John McEwan

Class of April 1917 – 4 Army A’s in Football as a Center – The Football Teams beat Navy in 1913, 1914, 1915, and in 1916

In the anatomy of a game: football, the rules, and the men who made the game By David M. Nelson — it appears to be the same John and his name is listed as McEwen

John McEwan player/coach

John J McEwan

Editors Note – Not sure which orientation is correct.

John J McEwan

College Football Hall of Fame Biography

John McEwan was an innovator among players of the early 1900’s, pioneering the spiral center-snap and introducing a primitive version of the defensive rover-back to Eastern football. Upon graduation from West Point in 1917, McEwan was hailed as the greatest football center the U.S. Military Academy ever had. Walter Camp labeled him first-team All- America in 1914.

As a senior in 1916, McEwan was elected team captain by his Cadet peers. Tim Cohane, longtime sports editor of LOOK MAGAZINE and author of “Gridiron Grenadiers”, described McEwan thusly: “Big Mac, in his prime, weighed from 195 to 205 and stood 6 feet, 4 inches tall. He was built like a heavyweight fighter. His broad shoulders tapered down to slim hips and comparatively thin legs, which brought him frequent but not inactivating knee injuries.” McEwan was unusually fast for a man of his size and became known for his ability to cover large areas of the field while exhibiting a tremendous tackling and blocking prowess. Seven years after his graduation, the Alexandria, Minnesota native returned to West Point as head football coach. During his three coaching seasons, his Army teams rolled to an 18-5- 3 record. He went on to coach Oregon, Holy Cross and the professional Brooklyn Dodgers. He died in 1970.


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