Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Ellis, Fredrick M., "Fish", 1906-1967
|Fred M. Ellis (1906-1967), A1929, fondly known as "Fish," served as Chairman of the Physical Education Department at Tufts and director of intramural sports for fourteen years. He is considered to be one of the college's all-time athletic greats and was the first student to earn varsity letters in four sports.|
Ellis was born in Norwood, Massachusetts, in 1906. His family moved to the fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts,where he gained the nickname "Fish," and then to Medford in 1922.He graduated from Medford High School and entered Tufts in 1925, majoring in Civil Engineering. Ellis became one of the greatest football players ever to attend Tufts, quarterbacking the undefeated team in 1927 and serving as team captain in 1928.He lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track during his undergraduate career, winning All New England honors in each. Following his graduation in 1929, Ellis worked as a teacher and athletic director at Bridgton Academy in Maine. He moved on in 1934 to serve as coach and math teacher in Beverly, Massachusetts, for six years. In 1931, he married his college sweetheart, Dorothea Loughlin. She graduated from Jackson College in the morning; they were married in the afternoon; and then the newly-weds attended the Senior Prom that night. In 1940, Ellis was appointed athletic director, coach, and instructor at Dean Academy in Franklin, Massachusetts. A major in the Army Air Corps from March 1943 to June 1946, Ellis served with the Third Air Commando group in New Guinea, the Philippines, the Caroline Islands, and Japan. Before entering the military, Ellis had been an assistant coach at Tufts and renewed his involvement with the university as assistant professor of physical education and head coach of the football team in 1946.By 1954 he had attained the position of full professorship of physical education and was also coaching the basketball and golf teams, in addition to football. Ellis died unexpectiedly on July 19, 1967, in Burlington, Massachusetts. The Ellis family had lived on campus, at 108 Packard Avenue, until 1960, when they moved to Burlington. The Ellis' two daughters were also graduates of Jackson College.
Ellis Oval is named in Fish Ellis' honor.