½ backup


The 1953 cheerleaders, standing, for the Army team, with tumblers in the first row. Cheerleaders, left to right: Ed Moses, ’54; John Clayton ’55, Al Worden ’55, Billy McVeigh ’54, Jay Edwards ’54, Bill Robinson ’55; Tumblers: Peter Jones ’54, Dan Ludwig ’55, Jack Charles ’54, Charles Glenn ’56. Others – Jay Gould & Ben Schemmer ’54 and Alex Rupp ’55.

one of the four cadets who went to Annapolis to steal the goat and bring it to West Point. They went in a convertible because they thought the goat’s horns would be too large for a sedan.

The Coaching Staff


Front Row: Paul Deitzel, Line Coach; Vincent T. Lombardi, Backfield Coach; Roland Bevan, Trainer; Capt. R. J. St. Onge, Plebe Coach; Back Row:Capt. R. L. Dobbs, Ass’t Backfield Coach; Earl H. Blaik, Head Coach; Carney Laslie, Line Coach; Paul J. Amen, End Coach.

The ’53 Season propelled Vince Lombardi into his legendary status in Pro Football; while Paul Dietzel took the 1958 LSU Team to a National Title – returning to West Point as Head Coach in 1963; Carney Laslie is believed to have been named Assistant Athletic Director at Alabama in 1957 and Paul J. Amen was named Coach of the Year at Wake Forest in both 1956 and 1959.

The ’53 Season propelled Vince Lombardi into his legendary status in Pro Football; while Paul Dietzel took the 1958 LSU Team to a National Title – returning to West Point as Head Coach in 1963; Carney Laslie is believed to have been named Assistant Athletic Director at Alabama in 1957 and Paul J. Amen was named Coach of the Year at Wake Forest in both 1956 and 1959.

The Lambert

The Team’s marvelous success was marked with the most unusual Lambert Trophy presentation in the award’s history. First offered in 1936, and sponsored by New York City’s brothers, Victor A. and Henry L. Lambert, the trophy was symbolic of Eastern football supremacy, and had been won by Army in 1944, ’45, ’46, ’48 and ’49. For the first time, on a Sunday evening, 20 December 1953, in Washington Hall, the Lambert Trophy was presented outside of New York City to a football team and its student body.

Team Captain Lunn accepting the Trophy

In 1953, Army may not have won a national championship or produced a Heisman Trophy candidate but the seven victories, including Navy and Duke; a ranking of 14 in the nation in the season’s final pool; winning the Lambert Trophy; and earning Colonel Blaik “coach of the year” honors signaled the Academy’s “return to glory”.

To place the accomplishments of the 1953 Army Football Team prominently and in full view of the United States Corps of Cadets and the Long Gray Line, we, the members of the Classes of 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1962, Nominate the 1953 West Point Football Team for induction into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.

Attachments

1. Signed Nomination letters by the Classes of 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, & 1962.

2. 1953 Army Football Highlights CD provided by Coach Hugh Wyatt, Founder of the Black Lion Award.

3. Bob Mischak’s Letter.

The Attachments

’54’s Nomination

’62’s Nomination

Bob Mischak’s Letter

Bob’s Pro Football Resume follows the letter

History: 1950 – 1951: Adversity strikes a heavy blow to the Army Football team. Numerous varsity players are released from West Point due to their violation of the school’s sacred honor code. The justified dismissals decimated the team. Many veteran, seasoned upper classmen, who would have provided the nucleus that could have incorporated and nurtured the green, younger players, were gone. As best they could, the former “B-squad” players of that era, attempted to rally the bewildered and inexperienced under classmen on the football team, but it seemed like a futile attempt for many reasons.

The community of grads and students empathized, and rightfully, with the administration for its action when the legendary honor code had been violated. Rumors of all sorts ran rampant on the Academy grounds and in the press. Statements were made and circulated about the demise of Army football. Predictions existed that the football program would take about 10 years to right itself, if at all.

At that time, mixed emotions permeated the Corps, faculty, grads, coaches, and the community of citizen on lookers. The shock of the event seemed too difficult to comprehend, however, optimism still kindled in the minds of those players who remained and the football loyalist who had faith in their team.

Surprisingly, within a short period of time, the untested players, seemed to coalesce, the coaching staff stabilized, and fundamental football schemes were utilized that allowed the innate ability of the individual players to develop. The trial and error period had started. A foundation for future development was established.

Each of the seasons and the spring practices provided, in a subtle way, the maturing of the 1953 team. Players were more comfortable with their skills and sensitive to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This seemed to build a determination to overcome adversity and looking forward, optimistically, to playing and winning games.

As many reports have stated, the 1953 team “Returned to Glory” with the defeat of the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds in New York City. From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.

A major contribution was made by the 1953 team to resurrect the honor and glory of the United States Military Academy, its students and service personnel. Naming the 1953 Team to the Army Sports Hall of Fame, would be a reward that acknowledges that fact and could be considered as an Army “Unit Citation”.

Sincerely,

Bob Mischak
USMA 1954

BOB MISCHAK – FOOTBALL CHRONOLOGY

1951-1953 Varsity letterman on the Army football team

1953 NBC-TV All American End

1954 College All Star Game player vs Detroit Lions

1954 Drafted by Cleveland Browns (NFL)

1954-1957 Military Service (Berlin, Fulda Germany)

1958 NY Giants (NFL) starting Offensive Guard — Head Coach: Jim Lee Howell,
Assts: Vince Lombardi (HoF), Tom Landry (HoF)

— Note: Starter in the famed “Greatest Game Ever Played”
which recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. ESPN
produced a film which aired in Dec. 2008, now out on
DVD.

1960-1962 NY Titans (AFL) which became NY Jets (NFL) — Head Coaches: Sammy Baugh (HoF),
Clyde “Bulldog” Turner (HoF), Weeb Ewbank (HoF)

– – – Note: Team Captain, All-AFL offensive guard 60-62. First All Pro in the history of the NY Jets.

1963-1965 Oakland Raiders (AFL), starting offensive guard and TE — Head Coach: Al Davis (HoF)

1966-1973 USMA, Offensive Line Coach — Head Coach: Tom Cahill (NCAA Coach of the Year 1966)
Assts: Bill Parcells, John Mackovic, Ken Hatfield

1973-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (NFL)* Owner: Al Davis (HoF), Head Coaches: John Madden (HoF),
Tom Flores, Player Personnel: Ron Wolf

1994 Los Angeles Raiders, TE Coach Head Coach: Art Shell (HoF)

– – – *Note: Member of 3 Super Bowl winning teams XI, XV, XVIII, 8 AFC Championship games and numerous playoff games. During tenure with Raiders served as TE Coach and Player Personnel Director.

– – – Coached notable TE’s such as Dave Casper (HoF), Todd Christensen (HoF nominee), Raymond Chester and Ted Kwalick

1988-1989 LA Cobras (Arena Football League), Asst. Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1990 Munich Falcons (International League of American Football) Head Coach

1991 Ravenna Chiefs (Italian Football League), Head Coach

1991 Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Scout GM: Ken Herock

1992 London Monarchs (WLAF), DB Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1993 Maryland Commandos (Arena Football League), Asst. Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1997 London Monarchs (WLAF), OL Coach Head Coach: Lionel Taylor

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