ARMY SPORTS HALL OF FAME NOMINATION
2015 Nomination of Bob Mischak
January 28, 2015
Executive Athletic Director U.S. Military Academy 639 Howard Road
West Point, NY 10996
Attn: HOF Nomination
BOB MISCHAK, JR.
909 Marina Village Parkway #288 Alameda, CA 94501 510-522-6627
I had the good fortune to live at West Point while my father was coaching there from 1966-1973. As a youngster I would often hurry after school to ride my bicycle down to The Plain to attend football practice and help on the sidelines as a water boy during home games at Michie Stadium when it still had that marvelous, natural green turf.
I,as a youth, was most captivated by the history and tradition that West Point represents. When I reflect back on those moments, I can vividly see my father in his prime and how he perfectly fit into those storied surroundings. He truly was a leader and the embodiment of the values that are the United States Military Academy.
He represented the Black Knights with honor and distinction at the professional level as an All Pro player and a 3 time Super Bowl champion coach… a pro career that remains unsurpassed in the history of Army football.
I would like to close by offering some quotes from correspondence sent to me by Army (some of them Hall of Fame members) and pro football players. I believe these remarks are a testament to what kind of man Bob Mischak was and why he deserves to be an enshrinee in the 2015 class of the Army Sports Hall of Fame.
“represented everything that football should stand for” / “class act” / “quality individual” / “pillar of our coaching staff and loved by his players for his motivation, leadership and compassion” / “role model for others to emulate” / “man of outstanding character and grace” / “offensive coach whom we gave the greatest respect and we didn’t want to disappoint him” / “one of the great ones of Army football as player and coach” / “scholar, gentleman, and football star” / “true role model for all of us – as an athlete, coach, and leader” / “we all had the greatest respect for him and his accomplishments. he was a super coach” / “he was a big man with a bigger heart. made the young guys work a lot harder than they would have if he weren’t there. another vital cog in the wheels of success” / “such a high regard for him that a compliment he once gave me in practice has stayed in my mind 40 years later” / “he not only coached football, he coached life and had an incredible influence over all of us” / “offered quiet leadership and engendered a sense of confidence in his charges” / “he was one of the great ones” / “he touched my life in so many positive ways” / “was an inspiration to my life as a football player and a role model for me and all of his players” / “I will never forget
the quiet strength that Bob always gave us to feed off of” / “had no equal as a football coach and if you saw the game through his eyes you could not help but love football.”
Bob Mischak, Jr.
Original Nomination by the Class of 1962
“But from well back an Army figure set out in pursuit.”
Continuing with the October 18th New York Times –
“With the place in an uproar, Bob Mischak cut down the gap between them and finally leaped upon Smith (Duke’s All-American Half Back) and dragged him down on the 7-yard line 73 yards from the line of scrimmage.”
Years later Col Blaik described reactions on the Army sidelines.
“We on the bench and the Corps of gray in the lower stands behind us shot to our feet in sudden silent, stunned consternation. Smith looked home free. I felt our heads were being pushed down once more – – – ”
Col Blaik was later to write “In somehow catching and collaring (Smith), Mischak displayed heart and a pursuit that for one single play I have never seen matched.
Voted The College Football Game of the Year, “the game never to be forgotten” as Earl Blaik called it – a heart-stopping 14-13 upset of No. 7 ranked Duke at New York City’s Polo Grounds.
Once more on 28 November Mischak made a game-changing play, sprinting 59 yards to push Navy’s Jack Perkins out of bounds at the Army 9. With a first and goal at the 9 Navy was now threatening to tie the game, but Mischak’s play, as in the game-saving tackle the final minutes of the Duke game, inspired Army’s defense. With a 3rd and 13 Tommy Bell stopped the Midshipmen’s threat with an interception of a George Welch pass.
For over 10 years afterward the story Army’s win against Duke and Bob Mischak’s tackle was part of West Point’s Military Psychology and Leadership Course.
General MacArthur had felt it would take 10 years. Coach Earl Blaik later labeled the 1953 season “a football miracle”
The 2 stats provided are the only game stats we have and doubt The Athletic Association can add much more to Bob Mischak years of eligibility as those 3 years were during a difficult period.
