Ira Irl Tubbs
Induction Year: 1963
Recipient of the Mertz Mortorelli Coaching Achievement Award
Coach Ira Irl Tubbs was one of UW-Superior's pioneer athletic coaches and athletic directors. Mr. Tubbs joined Superior State Teachers College in 1923 and coached until 1929 before moving on to the University of Miami. Coaching both football and basketball, Coach Tubbs worked to improve the quality of the institution's athletic teams. "We take this opportunity to show our appreciation for the hard work of the coach in establishing the reputation of a high brand of athletics that our College now has in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota," the editors of the 1928 Gitche Gumee yearbook wrote. Coach Tubbs led the Superior football team to championships in 1928 and 1929. In addition, Coach Tubbs was credited with inventing the "needle valve" for inflating footballs and with developing modern athletic equipment, such as football pants, shoe cleats and head gear.