Frederick A. Speik

Frederick A. Speik

Fred Speik
Fred Speik, c. 1909
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1882-01-26)January 26, 1882
Stockton, California
Died June 30, 1940(1940-06-30) (aged 58)
South Pasadena, California
Playing career
1901–1904 Chicago
Position(s) End
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Chicago (assistant)
Head coaching record
Overall 6–8
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
All-American, 1904

Frederick Adolph Speik (January 26, 1882 – June 30, 1940) was an American football player and coach. He played for the University of Chicago from 1901 to 1904 and was selected as a first-team All-American in 1904. He was the head football coach at Purdue University from 1908 to 1909, compiling a record of 6–8.


  • Biography 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • University of Chicago 1.2
    • Football coach and medical student 1.3
    • Family 1.4
    • Medical career 1.5
    • Death 1.6
  • Head coaching record 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Early years

Speik was born in Stockton, California in 1882. He was the son of a manufacturer and grocer.[1] Speik came to Chicago for his education and attended the Northwest Division High School.[1]

University of Chicago

Speik enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1901 and played four years of college football there under legendary coach Amos Alonzo Stagg. He also played for Chicago's water polo and track teams.[1] As a football player, he played at the left end position, was captain of the 1904 team, and became a close friend of Coach Stagg.[2] The Chicago Daily Tribune called him "one of the best ends ever developed at Chicago."[3] At the end of the 1904 season, Speik was selected as a first-team All-American by Caspar Whitney in Outing magazine[4]

Football coach and medical student

After graduating from Chicago in 1905, Speik served as an assistant football coach under head coach Stagg. Speik attended Rush Medical College while working as an assistant football coach. He graduated from medical school in 1907.[1]

In 1908, Speik accepted the job as the head coach of the Purdue Boilermakers football team and served there in the 1908 and 1909 college football seasons.[5] He compiled a 6–8 record in two years at Purdue and resigned his position as head coach on October 23, 1909.[3] At the time of his resignation, the Chicago Daily Tribune reported: "Since Speik has been in charge at the Boilermaker institution Purdue has not won a game of note, and his ability as an instructor did not meet the expectations of members of the association, who assert that Speik had splendid material from which to pick an eleven."[3]


In June 1909, Speik married Edith Charlotte Lawton in Chicago.[6] The couple had four children, Robert Lawton Speik, Madeline (Speik) Lynden, Charolotte Speik and Elizabeth Speik.[7]

Medical career

After retiring from football, Speik moved to California and became a successful physician and surgeon.[7] He was on the staff of the Los Angeles County Hospital and the Pasadena Hospital and was a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California Medical School from 1915 to 1919.[1] In 1917, he was Chairman of the Los Angeles County Medical Association's Committee on the County Hospital.[8] He moved to California and lived on Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena, California. He was active in South Pasadena civic and political affairs.[7] In 1938, he received a patent for an ornamental spoon holder.[9]


In June 1940, Speik was found dead by hanging in a surgical supply factory in South Pasadena. He was discovered hanging by a heavy cord attached to one of the machines at the factory.[7] His death was ruled a suicide.[2] He was survived by his wife and four children.[7]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten Conference) (1908–1909)
1908 Purdue 4–3 1–3 T–4th
1909 Purdue 2–5 0–4 8th
Purdue: 6–8 1–7
Total: 6–8


  1. ^ a b c d e "Frederick A. Speiek, '05, M.D. '07". The University of Chicago Magazine. p. 137. 
  2. ^ a b "Maroon Football Star of Early 1900s Suicide". Chicago Daily Tribune. 1940-07-03. 
  3. ^ a b c "SPEIK QUITS JOB AT PURDUE: Criticism and Failure, of Team to Win Given as Reasons; PLAYERS SIDE WITH COACH; Graduate System Will Prevail for Balance of Football Season". Chicago Daily Tribune. 1909-10-23. 
  4. ^ Caspar Whitney (Jan 1905). "The Sportsman's View-Point". The Outing Magazine. 
  5. ^ "Dr. Frederick A. Speik Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  6. ^ "News from the Classes". The University of Chicago Magazine. July 1909. p. 371. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Surgeon Dies by Hanging: Dr. F.A. Speik Found in Supply Factory at South Pasadena". Los Angeles Times. 1940-07-01. 
  8. ^ "MAKES MOUNTAIN OUT OF MOLEHILL: Medical Men Answer Attack on County Hospital". Los Angeles Times. 1917-04-03. 
  9. ^ Design for a Spoon Holder

External links