Football Player Bios

Football History in Dayton, Ohio


By James “Rocky” Whalen

Six foot, one inch, 198-pound Al Bart was a three-year starting tackle with Fordham University’s legendary “Seven Blocks of Granite” line with the Rams posting 13 shutouts in 25 starts over three seasons, 1935-1937. Fordham’s composite record over that span was 18 wins, 2 losses, and 5 ties while engaging a major national schedule.

Playing under head coach Jim Crowley and line coach Frank Leahy, Bart teamed with All-Americas Alex Wojciechowicz and Ed Franco, plus John Druze, Henry Jacunski, Mike Kochel, Joe Bernard, and the first two seasons with the immortal Vince Lombardi. The Rams’ three consecutive scoreless ties with top-rated Pittsburgh created headline news, because Pittsburgh and Fordham were both undefeated in 1937, finishing Nos. 1 and 3 in the Associate Press Poll.

Christened Albert Babartsky at birth on April 19, 1915, in Shenandoah, PA, Bart was chosen first team All-America in 1937 by NANA, Charles Parker and College Humor, and third team INS. He played seven seasons in the National Football League, 1938-39, 1941-42 with the Chicago Cardinals, the 1943-45 with the Bears. The Bears in the 1943 defeated the Redskins 41-21 for the NFL title.

Bart enjoyed a long career with the Fruehauf Trailer Co., becoming Dayton area branch manager. He and his wife, Vera, had eight children. Al was an active member of the Dayton Agonis Club and Sugar Valley Country Club. Bart died December 29, 2002, at the age of 87.

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By James “Rocky" Whalen

Head coach Harry Baujan elevated the quality, character and esteem of University of Dayton football from a small school minor program to a mid-major club capable of parity with most Ohio and other midwestern colleges. Piloting the Flyers from 1923 to 1946, (21 seasons with time out 1943-1945 during World War II), Baujan’s charges logged a 124-64-8 (.653%) record. Harry, affectionately referred to as “The Blond Beast,” was a strict disciplinarian, continuing as athletics director until retiring in 1964 at age 71. He suffered only three losing seasons, 1923, 1929 and 1936, each finishing a not too devastating 4-5-0.

Baujan, born May 24, 1894, in Beardstown, Illinois, was a regular end 1914-1916 at Notre Dame University. The 5 foot, 8 inch, 167-pounder played under head coach Jess Harper and assistant coach Knute Rockne on clubs winning 21 of 25 starts. Following military service during World War I, Harry played football professionally 1919-1921 with Massillon and Cleveland.

In 1922, Baujan received a request for an interview in St. Louis for the coaching position at the University of Dayton. To get there he had to row a boat from his flooded home of Beardstown to get to the nearest rail station. He signed on as an assistant and then embarked the following year on his head coaching career with the red and blue, also at times serving as basketball, baseball and track mentor.

A few of the many outstanding Flyers during the Baujan years were: ends Skeeter Eisele, Bob Payne; tackles Ralph Niehaus, Bill Belanich, Tony Furst; guard Paul Wagner; center Duncan Obee; backs Jack Padley, Lou Mahrt, Ducky Swan, Vince McDonough, Sneeze Achiu and Coley McDonough. Memorable games include 1939 St. Mary’s (CA) 6-6, 1937 Western Reserve 18-6, 1925 Haskell Indians 6-2; 1937 Ohio U. 6-0, 1942 Tennessee 6-34, and 1938 Ohio U. 13-0 to tie for the Buckeye Conference title.

Baujan was appointed in 1964 as assistant to the chairman of the UD Athletic Board. UD Stadium was renamed “Baujan Stadium” in 1961 honoring his many years of service. He was named in 1962 to Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame, in 1970 to the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame and in 1990 posthumously to the prestigious National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.  He passed away December 30, 1976, in Dayton at the age of 82.

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by James “Rocky” Whalen

Roland Bevan, born in 1888 at Berne, Ohio, enjoyed a long association with Dayton area teams and individuals. Head Coach Earl Blaik hired “Rol” as head trainer at Dartmouth College and West Point starting in 1934; Bevan maintained his football squads in excellent shape while tending to various injuries. His outstanding service earned for him the New York Touchdown Club’s 1942 College Football’s Man of the Year Award.

Following graduation from Bucknell University, Bevan got his feet wet as a head football coach in 1911-1912 at St. Mary’s Institute (now University of Dayton) piloting the Hilltoppers against other small colleges. Dayton Steele High School hired him in 1917 as head mentor of the Lions, already one of the top football programs in Ohio. Bevan wasted no time guiding Steele to four consecutive regular season contests with Oak Park, Illinois, Jacksonville (Florida) Duval, and Texas state champion Clayborn High School.

