herald. 1964-04-16.
  2. "Dr. A. Barr Snively". The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, MD). 1944-10-04.
  3. "To Lead Princeton Eleven". The Daily News. 1922-12-11.
  4. "Snively Appointed Head Grid Coach at Williams". Berkshire Evening Eagle. 1946-01-07.
  5. "Snively Named UNH Line Coach". Portsmouth Herald. 1953-03-10.
  6. "A. Barr Snively, Former Williams Grid Coach, 65". North Adams Transcript. 1964-04-16.
  7. ""WHOOPS" SNIVELY NEW CAPTAIN AT PRINCETON: Forward Pass Expert, Who Has Played End, Guard And Back, Chosen to Lead Tiger Eleven Next Season". Boston Daily Globe. 1922-12-08.
  8. "Wildcats Start Hockey Practice". Portsmouth Herald. 1963-11-22. ("A. Barr Snively, known to sports fans all over the East as Whoop finished coaching the varsity line in football Saturday and began coaching the UNH varsity hockey team Monday.")
  9. ""WHOOPS" IS TO WED". Charleston Daily Mail. 1923-01-11.
  10. "Williams Asst. Coach Is Going To Brown". The Lima News. 1929-04-25.
  11. "SNIVELY TO HELP AT BROWN; Former Princeton Eleven Leader Signs as Football Assistant". The New York Times. 1929-04-11.
  12. "OFFER CONTRACTS TO GRID COACHES: Caldwell and Snively, Williams Football Mentors, May Have Three-Year Renewals". North Adams Transcript. 1935-12-03.
  13. "SNIVELY DARTMOUTH AIDE: Former Williams Coach to Help McLaughry--Piepul Retained". The New York Times. 1945-03-11.
  14. "Snively Gets Assistant Grid Job at Dartmouth". The Hartford Courant. 1945-03-11.
  15. "Coach Snively Will Return To Williams". Berkshire Evening Eagle. 1945-09-28.
  16. "Williams Names Barr Snively As New Grid Coach". The Hartford Courant. 1946-01-31.
  17. "White Plains High School Grid Coach To Direct Williams College Gridders". The Hartford Courant. 1947-02-21.
  18. "To Name New Mentor". The New York Times. 1948-01-21.
  19. "Maine Primed for Grid Start". The Lewiston Daily Sun. 1948-09-25.
  20. "Snively and Rankin Direct Maine Drills". The Lewiston Daily Sun. 1948-09-03.
  21. "Clarkson Has Squad of 44 Men". Syracuse Herald Journal. 1949-09-23.
  22. "Grid Coach At Clarkson Will Speak". Syracuse Herald Journal. 1949-12-09.
  23. "Snively Holds St. Lawrence Real Threat". Syracuse Herald Journal. 1951-10-25.
  24. "Clarkson Has 30 Gridders Out for Drill". Syracuse Herald Journal. 1951-04-21.
  25. "Snively Leaves Clarkson Position For New Hampshire". The Post Standard (Syracuse, NY). 1953-03-11.
  26. "Whoop Snively Rebuilding Wildcat Lacrosse Team". Portsmouth Herald. 1956-03-10.
  27. "Snively Memorial: UNH Lacrosse Athletes To Pay Tribute Today". Portsmouth Herald. 1964-05-09.
  28. "Coach Whoop Snively Works UNH Lacrossemen". Portsmouth Herald. 1957-03-07.
  29. "A. Barr Snively Dies in N.H. at 65". Gettysburg Times (AP story). 1964-04-16.
  30. "USILA Honors Late Hoop Snively". Portsmouth Herald. 1964-12-21.
  31. "Snively Arena Dedication Feb. 20". Portsmouth Herald. 1965-01-26.
  32. A. Barr "Whoop" Snively Scholarship Fund at UNH Foundation
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