One day, at the end of the 1953 season, Bob Mischak was told to report to the office of the Athletic Director. Quietly, without ceremony, he was handed a certificate saying he had been named to the National Broadcasting Company’s All-American Team. Bob was the only member of the team to be so recognized in 1953.
Upon completion of his required 3 years of service, Bob resigned his commission and turned Pro.
We can get an indication to what Bob’s stats might have been during a different time as he was a starting guard in the famed, Greatest Game Ever Played the 26th Annual NFL Championship December 28, 1958.
1960 to 1962 he was the Titans of New York (NY Jets) team captain and offensive guard and Jets first All Pro. Bob ended his playing years with the Oakland Raiders in 1966 to return to West Point as the Assistant Line Coach under Tom Cahill. Returning to Raiders as as an Assistant Coach and Director of Player Personnel, Bob was a member of 3 Super Bowl winning teams, involved in 8 AFC Championship games and numerous playoff games.
Regardless of his individual stats at the Academy, we graduates are fortunate Bob Mischak was there when West Point needed him.
Col Blaik was to say “For two years these boys had seen the roughest action. They had lived with the coaching lash, dirt, blood, and defeat.” He was to frequently mention that coaching the 1951, 1952 and 1953 Teams brought him the greatest professional satisfaction of his career.
Col Blaik’s tearing eyes as he spoke the words
“I NEVER COACHED A TEAM THAT GAVE ME MORE THAN YOU DID”
in the locker room after the ’53 Navy Game gives an indication of the price the players on those 3 teams paid playing for Army. We believe Bob Mischak represents what those 3 teams stood for.
Jim Lee Howell, the New York Giants’ head coach who hired Lombardi after the 1953 season at Army, said, “If Lombardi can do that kind of job in three years at West Point – he could do a helluva job in the pros where he would have an experienced base to work with.” From the Giants Lombardi would move on to Green Bay.
With that we, members of the Class of 1962 thank the 1951-1952, 1952-1953 & 1953-1954 Corps of Cadets, their Teams and Nominate Bob Mischak for the Army Sports Hall of Fame.
This what a member of the Class of 1976 said about the rejection of Bob Mischak’s Nomination by the Hall of Fame Committee –
“Unbelievable that Coach Mischak could be overlooked…must be about officer career..no doubt he was one of the very best…and proved it in the Pros to boot – All AFL three times…who else can claim that…don’t get it”
Bob returns to our Alma Mater
24 photographs of Bob’ tackle and Army’s Goal Line Stand taken from old Army / Duke Game Film are at — http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/armylore/50
His nickname in his Cadet Company was Shad. (Short for Shadrak – derived from the song, “Shadrak, Mischak, Abednigo …. “
Bob as a Firstie with Plebes summer of 53
Bob’s letter to West Point’s Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee and Pro Football Resume is at
Page 148 When Pride Still Mattered — http://books.google.com/books?id=9jc9XpPICdUC&pg=PA148&lpg=PA148&dq=bob+mischak&source=web&ots=4gVag4IbcY&sig=VZXeSJ2ddb0Ofm-PHyh0X6yu-wQ
Bob’s Pro Years
Drafted in the 23d round of the 1954 Draft by the Cleveland Browns – Traded to the NY Gaints.
All Pro 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964
Played in Pro bowl games of 1961 & 1962
Bob as Tight Ends Coach and Stregth & Conditioning Coach — http://books.google.com/books?id=4BGaoXg41DQC&pg=PA36&lpg=PA36&dq=bob+mischak&source=web&ots=Ir8sJncHNq&sig=venGXzrIFnQzZIlbUx4L-vzhDUk#PPA36,M1
Played Right & Left Guard and Tight End
Season Team(s) Games Other Stats Total Points
1958 NYG 12 Rec: 1/27yds 0
1960 NYT 4 0
1961 NYT 14 0
1962 NYT 14 0
1963 OAK 14 Rec: 2/25yds 0
1964 OAK 13 0
1965 OAK 8 0
Career 79 0