Carl Doehling

Carl Doehling
Sport(s) Football
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
19241955 Ripon

Carl Herman Doehling (born April 17, 1896 in Denver, Colorado[1] died May 21, 1985 in Ripon, Wisconsin[2]) was an American football coach. He was the head coach of the Ripon College Redmen of the Ripon, Wisconsin from 1924–1955. During his thirty-two year reign, Doehling coached teams to fifteen conference championships, nine being in the Midwest Conference and six from the old Wisconsin state conference known as The Big Four.[3]


Doehling began his coaching career in 1922 when he was offered a position at Central High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There he coached his teams to football and track state championships in successive years of ’23 and ’24. His success in the high school ranks, made him an attractive candidate to Ripon officials and in 1924 he was offered him the position as athletic director and head football coach. Ripon teams had struggled for years and Doehling was seen was given the charge of building the program from the ground up.

Doehling knew the entire program needed an overhaul. He looked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison athletic department as his model. Not only did Wisconsin have strong intercollegiate athletics teams, but they also had a huge intramural sports program. The coach saw this as something he felt should be in Ripon’s agenda and implemented it. By 1928, Ripon College had one of the strongest intramural departments in the state.

Ripon's intramural program and intercollegiate sports flourished during his time. Ripon gained clout on both the local, regional and national levels during his term. One of Doehling’s grandest victories came when his 1928 squad, a heavy underdog, defeated the powerhouse University of Chicago, 12–0. This was Ripon’s first ever victory against a Big Ten Conference opponent, something Chicago was at the time, and reportedly spread the Redmen name across the country. Thirty-thousand spectators came out to witness Ripon’s great upset, probably the largest crowd a Ripon team has ever played.

Ripon teams did not always enjoy unbridled success during the Doehling era though. His final career record at Ripon was 94–99–24.


In 1988, to commemorate the 25 years of rivalry between Coach Doehling and Bernie Heselton, coach of Lawrence University from 1938–64, the two schools instituted the Doehling-Heselton Memorial Trophy. The winner of the annual game between the Red Hawks and the Vikings is awarded this traveling trophy.


  1. "CARL H. DOEHLING". Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  2. "Carl Herman DOEHLING". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
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