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Homecoming: The Story of Kin Takahashi

In 1889, the origin of American football in East Tennessee rested in the hands of a young unassuming student from Japan.

Raya Quttaineh, William Winnett

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Published: 9:41 AM EDT October 21, 2022
Updated: 6:09 AM EDT May 1, 2023

During fall nights in the late 1880s at Maryville College, one student could be found hunched over his desk in his dorm room.

His task at hand required dozens of grains of corn, nimble fingers and unwavering concentration.

In 1888, his dorm room desk served as a drawing board for what would eventually become one of East Tennessee's most sacred traditions.

Kin Takahashi was on a mission of creating the region's first football team.

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