Star players under Bevan included Ollie Klee (later honorable mention All-America at Ohio State), Jack Keefer (later 3rd team Walter Camp All-America at Brown University), Tom Sharkey, Tish Hoerner, Johnny Becker, Dick Faust, Mike and Eddie Siebert, Dick Dobeleit, Leo Zimmerman, Steve Buchanan and Paul Smiley.

Bevan had head coaching stops at Youngstown Rayen and Toledo Woodward before joining Blaik at Dartmouth, the Big Green boasting top twenty football ratings in 1938-1939. He moved with Blaik in 1941 to West Point where his close association with the Cadets the next two decades was textbook-worthy. Bevan died in Dayton August 16, 1957, at the age of 69 years.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

Earl H. Blaik was an outstanding head football coach 25 years, seven at Dartmouth College and eighteen at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He compiled a 166-48-14 (.759%) career record, achieving seven undefeated seasons and guiding 16 clubs rating Top-20 in final Associated Press Polls.

Blaik, born February 15, 1897 at Detroit, MI, moved with his family to Dayton when Earl was four years old and his father established a real estate business here. “Red” lettered in football, basketball and baseball at Steele High School, graduating from there in 1914. While participating in the same sports at Miami (Ohio) University, he excelled as an end on Miami’s 1916 and 1917 undefeated Ohio Conference championship football teams. After graduating in 1918, Blaik was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy where the 6 foot, 2 inch, 190-pounder was a basketball center-forward, a baseball outfielder, and in 1919 was chosen third team All-America football end by Walter Camp.

Blaik served as first lieutenant at Fort Bliss, TX, but by 1922 the size of the US Army was drastically reduced and officers were encouraged to resign. Earl joined his father’s business, coaching part time as a football assistant at Wisconsin and Army. Dartmouth hired him in 1934 as head coach.  Blaik guided the Big Green through a 22-game undefeated streak and unofficial Ivy League titles in 1936 and 1937. He led Dartmouth to its first ever victory over Yale in 1935 and halted Cornell’s 18 game undefeated string in 1940 following the memorable fifth down decision reversal.

Becoming in 1941 as Army’s first civilian head coach, Blaik sparked the Cadets to three undefeated seasons, 1944-1946, led by Heisman Award winners Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, two national championships, and 32 and 28 game undefeated streaks. He was named Coach of the Year in 1946 by the American Football Coaches Association.

In perhaps Blaik’s finest hour, he coached the Cadets during adversity after 44 of his players were expelled following technical violations of the Honor Code. President Eisenhower observed, “He is a very great man. If he had been thinking only of himself, he would have resigned long ago.” He guided the Cadets to five additional top-20 finishes, ending his career in 1958 with an undefeated, No. 3-rated club led by Heisman winner Pete Dawkins.  Blaik garnered New York’s Touchdown Club award.

Earl was a member of Helms and National College Football Halls of Fame. President Reagan in 1986 awarded Blaik the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. During his entire coaching career, Blaik mentored 35 All-Americas, 3 Heisman, 3 Maxwell, 2 Rockne and one Outland award winners. He retired to Colorado Springs, Colorado where he passed away May 6, 1989, at the age of 92.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

A fullback on Fairview High School’s city championship teams of 1937 and 1938, Howard Brown was awarded the 1938 Dayton Journal-Herald Most Valuable Player trophy as the top individual gridder in the Greater Dayton Area. “Goon” is one of seven brothers for whom the Brown Trophy was awarded annually at Fairview.

Utilizing his speed and size, Brown was switched to two-way guard at the University of Indiana. Playing at 5 feet, 11 inches, 225 pounds, he achieved a brilliant four-year (1942, 1945-1947) career with the Hoosiers who posted a combined 27-9-2 record over that span under head coach “Bo” McMillin. Indiana was undefeated in 1945 and claimed its only outright Big Ten title to date (finished in 3-way tie in 1967) by topping second place Michigan 13-7. The Hoosiers garnered third place the following season.

Brown boasted several team and national honors: Indiana’s MVP in 1945 and 1947; twice team captain 1946, 1947; All-Big Ten guard 1947; Football Coaches 1945 second team All-America; Associated Press 1946-1947 Honorable Mention All-America; member of 1948 Chicago All-Star and East-West Games.

