Peter Vann

Peter Graduated as West Point’s all-time passing leader, playing 4 years of Varsity Football. He compilied Academy records for completions (174), attempts (372) and touchdowns (24)

Inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame September 17, 2010

I have spoken with Peter and exchanged correspondance over the last several years and was looking forward to meeting him at his induction into the Army Sports Hall of Fame on the 17th & 18th of September. Many of us were saddened to learn of his death on 30 May 2010. Several days earlier the Superintendant had informed Peter of his selection into West Point’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Below is a link to a ’56 Class tribute to Peter

Editors note – Remember quarterbacks did not necessarily come out on defense. It was Peter defending in the end zone, who knocked away the pass from Gerry Berger (Duke’s Quarterback) to Worth Lutz, (Duke’s All American – starting Quarterback)in the final play of the 53 Duke Game.

Peter was asked to comment on Vince Lombardi‘s demands relating to ball handling. The 53 Howitzer and Pointer Articles from the fall of 53 repeatly mention Peter’s ability to deceive, to excuite the fake as Vince Lombardi demanded.

Lombardi spent hours on the field and in private sessions talking about faking. feeding and fleeing. These were the royal three “F’s” of Lombardi. The fleeing part is very important to protect your hide. If anything was unique about Lombardi was his attention to details almost to a point of being paranoia. These sentiments were commented on by most of his players at Green Bay. They used the term fanatic when describing Lombardi’s attention to detail. My..My… Col Blaik had a certain interest in details didn’t he. There is a letter from Lombardi to Blaik when he was at Green Bay saying. “my football is your football and I pray to God I am doing it right”. That is a great compliment to Col Blaik.

Interestingly when you did not follow Lombardi’s detailed instructions you found out what the wrath of Lombardi was all about.

The three “F’s” expanded cover taking the ball from center or direct snap and faking to one or two backs to cause distraction to the defense. Once your faking has been accomplished the ball would be fed to a back or passed and then the most important issue is get the hell out of the way of some line backer or defensive guy wanting to separate your vertebra.

The Coaches

During Peter’s last 3 years under center resulted in an 18-7-2 record.

His 24 career passing touchdowns (currently 3d in total) stood as an Academy record for 23 years; broken by Leamon Hall in 1977.

Peter still ranks among Army’s career leaders in completions (7th), attempts (8th) and yards (4th).

He is recognized as one of the individuals most responsible for leading the Army Football program back to National prominence after the cheating scandal of 1951.

Col Blaik in his book “You Have to Pay the Price” referred to Peter as one of the 2 best passers he coached at Army.

Army went 14-3-1 during the 1953 & 1954 seasons earing the Lambert Trophy in 1953.

Led Nation in completion percentage much of 1953 season.

Led Nation with 166.5 passing efficiency rating during 1954 season.

Established NCAA single season record (since surpased) for most yards per completion (23.2)

Established 9 Army passing records.

Played a major role in successful transition of Don Holleder from All American End to Quarterback for the 1955 season. (Peter’s eligibility was completed at the end of 1954)

Currently ranks fourth on Army’s single season touchdown passes record behind Leamon Hall 2003 & 2005 seasons and Arnold Galiffa 1949.

Peter ranks 9th in single season completion percentage – 55.7% in 1953.

Note — The following article has an error — On the kickoff, “Norm Stephen” charging down the field was the one who knocked the ball lose and it was Lowell Sisson who cought the fumble.


1954 Season

The 1954 Army Backfield

Backfield — Tommy Bell, Pat Uebel, Peter Vann, “Bob Kyasky”

Army Starters 1954

Backfield L to R — Bob Farris, Tommy Bell, Peter Vann, Pat Uebel, “Bob Kyasky”

Line — Don Holleder, “Godwin Ordway”, Ralph Chesnauskas, “Billy Chance”, “Flay Goodwin”, Dick Stephenson, “Arthur Johnson”

Editor’s Note – In the second last game in 1953 Bob Farris got hit very hard and the net result was a detached retina. Bob was the non playing captain of the 1954 team.

In addition to all that Bob was Peter Vann’s roommate in the 1953-1954 class year. The next year Bob was the First Captain of the Corps of Cadets.


Peter Vann ‘s Teammate – Ambassador Hoffman

Vince Lombardi‘s Son Comments on Peter Vann’s contribution to his Father’s success

Peter Vann ‘s contribution to our Nation continues

One Trackback

  1. By A Spartan Game The Life and Loss of Don Holleder on January 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    […] This is where Don separated himself as a true Spartan.  Army lost a top talented quarterback, Peter Vann after the 1954 season. Army’s head coach Red Blaik shocked the college football world in […]

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