The innovator of the forward pass with his Notre Dame teammate Knute Rockne, Charles “Gus” Dorais was the first of a series of Loras College football coaches who would wind up in the College Football Hall of Fame.
From 1914-1917, Dorais would serve as head coach for the Dubuque (now Loras) College football, basketball and track & field teams.
On the football field, Dorais would compile a record of 17-9-2. The 1915 campaign ended one game short of perfect, as Loras fell in the final contest of the season to Dubuque German College, despite the sideline assistance of Rockne as linemen coach. The following year, Loras would complete an undefeated campaign with a record of 7-0-1.
Dorais would find success leading the basketball team to a 29-17 record over his four-year stretch as head coach on the hardcourt.
Before arriving in Dubuque, Dorais and Rockne would turn college football on its ear when they utilized the forward pass as a staple of their offense as Notre Dame pulled a major upset over Army 35-13 in 1913. Despite this significant impact on the gridiron as a player, his contributions as a coach would lead to his enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.
After the 1917 seasons came to an end, Dorais would register for the Army during World War I, during which he ran and played for a military team at Camp MacArthur in Waco, Texas.
In 1919, Dorais returned to South Bend, Ind. as an assistant coach for his friend Rockne at their alma mater en route to an undefeated season. He would serve as head coach at Gonzaga University from 1920-24 and the University of Detroit 1925-42, which was highlighted by a 19-game winning streak. He also coached the Detroit Lions 1943-47. His record was 150-70-12 as a college coach, 20-31-2 as a pro.
Gus Dorais was a member of the inaugural class of the Loras College Athletics Hall of Fame in 1983.