Brown, as a private during World War II, was awarded three battle stars and a purple heart with two oak leaf clusters while serving in the European Theater. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions and played 1948-1950 on clubs that posted mediocre 2-10, 4-8, and 6-6 finishes in the National Football League West and National Conference.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

Hailing from Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, the 6 feet, 3 inch, 245-pound DeMarco transferred to the University of Dayton after one season at Indiana. He was an immediate success playing tackle and captaining the Flyers his senior year of 1960. DeMarco made UPI’s All-America third team and All-Catholic first eleven despite playing with a 1-9-0 club.

DeMarco played in the Blue-Gray Game at Montgomery, Alabamawith  and the Senior Bowl at Mobile. He was drafted in the 14th round by the Chicago Cardinals who moved to St. Louis in 1961.

An NFL veteran of 15 seasons, DeMarco also performed with Miami, Cleveland and the LA Rams, earning a spot on three Pro Bowl teams. He switched to offensive center, making All-Pro in 1964 and 1967 with St. Louis. DeMarco started at center for Miami in Super Bowl VI, Miami losing 24-3 to Dallas.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

Gerry Faust, former head football coach at Cincinnati Moeller High School and the University of Notre Dame, was an All-City quarterback for Chaminade High School in 1952 coached by his father, “Fuzzy” Faust. The Eagles posted an 8-1-1 record with Gerry being chosen to play in the post-season North-South All-Star game at Canton.

Faust, a 6 foot, 1 inch, 180-pound defensive back at the University of Dayton, and “Butch” Zimmerman alternated as quarterback. The Flyers finished 4-6 and 6-3-1 in 1956-1957 under Coach “Bud” Kerr. Gerry graduated in 1958 from UD, serving two seasons as assistant coach at Chaminade High School before answering the call to coach Moeller, a new school.

Faust achieved an amazing record with the Crusaders from 1963 to 1980, compiling a 174-17-2 composite including 12 Greater Cincinnati League titles, 5 state crowns in six years, and 3 consensus national championships. Moeller boasted 22 high school All-Americas under Faust, also compiling 33 consecutive wins and 70 triumphs in the last 71. The Crusaders humbled Massillon 30-7 in 1980 and Gerry garnered his final state crown.

Faust realized a lifelong ambition when he became head football coach of Notre Dame at 45 years of age. Enthusiastic, hard working and loyal, Gerry on November 24, 1980 replaced Dan Devine. Hoping to duplicate Paul Brown’s meteoric rise, high school to major college, Faust found his five seasons at South Bend fraught with disappointment after posting a 30-26-1 log. He resigned following the 1985 campaign, signing immediately as head coach of the Akron University Zips who were moving up to Division I-A as a new member of the Mid-American Conference.

Faust coached the Zips from 1986 to 1994, but was unable to convert Akron in time to become competitive at the major college level. After finishing 1-10 in 1994, he was dismissed. His best seasons were 1986 (7-4) and 1992 (7-3-1). He remained at Akron U. as Assistant Vice President of public affairs and development and also gave motivational speeches. He lives in the city of Akron with his wife, Marlene. 

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George Henry Kinderdine

"Hobby/ Hobbs”



               George Henry Kinderdine grew up in Miamisburg Ohio. He did not play high school or college ball, but started playing on the sandlots around Miamisburg and West Carrolton during the early 1900’s.  In his young career, George sustained an injury which caused him to limp temporarily around the playing fields. During that brief period in which he hobbled around, Mr. Kinderdine acquired the nickname "Hoppy." His family and friends generally refer to him as “Hobby.”  Others called him “Hobbs.”

               In 1917 he came to Dayton to play for the relatively new Dayton Triangles. There were two reasons why Hobbs made this decision. It was a way to get paid playing a game he loved, and it secured him a position in one of the three sponsoring factories. Hobbs started working on a machine at Delco, and eventually became a night superintendent and general foreman.

               At 165 lbs., Kinderdine earned a reputation of being the greatest center of that era. He had remarkable strength and athletic ability, supplemented with an uncanny instinct. He had the ability to read plays and know which direction the ball was going before the snap. His quickness allowed him to get behind the line of scrimmage, and his strength permitted him to drop his opponents time and time again. His ability did not go unnoticed throughout gridiron circles.

              Jim Thorpe was Hobby’s idol. Throughout Hobby’s playing years he would keep a framed picture of Thorpe in his travel bag.   On a couple of occasions, Hobbs was invited to play with other teams, including Jim Thorpe’s Canton Bulldogs. If his Triangle schedule did not conflict, Hobbs would oblige. He felt the greatest athletic compliment ever paid to him was being asked to fill in on one of Jim Thorpe’s teams.  

