Tag Archives: 1959

Herman Eubanks


Richard Welch


Ralph Robert Wensinger

Army 150 pound Football – 1957

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1959 – 1960 Basketball Team

42 is Fred Kaiser Captain of the Team, 40 is Stu Sherard, 24 is Al DeJardin, 54 is believed to be “Bob Chelberg” and Bob Loupe

1959-1960 Basketball

42 is Fred Kaiser Captain of the Team, 40 is Stu Sherard, 24 is Al DeJardin, 54 is believed to be “Bob Chelberg” and “Sylvain Loupe”

Jerry Weisensell

1959 150 Football Team

Record of 5-1

Lost to Navy


Doc Sutton on the way to another smashing drive.


Princeton Game photos 1959



Jack Morrison

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1959 Football Season

Class of 60

1959-1960 Wrestling Team

Coach Alitz & Team Captain Ray Andrews 60

Al Rushatz 62

Dale Kuhns 62

Dale Kuhns 62

Bob Davidson 60

Bob Protzman 61

Denny Benchoff 62

Warren Glenn 60

Ed Strasbourger 60

Gary Flack 61

Buzzy Kriesel 62

Warren Miller 61

Harry Miller 61

Phil Burns 62

Harry Walters

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Bill Whitehead

William C. & Mary Ann Whitehead  
Three Years of Football & 3 Army As.
To get through the line I depended especially on three teammates and Classmates, Mike Casp (our team captain) – at Right Guard,Bill Whitehead– at Center, and Barry Butzer – at Left Guard. They were great Army football players. Bill  and Mike were Killed in  Vietnam.  Barry was killed in a car accident.    – – Al Rushatz


Cullum No. 24102-1962 | June 30, 1968 | Died in Vietnam

Interred in West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY


This obituary was composed by Major Alan M. Biddison, USMA 1962, my husband’s roommate and our best man; and by myself, Mary Anne Whitehead. The words, however, are not entirely our own. All of the statements made concerning my husband’s personality and devotion to duty come from the many letters I received from his fellow officers and from his men. I felt it only fitting that in this final tribute to my husband, the words of these men be included for they, too, knew him well and share my great loss. I shall treasure their kind words forever.

It was a privilege to have known Bill Whitehead, a dedicated, outstanding American. He was one of those rare persons who left an indelible mark on everyone, and his confidence and love of life made a better person of those he met. No matter how difficult things were, he could always find some blessing to count, and he had that special spark that made others electrically aware of their blessings. His belief in God and overall goodness endeared him to all. Bill’s countless friends mourn him honestly, and feel that the world has lost a special man, and the Army one of its finest officers. Bill was going up the ladder to the top rapidly as evidenced by his selection for promotion to major ahead of his contemporaries. No doubt he would have obtained the top rank. His talents and energies were used to help others and improve things about him, doing so unselfishly with supreme dedication and devotion. The words, Duty, Honor, Country were engraved in Bill’s heart, and his life personified the ideals of West Point.

William Charles Whitehead Jr. was born on 17 September 1940, in Lansford, Pennsylvania. It wasn’t long before he began to earn recognition. Bill was active in Boy Scouts, church activities, and football. In his senior year in high school, he captained the football team, won the high school football award, and was selected the first Youth Mayor of Lansford. During these high school years Bill’s greatest desires were to go to West Point and play football for Army.

In July 1958, Bill realized the first of these goals when he entered West Point with the Class of 1962. As the class can attest, Bill achieved the second goal with distinction. He alternated between tackle and center for three years for the Black and Gold, was a consistent leader in tackles, and captained the second unit as a First Classman. Though his first love was football, he didn’t neglect the other aspects of cadet life. He was a member of several clubs and participated actively in company activities. He always liked a good joke and managed to take the words out of an astonished adjutant’s mouth at Graduation Parade by barking orders from his first sergeant position.

