Doyle Nave
refer to caption
Nave, circa 1943
No. 17
Personal information
Born:(1915-07-12)July 12, 1915
Bedford County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died:December 10, 1990(1990-12-10) (aged 75)
Los Angeles County, California, U.S.
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:174 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High school:Manual Arts (CA)
Black-Foxe Military Institute (CA)
NFL draft:1940 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history
As a player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As a coach:
  • Hawaii Polar Bears (1940s)
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at

Samuel Doyle Nave (July 12, 1915 – December 10, 1990) was an American football player and coach. He was known for coming off the bench and throwing the game-winning touchdown in the 1939 Rose Bowl. He was drafted 6th overall by the Detroit Lions but did not play for them. Afterwards he was the head coach of the Hawaii Polar Bears, a minor-league team.

Early life

Doyle Nave was born on July 12, 1915, in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

College career

Nave went to college at USC. He played on their freshmen team in 1936. From 1937 to 1939, he was one of their backup quarterbacks.

1939 Rose Bowl

In the 1939 Rose Bowl, he came off the bench with little time left and threw 4 straight completed passes to tight end Al Krueger.[1] His fourth pass was completed for a touchdown with seconds remaining to beat the Duke Blue Devils 7–3.[2][3][4][5][6] It was the only points Duke allowed all season.[2] Nave and Krueger were named MVPs and later were inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.[7]

He later pursued track and high jumping.[8]

Professional career

Detroit Lions

In 1940 Nave was drafted sixth overall by the Detroit Lions but he did not play for them.[9][10]

Hollywood Bears and Hawaii Polar Bears

After being drafted by the Lions, he became the Head Coach of the Hawaii Polar Bears, a minor league team.[11][12] He played for them and also played shortly with the Hollywood Bears.[9]


Nave died on December 10, 1990, at the age of 75.[13]

Further reading


  1. ^ "Clipped From The Los Angeles Times". The Los Angeles Times. 1938-10-18. p. 31. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  2. ^ a b "USC football throwback: The trick that won the Trojans the 1939 Rose Bowl". Reign of Troy. 11 July 2019. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  3. ^ "Doyle Nave Thankful". The Los Angeles Times. 1939-01-03. p. 42. Retrieved 2021-03-15 – via
  4. ^ Joe Goss (1939-01-03). "DOYLE NAVE RIVALS NATION'S TOP HURLERS". News-Pilot. p. 6. Retrieved 2021-03-15 – via
  5. ^ "Unsung Sub Quarterback Trojan Hero. Doyle Nave, Fourth Stringer, Hurls Last Minute Pag to Whip Duke, 7-3". Beatrice Daily Sun. 1939-01-03. p. 8. Retrieved 2021-03-15 – via
  6. ^ Paul Zimmerman (1939-01-03). "Touchdown Pass in Last Minute Decides Contest". The Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune. p. 6. Retrieved 2021-03-15 – via
  7. ^ Museum, Grace Dee May (2020-01-01). "An Unlikely Hero – Doyle Nave Made Rose Bowl History". Grace Dee May Museum. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  8. ^ "Doyle Nave - 1939". The Los Angeles Times. 1939-03-14. p. 31. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  9. ^ a b "Doyle Nave Stats - Pro Football Archives". Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  10. ^ "1940 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  11. ^ "Clipped From The Honolulu Advertiser". The Honolulu Advertiser. 1940-10-15. p. 8. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  12. ^ "NAVE HERE TO COACH". The Honolulu Advertiser. 1940-09-12. p. 10. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  13. ^ "Nave Dies; USC's Hero in '39 Game". Los Angeles Times. December 11, 1990.