               Hobby’s opponents were usually bigger than he was, but seldom was he beaten. The Chicago Bears Hall of Famer, George Trafton, usually lost his battle against Hobbs, as did many of his challengers. Hobby played against numerous Hall of Famers and countless college all-Americans all of whom respected his giant killing talent. His tackling has been described as sharp and deadly.  When Hobbs tackled a runner, the player usually went down and stayed down.

              Hobby was also blessed with the ability to kick a football. On October 3, 1920, Hobby kicked the first point after attempt in what is considered the first NFL contest. Over the years Hobby developed a fan base. People would come to Triangle games for the sole purpose of watching his performance. It’s unusual, even today, that a lineman would get that kind of notoriety.

               The love for football stayed with Hobby for the rest of his life. In his later years, during the fall, he would walk to Miamisburg High School and watch his grandsons, Jim and Jack, practice. "Spotting the old Triangle leaned over a fence or sitting in the bleachers was commonplace,” Jack recalled. Watching his grandfather’s back, as he strolled down the sidewalk towards home afterwards, became a formality for the two brothers as they continued with the Kinderdine tradition of playing football.  


               George Henry Kinderdine passed away on June 22, 1967, leaving the Miami Valley with a lineage of fine athletic stock. Jack would eventually go on to play football at Dartmouth where he set three Ivy League passing records his senior year in 1960. He would also earn Associated Press honorable mention All-American honors.

Some of the information for this bibliographical sketch came from an interview with Hobby’s daughter-in-law Virginia Kinderdine and his grandson Jack Kinderdine conducted on January 17, 2001.  Compiled and submitted by Mark Fenner September 23, 2002.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

Born in Leipsic, Ohio, north of Lima, John Mack Hummon played only basketball and baseball at the local high school, which was too small to field a football team. Entering Wittenberg University in the fall of 1919, Hummon learned football in a hurry, lettering four years at end under Coach Ernie Godfrey, and in 1922 earning All-Ohio honors. He was a member of Kappa Phi Kappa fraternity, and won a total of 16 monograms in four sports before graduating from Wittenberg in 1923 with an A.B. degree. Mack also earned an A.M. degree from Wittenberg.

Hummon served as head football coach and mathematics instructor for two years at Dover High School before coming to Oakwood High School in Dayton in 1925. He had multiple responsibilities at first, becoming head coach of football, basketball and baseball in addition to teaching five math classes and monitoring a study hall. He found time on weekends to play three seasons (1926-1928) with the NFL’s Dayton Triangles.  He later refereed area high school and college games and provided sportscasting.

In addition to serving as head football coach, 1925-1927, Hummon was Oakwood’s line coach the next 15 years until pressed into duty as head coach in 1943 after Edward Cook retired. He served as assistant principal and dean of boys, and continued teaching mathematics and coaching tennis until his retirement in 1965. Many of his netters advanced to Columbus, Barry McKay and Buzz Pierce winning state singles titles. Hummon married Wittenberg’s campus beauty queen, Mabel Tanner. The Hummons have one daughter, Courtney, and two grandsons.

Oakwood’s football stadium was renamed “Mack Hummon Stadium” in 1967 in his honor. Mack’s helmet and jersey are on display in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Other honors include his election to the Sam Andrews Educational Hall of Honor, Oakwood Kiwanis Man of the Year, Dayton Tennis Commission and the Ohio Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame, and in 1987 election to the Wittenberg Hall of Fame. Hummon died February 27, 1992 in Dayton.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

A three-year star lineman at the University of Dayton, the 6 foot, 3 inch, 220-pound Emil Karas exhibited unusual versatility alternating between end and tackle. Flyer head coach “Bud” Kerr noted that Karas had the speed, mobility and tremendous pursuit to make any college team in the country.

Between 1956 and 1958, Emil caught several passes and returned two kickoffs for 24 yards. He served as co-captain of the Flyers in 1958 on a team playing a mid-major schedule finishing 2-8-0. He played in the Shrine East-West Game at San Francisco, the Senior Bowl, and the Chicago All-Star Game. Although the Stars lost to the Colts 29-0, Karas was one of the top five vote getters for the Most Valuable Player.

Born December 13, 1933, Emil hailed from Swissvale, PA and was a star gridder on the Swissvale High School eleven. He played professionally seven seasons (1959-1964, 1966) with Washington, the Los Angeles Chargers and San Diego. The Chargers lost the 1960 AFL championship game 24-16 to Houston. San Diego copped three Western Division titles, dropping bitter struggles to Houston in 1961 and to Buffalo in 1964. However, Emil won an AFL championship ring in 1963 when the Chargers humbled Boston 51-10.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

A member of the New York Giants’ heralded “Fearsome Foursome” defensive line, Jim Katcavage teamed with Andy Robustelli, Roosevelt Grier and Dick Modzelewski, the unit known for its relentless pass rush. Katcavage was drafted in the NFL’s fourth round, helping the Giants win six division titles during a 13-year career in New York. “Kat” played with the 1956 NFL champions who humbled the Chicago Bears 47-7, and fought in the famous 1958 sudden death 23-17 overtime loss to the Baltimore Colts.

Competing from 1956 to 1968, Katcavage made All-Pro in 1961, 1962 and 1963, and participated in three Pro Bowls, 1962-1964. He tied an NFL career record causing three safeties.

Born October 28, 1934 at Wilkes-Barre, PA, Jim was an all-city gridder at Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School. He was chosen in 1964 a member of Philadelphia’s all-time high school all-star football team. A three-year regular end at University of Dayton under head coach Hugh Devore, he served on clubs that compiled a combined 11-16-2 record against mid-major opponents. The 6 foot, 2 inch, 210-pounder was co-captain of the Flyers in 1955, making the INS All-Midwest and Police Gazette All-America teams.

Katcavage played in the East-West Shrine All-Star Game in 1956, and subsequently was elected to the University of Dayton’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Following his 13-year pro career, he served as the Giants’ defensive line coach from 1969 to 1973, and scouted for the Philadelphia Eagles until 1987. Kat resided in Philadelphia with his wife and two children, but passed away February 22, 1995 in Maple Grove, PA at the age of 60.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

Gary Kosins, a 1968 graduate of Chaminade High School, was an outstanding running back for the Eagles, 1965-1967, under head coach Hank Schneider. He exhibited speed and power, tipping the scales at 6 feet, 2 inches, 210 pounds.

Kosins was an immediate starter as a sophomore for University of Dayton’s coach John McVay.  The Flyers faced a strong mid-major schedule before dropping in 1977 to NCAA Division III. The Hilltoppers, despite leading the nation in pass defense in allowing only 90 yards per game, dropped 7 of 10 starts in 1969.

The 1970 season was a hallmark in Gary’s dynamic football career. His 38.2 carries per game set an all-time NCAA record, and his 12 points per game average tied for top scorer in the nation. Kosins produced an average of 130.2 yards rushing, fourth best nationally. He missed one game with an injury, but his 108 total points scored in 1970 still rated fourth. Kosins set UD single game records with 236 yards rushing against Akron and had 51 carries against Louisville. He tied another UD mark, scoring five touchdowns against Xavier. His nine game rushing total for the 5-4-1 Flyers was 1,172 yards.

Kosins was tri-captain of the Flyers as a senior in 1971. His top performances occurred in wins over Cincinnati (34 carries, 172 yards, 2 touchdowns), Marshall (2 touchdowns) and Xavier (1 touchdown) as UD posted a 5-6 record. He smashed all Red and Blue career rushing and scoring records, amassing 2,812 yards on 779 carries and 41 touchdowns for 246 points.

Kosins played in the Blue-Gray All-Star Game and was named Most Valuable Player of the Senior Bowl as the top ground gainer. He played three seasons, 1972-1974, with the Chicago Bears who finished last each year in the NFC Central Division with an 11-30-1 composite record.

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                                                                                                                                           William H. Lange

                                                      By James “Rocky” Whalen

Bill Lange, born in 1928 at Lima, Ohio, played on the line with St. Rose High School’s football eleven. The 6 foot, 2 inch, 225-pound Lange entered University of Dayton in 1946, taking courses in the Department of Education. Lange was a three-year starter at tackle, 1947-1949, with the Flyers playing under new head coach Joe Gavin.

A rough and durable defensive lineman, Lange helped the Hilltoppers finish 6-3 in 1947, posting triumphs over Cincinnati, Bowling Green and Ohio University. The stout defense in 1948 held Miami University four downs inside the nine, outlasting the Redskins 7-0. The Flyers boasted five consecutive shutouts that season. Toledo, Nevada and Scranton numbered among six victories in 1949.  That year Lange was chosen first team All-Ohio Tackle.

The Los Angeles Rams in 1950 drafted Lange in the 30th round. Bill started at right guard for the Rams who won the National Conference, finishing 8-4-0, and annexing the 1950 National Football League championship with a 24-17 win over Cleveland. The following year the Rams lost the division tie breaker to Detroit, the ultimate NFL champions. Lange played in 1953 with Baltimore and 1954-1955 with the Chicago Cardinals.  Neither franchise qualified for the NFL playoff.