After graduation, Bill attended the Signal Officers Orientation Course at Fort Gordon, Georgia; and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. His first assignment was with the 5th Signal Battalion at Fort Carson, Colorado, where he commanded a company. At Fort Carson, football continued to play an important part in his life as he played and coached a team to an undefeated season. In his next assignment, aide to the Commanding General, 8th Infantry Division in Germany, Bill had the opportunity to coach the division football team. After the division commander left, he stayed with the 8th Division as assistant Chief of Staff. After Germany, Bill went to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to the Communications Officer Course from which he graduated with first honors.

Then on to Vietnam. Initially he was an artillery battalion signal officer, followed shortly by command of the battalion’s headquarters company. Bill’s leadership abilities and sense of humor improved the performance of the unit and raised the morale of the men despite adverse conditions. It was while taking pay to his men that the helicopter in which Bill was flying crashed killing him. Somebody else could have paid the men, but Bill’s personal credo to serve wouldn’t permit another to take the risk. Bill always sought responsibility and never backed away from a problem because of its complexity or difficulty. His men loved him because he was a fine soldier and above all, a man eminently trustworthy and respected. He was a natural leader with great strength of character and devotion to duty. His loyalty and integrity were of the highest order, and his selflessness was always in evidence.

In high school and at West Point, Bill was inseparable from a special girl from Lansford. Three days after graduation, he married his Mary Anne in the Cadet Chapel, and a short year later Bill was the proud father of a son. As a husband and a father, Bill was the best. He was dedicated and loving. In February 1965, after the birth of his daughter, he joked that now all he needed was a million dollars. He had achieved all of his other goals.

Bill Whitehead shall be forever missed by his wife, children, family, and countless friends. Bill only knew how to give his best, and he lies now in the place he loved best—West Point. He is surrounded by his classmates who have made the supreme sacrifice for their country. His sacrifice saddens us, but we can say with pride that we have known and loved a great man.



MAJ William Charles Whitehead Jr. was an alumnus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY. He was one of 335 men from West Point who died or are MIA in Southeast Asia/Indochina during the period October, 1957 – September, 1972. “Well done; Be thou at peace.” 

70 Tackle Fall of 59 

Dear Major William C Whitehead Jr,

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect,  

Curt Carter


If I should die, and leave you here awhile, be not like others, sore undone, who keep long vigils by the silent dust, and weep…for MY sake, turn again to life, and smile…Nerving thy heart, and trembling hand to do something to comfort other hearts than thine…Complete these dear, unfinished tasks of mine…and I, perchance, may therein comfort you.


Was My Battery Commander, there was never a finer, more down to earth, Commander I ever had the privilege to serve under, before or after. It was a sad day for the 6/14 when the helicopter with him and WO Frank Jones went down on it’s way to Plei Jerang.
POSTED ON 5.26.2003


I served with Bill at Ft. Carson, Co in 1963-64. We were both in the 5th Inf Div (M). He played football on the Div Troops “Outlaws” which I coached, and was a valuable player, friend and comrade. We had great fun playing handball and enjoying our families. I have a picture of that football team and two men are missing from the photo — Bill and “Turk” Griffin both were KIA in RVN. I have remembered them in prayer every day since their death.
Much of the material is from The Wall of Faces- Vietnam


Pete Dawkins

Pete Dawkins: A Call to Duty

By Greg Kelly November 9, 2012

The All-American Guy –

What can you say about Peter Dawkins?

Well, he’s a U.S. Army General, Rhodes Scholar, Husband and Father, Princeton PhD, Heisman Trophy winner, Monmouth County resident, West Point graduate, Michigan native, Wall Street financier. And one more thing – he’s a real gentleman.

I’ll admit up front to being impressed with the man. I was ever since hearing of him while I was a young journalist in Long Branch in the mid-1980s. I finally got to meet him during an interview in Rumson (and I even got to hold the Heisman Trophy). Here are some of his thoughts:

In the Beginning

When asked to account for his wonderful life, he says, “I’ve had more than my share of good fortune – and I do believe that early beginnings cast much of what you will become.” