According to About.com, football was started in 1879 at Yale University by Walter Camp, a player and athletic coach at the college. Football originally derived from the English game rugby, but Camp helped the game evolve in its own direction.
Camp introduced many new features to football, helping to differentiate it from rugby and soccer. Some of his many innovations include the line of scrimmage, the forward pass, a standardized scoring system and both the quarterback and center positions. A former student at Yale, Camp served as the general athletic director and head advisory football coach at the college from 1888 to 1914, and he was chairman of the Yale football committee from 1888 to 1912.