Bill settled in the Dayton area, becoming a trucking company executive.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

Al Mahrt was an early proponent of the forward pass after the revolutionary play was added to an extensive list of regulations by the forerunner to the NCAA in 1906. The rugby-type ball still in use was shaped like a small watermelon and was difficult to hurl. In the beginning, incomplete passes and completions over the goal mandated the offense to forfeit possession.

By 1911 when most of the pass restrictions were lifted, 16-year-old Mahrt debuted as regular back on St. Mary’s Institute’s (now University of Dayton) varsity football team. Mahrt found, as did others, spinning the throw increased accuracy and distance, establishing an aerial offense against such teams as Xavier and Otterbein.

In 1913 Mahrt switched to the St. Mary’s Cadets, a talented club team and precursor of the future Dayton Triangles. Returning to St. Mary’s varsity in 1914, Al captained the eleven and continued his outstanding aerial offensive. A flurry of passes overwhelmed Wilmington College, and his lofting a 70-yard spiral to “Babe” Zimmerman against Ohio Northern set a school record.

The 5 foot, 11 inch, 168-pound Mahrt in 1920 led all passers in the American Professional Football Association (renamed the NFL in 1922), completing 28 aerials for 591 yards. He was runner-up in 1921 completing 29 that were good for 452 yards. Obviously, the passing game was still in its infancy.

The only authoritative All-Pro team in 1920 was chosen by the Rock Island, IL “Argus” newspaper which placed Mahrt at second team quarterback. He retired from the Triangles after the 1922 season, becoming executive of a Miami Valley industrial concern.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

Chuck Noll is the only National Football League head coach to have won four Super Bowl titles, guiding the Pittsburgh Steelers to championships in 1975, 1976, 1979 and 1980. The Steelers were voted “Team of the 1970s Decade.” Chuck in 1993 was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Noll, born January 5, 1932 in Cleveland, starred three seasons on Benedictine’s powerful high school elevens before enrolling at University of Dayton in 1949. Chuck was a three year starter operating at guard in 1950 and tackle the next two seasons, serving as Flyer co-captain in 1952. Noll’s coach, Joe Gavin, guided the Hilltoppers to a composite 17-14-0 record. Gavin’s top finish occurred in 1951, a 7-3 log after losing a hard fought 26-21 battle with Houston in the Phoenix Salad Bowl.

The Cleveland Browns drafted Noll in the 21st round in 1953. Starting as a linebacker, Chuck was switched to messenger guard. The Browns won five Eastern Conference titles and two NFL Championships, walloping Detroit 56-10 in 1954 and upending the Los Angeles Rams 38-14 in 1955. The 6 foot, 1 inch, 218 pound Noll retired following the 1959 campaign, serving as assistant coach the next nine seasons with the L.A. Chargers, San Diego and Baltimore Colts.

Dan Rooney hired Noll in 1969 as head coach of the Steelers. Chuck’s shrewd choices during the annual player drafts helped build the Steelers’ record-setting powerhouses. Pittsburgh humbled Minnesota 16-6 in Super Bowl IX, swept past Dallas 21-17 in Super Bowl X, upended Dallas 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII, and took the measure of the L.A. Rams 31-19 in Super Bowl XIV.

Such celebrated players as quarterback Terry Bradshaw, defensive tackle Joe Greene, fullback Franco Harris and linebacker Jack Lambert helped Noll compile a combined 209-156-1 in 23 seasons. Chuck and his wife, Maryanne, built a home at Hilton Head, SC, where they spend most of each year in semi-retirement.

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Lou Partlow

by Mark Fenner

               Mr. Partlow was born on October 9, 1892 in Miamisburg Ohio. His name became well known throughout the Dayton football circuit starting sometime around 1913. He was a powerful halfback playing for the West Carrollton Paper Company.

               Lou’s training methods were primitive, to say the least. He acquired an unparalleled endurance by running along the Miami River through fairly dense woods. Large trees would serve as opposing players. Lou became quick footed by running full tilt through this wooded maze and dodging his rooted opponents. Occasionally he would lower a shoulder into one of them to build up strength.

               In 1914 Lou went south to play for the Cincinnati Celts. Without Partlow in the lineup, the West Carrollton Paper Company felt that it was senseless to field a team. By 1915 Mr. Partlow came home to the Miami Valley, and the old mill boys were back on the gridiron. The local schedule consisted of teams such as the Wolverines, the Miamis, the Shamrocks, and the most successful team of them all, the Dayton Gym Cadets.

