- Nebraska Head Coach, 1921-24
- Nebraska Record: 23-7-2 (.750)
- Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Coach (1971)
Coach Fred Dawson's first three teams at Nebraska won Missouri Valley Conference titles and Dawson coached Nebraska's first-ever game in historic Memorial Stadium, a 24-0 win over Oklahoma on Oct. 13, 1923.
Dawson also coached All-American tackle Ed Weir, who became Nebraska's first two-time All-American by winning awards in 1924 and 1925. Weir went on to become the first Husker player inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951. Other Husker stars during Dawson's tenure as head coach included future pro players Henry Bassett, Joy Berquist, George Bristow, Elbert Bloodgood, Rufus DeWitz, Verne Lewellen, Verne Mullen, Monte and Wayne Munn, Dave Noble, Fred Thompson, Ray Weller and Adolph Wenke.
Future Pro Football Hall of Famer Roy "Link" Lyman was also a member of Dawson's first Nebraska team. Lyman went on to a 13-year NFL career (1922-34) that included championship teams in 1922, 1923, 1924 and 1933 with Canton, Cleveland, Frankford and Chicago.
A 1910 graduate of Princeton, Dawson led the Cornhuskers to back-to-back 7-1-0 seasons in his first two years in Lincoln. NU's only loss in 1921 came at the hands of Notre Dame, 7-0, on Oct. 22 in South Bend, Ind. The Huskers obliterated the competition in every other contest, allowing just 10 total points in their other seven games.
On the season, Nebraska outscored the opposition, 283-10, including a 70-7 win over Colorado State and a 44-0 win over Oklahoma. The only team other than Notre Dame to play NU within two scores was Coach Pop Warner's Pittsburgh club, which managed a 10-0 loss in Pittsburgh on Nov. 4, one of five Husker shutouts on the season.
Dawson's 1922 squad was nearly as dominant, outscoring the opposition by a combined total of 276-28. The Huskers posted four shutouts, including a 48-0 pounding of Missouri on Homecoming on Oct. 21. NU avenged its lone 1921 loss to Notre Dame with a 14-6 win over the Fighting Irish in Lincoln in the season finale on Nov. 30, 1922. The Huskers' only loss came with a 9-6 setback at Syracuse on Nov. 4.
Nebraska's 1922 win over Notre Dame's famed "Four Horsemen" marked the first loss by the legendary quartet between 1922 and 1924. The 1923 Cornhuskers repeated the feat with a 14-7 win over the Fighting Irish in Lincoln on Nov. 10, 1923. Those Irish teams, coached by the great Knute Rockne, finished their three-year run with the "Four Horsemen" sporting a 27-2-1 record, with both losses coming to the Huskers.
Despite the win over Notre Dame, the 1923 Huskers struggled to a 4-2-2 overall record, but Bearg remained unbeaten in Missouri Valley Conference play with a 3-0-2 mark and a third straight league title. He was handed his only Missouri Valley Conference loss in four seasons with a 14-7 setback at Oklahoma on Oct. 11. NU finished the 1924 season with a 5-3 overall record.
Dawson earned a spot in the Nebraska Footbal Hall of Fame as a coach in 1971.