Significance in the Formation of the NFL and Professional Football in America
The football team won the Dayton city championships in 1913, 1914, and 1915. Under the names: Cadets (1913 and 1914) and Gym-Cadets (1915). The name was permanently changed to the Triangles in 1916.
In 1916, F. B. MacNab, a patent attorney for the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (DELCO), started organizing a recreational football team from among the employees of three downtown Dayton factories. The factories were DELCO, Dayton Metal Products Company (D.M.P. Co.), and Domestic Engineering Company (DECO, later called Delco-Light). These three factories were all founded by Dayton industrialist Edward Deeds and Charles Kettering and formed an industrial triangle of plants in downtown Dayton.
Rather than recruit a complete team from the factories, MacNab got together with Carl Storck to sponsor the Dayton Cadets football team and used players recruited from the three factories to fill out the team roster. Thus, DELCO, D.M.P. Co., and DECO provided players as well as corporate sponsors. The Dayton Cadets became the Dayton Triangles that year. Later the Dayton Wright Airplane Company, another Deeds and Kettering venture became a fourth corporate sponsor.
The Dayton Cadets football team was a mix of St. Mary’s Institute (now the University of Dayton) alumni and other local athletes.
The Dayton Triangles were the only undefeated professional football team in America in 1918 and may claim an unofficial professional football championship.
In the era before the formation of the APFA league in 1920. The team went 41 wins, 4 losses, and 4 ties, dominating southwestern Ohio professional football. In 1918 they compiled a record of 8-0-0, scoring 188 points to their opponents’ 9, and were the only undefeated professional football team in America. Under their coach and star runner Earle “Greasy” Neale, the Triangles defeated the top professional teams from Detroit (twice), Columbus, and Toledo in that season.