Dwight "Dike" Vincent Beede

Dike (1903-1972) was a camper before camp was called Camp Fitch, when it was still located at Little Beaver Creek and named Ot-Yo-Kwa. He later became a tent leader and the first football coach for Youngstown State University. While he was coach, YSU would hold preseason training at camp, a tradition he started in 1938.[1] He is the brother of Fred Beede, after whom Beede's Flat is named.

Beede was born in Youngstown, Ohio and attended South High School, where he was class president and played football with "Curly" Johnson. He played college football at Newberry College under scholarship then tranfered to Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon) where he continued to played football and was captain of the 1925 team. In 1926, Carnegie upset powerhouse Notre Dame 19-0, giving them their only loss of the season. All 19 points were scored by Camp Fitchers: Bill Donohue, Howard Harpster, and Pete Stauffer.[2] Dike graduated in 1926 and took over the coaching job at Westminster College. He coached at Geneva from 1934-1936. He later became the head football coach at YSU from 1938 to 1972. Instead of beginning games with the traditional coin flip, he began home games by simply letting the other team choose whether to kick or receive. While at YSU, he also was a biology professor and the head of the forestry department.[3] His wife, Irma, died in August 1969 after a long a battle with illness. After Irma's death, Dike would remarry Marry Smith, the widow of Curly Johnson.[4]

He retired in November 1972 when he reached the mandatory retirement age for school employees. He retires to his 125 acre tree farm near Elkton, along the old Sandy and Beaver Canal. He bought the farm in 1950 and built his home himself out of an old cement furnace that he moved stone by stone to construct the lower floor. The top floor he built from wood he harvested himself. As the head of the Forestry Department at YSU, he used the land as a laboratory, often inviting students to learn about the outdoors. He excavated his own lakes on the property and stocked them with fish. He was a true lover of the outdoors. Ohio Governor John J. Gilligan appointed Beede to the Ohio Forestry Advisory Council. He died a month later in a drowning accident at his tree farm in Elkton on Little Beaver Creek. At the time of this death, he was the 3rd winning-est coach in the nation.[5]

According to the Sheriff's department, Dike's loyal dog Punk returned to the home to alert that Dike was in trouble. Tragically he could not be located in time.[5]

Football at Camp Fitch

Dike was not the first to realize the potential of using camp at a training camp location. David Williams, Al Davies, and Karl Soller all brought their respective high school teams to camp as early as the 1920s. When Dike was tasked with starting YSU's (then Youngstown College) first football team in 1938, he too saw the benefits Camp Fitch had to offer. He brought approximately 35 players to camp on September 3, 1938 and stayed until September 15th. He hoped the location would be a way to avoid all the distractions in Youngstown and keep the team focused on football.[6] He also simply loved being at camp![7]

The players started every day with calisthenics at 7AM, breakfast at 8AM, and then scrimmaged all morning. After lunch and a brief rest period they would return to the field to work on plays and ball handling. After a dinner of meat and potatoes they had classroom discussions of plays and rules until lights out at 10PM. He expected all of his players to gain 5 to 10lbs during training to prepare for the season.[6]

Camp Geneology


Dike invented the Penalty Flag used in college football. Fellow Camp Fitcher "Jack" McPhee was the first to ever use it in a game. Dike's wife Irma sewed the four original flags from material from her daughters Halloween costume.[8]

Dike has his own Wikipedia Page,with Jack McPhee's name spelled wrong.

Dike coached Ron Stoops at YSU, who coached at Cardinal Mooney and is the father of Bob Stoops.

See Also


1. a Youngstown Vindicator, August 19, 1938. Coach Beede Issues Call for Gridders. Vindicator Printing Company.
2. a Clarke, Ross, June 12, 1927. Y Boys Eagerly Await Opening of Camp Fitch. Vindicator Printing Company.
3. a Youngstown Vindicator, December 14, 1972. Dwight "Dike" Beede. Vindicator Printing Company.
4. a Youngstown Vindicator, June 26th, 2002. Mary Johnson Bartman Beede. Vindicator Printing Company.
5. a, b Tim Yovich and Maraget Nery, December 13, 1972. Rules Beede Drowned. Vindicator Printing Company.
6. a, b Ward, Frank B., September 2, 1938. Youngstown College Gridders Take Over Camp Fitch Sunday. Vindicator Printing Company.
7. a Collier, Jeffery, July 15, 1975. YSU Oral History Program: Youngstown YMCA Project: Henry Hunneke. Youngstown State University, pp.3.
8. a Perazich, Chuck, August 18, 1969. Beede Started Penalty Flag. Reading Eagle; Reading, PA.