              On Thanksgiving Day 1915, the paper mill aggregation hooked up with the Gym Cadets. It was during this game that the Wayne Avenue representatives noticed Lou Partlow’s superb abilities. He was recruited to play with the Cadets for their last remaining game of the season. The following year the Cadets folded, largely because of a new kid on the block, loosely referred to as the Triangle Athletic Association. Many of the Cadet players were absorbed into the Triangles team of 1916. Lou was one of them. Later in his career he would be referred to as an old Cadet player, even though Partlow only played one game with the Gym Cadets the year before.

               The 1916 Triangle squad consisted of athletes from three local factories, thus representing a triad of companies. Prior to their first game against a northern Cincinnati team, the Dayton Journal referred to them as “the consolidated Delco Metal Products team.” Nonetheless, Lou Partlow was a smashing, dashing line plunger on a newly formed powerhouse squad. The Dayton Journal called him the ‘West Carrollton battering ram.” His defensive skills would develop over the next few years, but during that time his ball carrying skills made him an instant hero, and fans went wild over him.

               On October 22, 1916, Lou and his peers woke up in a Detroit hotel. A touring car picked them up after breakfast and escorted them to Navin Field, the home of the Detroit Tigers (later known as Tiger Stadium). After getting dressed in the visitors’ locker room, the boys made their way down the long narrow hallways to the playing field. For Coach Talbott, the 7,000 fans waiting at the other end of the corridor weren’t a factor. He had played in front of much larger crowds in the Yale Bowl during his college days. For Louis Partlow and the rest of his Dayton boys, it must have been intimidating.

               Perhaps Bud Talbott injected some of his experience into the Triangle psyche or maybe the large crowd served as an awe-inspiring element. In the second quarter Lou took a short pass from Al Mahrt and ran it in for the game-winning touchdown. The final score of 14-7 left an impression on the Detroit fans worthy of a standing ovation. The fans and players enjoyed a hard fought and clean style of play.  An athletic partnership between these two cities developed on the grounds of mutual respect and lasted for many years.

               Four years later Lou took the field at Dayton’s Triangle Park in a game against Joe Carr’s Columbus Panhandles. The players of 1920 were young, fast and strong. Many of the names that were seen in a professional line-up were of all-American caliber. Lou had been playing this game for nearly twelve years and was starting to see some significant organizational changes. His sport had become increasingly popular in the professional ranks over the last few years. His body was still in tree trunk shape, but his noodle may have taken a few too many knocks. Lou had a hard time remembering plays and many times could not remember signals coming from the sidelines. These obstacles were overcome by a brief (on the field) tutorial, usually conducted during the huddle.

              Louis Partlow would soon turn 28 years old. But on a particular Sunday afternoon, Lou was not concerned about his age. At 2:30 p.m. on October 3, 1920, Mr. McCoy blew his whistle to begin the first game of the newly formed league known as the American Professional Football Association (A.P.F.A.) At some point during the third period, Lou broke through the line for a forty yard dash, positioning the Triangles deep into Panhandle territory. The following play was a hand off to Francis Bacon for short yardage. On third down and goal, the signal came for Partlow to finish the drive which he had started. It is safe to say that somewhere between 3:15 and 4:00 p.m., Lou Partlow plunged across the goal line, breaking a scoreless tie and scoring the very first touchdown in the league. The significance, of course, lies in the fact that the A.P.F.A changed their name to the National Football League (NFL) two years later. Lou’s small trot across the goal line is recognized as the very first NFL touchdown.

               Lou went on to play for the Triangles for several more years, retiring in 1927. In 1941 the team joined together at the Miami Valley Hunt and Polo club for a 25-year reunion. Dayton sports writer "Si" Burick was on hand scribing the interesting details. A couple of stories surfaced that pertained to Mr. Partlow, one of which originated in Chicago at Comiskey Park during a game with the Chicago Cardinals. It seems that the Cards had a nifty all-American end that was an expert punt blocker. Evidently he was pretty quick and could penetrate the line easily. Lou’s assignment during punt situations was to seek and destroy this shifty little ball swatter. The first time the Triangles punted, Lou staked his claim by literally picking his opponent up in the air and throwing him to the ground. After this happened a second time the player complained adamantly to the referee. "Did you see what he did to me?" The ref replied, "Yes and it was the best I’ve ever seen."

               The second telling of one of Lou’s feats might be a bit of a fish tale. The story goes that in 1928 Lou came out of retirement for one game against the Chicago Cardinals. The Cards’ star player was a man named Ernie Nevers. At six foot-one inch tall, and weighing 205 pounds, Nevers was an all-American from Stanford and a future hall of famer (inducted in 1963).  Supposedly, Lou hit Ernie Nevers so hard during this game that he never played football again. The problem with this story lies in the facts. Lou may have hit someone hard enough to end their career in 1928, but it wasn’t Ernie Nevers.  Mr. Nevers did not play the entire 1928 season because of injuries and furthermore, it was the following year (1929) that Nevers scored 40 consecutive points against the Chicago Bears, a record that still stands.

               If Mr. Partlow did come out of retirement to see action against Ernie Nevers, it had to have been on November 24, 1929, the only time the Triangles went up against him. More than likely, Lou put a pretty good hit on Nevers, but it wasn’t hard enough to end his career. For that matter, it didn’t even slow him down.  Nevers scored all of the Cards’ 19 points during their victory and concluded the following week against the Bears with his record setting 40 points. Sometimes one must overlook the facts to reveal the truth. The truth is that Lou Partlow was admired by those who surrounded him, admired enough to embellish upon his legacy.

              According to the NFL encyclopedia, Total Football II, Lou died in Burbank California on April 14, 1981, at the age of  89 years.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

John Sauer, football coach, radio and television sports commentator, high school and college football player, and real estate executive, served as backfield coach, 1947-1949, at West Point under head coach Earl Blaik after performing at 5 feet, 7 inches, 170 pounds behind All-America Glenn Davis with Army’s 1944 and 1945 national champions. Sauer joined the University of Florida staff, 1950-1952, as backfield coach, and then moved to a similar position with the NFL Los Angeles Rams in 1953-1954.

Sauer served as head coach of the Citadel in 1955 and 1956, guiding the Cadets to their first winning season in 13 years. He entered the real estate business in Dayton, also serving as Chicago College All-Star assistant coach, 1960 to 1965, under head coach Otto Graham. After Graham stepped down, Sauer became head coach of the Stars in 1966-1967. For several years he served as NFL game commentator for CBS television and sports director of radio station WING.

Sauer, born August 31, 1925 in Dayton, was a three-year star halfback for Oakwood High School. A first team All-Stater in 1942, he led the undefeated Lumberjacks who amassed 419 points, the highest scoring total in Ohio. Sauer died unexpectedly in Dayton on March 4, 1996.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

Nelson Talbott, who graduated from Hotchkiss Preparatory School in 1911, was a three-year football starting tackle, 1912-1914, for Yale University. He was consensus All-America in 1913, chosen on Walter Camp’s first eleven.

In 1914, the 6 foot, 1 inch, 190-pound Talbott captained the Elis who posted a three year combined 19-5-4 slate while blanking 15 opponents. “Bud” led Yale to a resounding 28-0 victory over Notre Dame, halting the Irish 27-game undefeated streak. He repeated as All-America in 1914, making several major newspaper first teams.

Talbott, one of the organizers of the Dayton Triangles professional football team, coached the locals in 1919 a year prior to their entry into the newly organized forerunner of the NFL. The next two autumns he was head coach of the Flyer gridders as they changed from St. Mary’s to University of Dayton.

Brigadier General Nelson S. Talbott served in World Wars I and II and the Korean conflict. Born in Dayton June 10, 1892, he retired as deputy director of procurement and production at Air Material Command headquarters, WPAFB, Ohio. Talbott died July 6, 1952, in Dayton at the age of 60.

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By James “Rocky” Whalen

James Walker, a 6 foot, 3 inch, 250-pound tackle with two of University of Minnesota’s Big Ten champions, 1909-1910, was chosen first time All-Conference, All-Western US and, in 1910, a consensus first team All-America. He was the first lineman west of the Mississippi River accorded the honor.

A massive force on offense and defense, Walker blocked several punts. During a battle with undefeated Michigan, one blocked punt provoked a change in the NCAA’s rules for 1911. The ball bounded into the end zone where Walker’s teammate recovered it for an apparent touchdown. However, according to the 1910 rules, it was declared a dead ball because it had brushed against a referee’s shirt. Henceforth, it has become a free ball.

When a senior in 1911, Walker decided to forego his final season of football eligibility due to family pressure and his desire to enter the medical profession. After graduating in 1914 from the Medical College of Virginia, he served with the US Military during World War I and was put in charge of all amputees.

In 1921, Dr. Walker became the first orthopedic surgeon in Dayton. He was named in 1955 to the All-Time Physicians All-Star Football Team. He and his wife Edna had four daughters and lived on Spirea Drive in Oakwood prior to his death in 1973 at age 83.

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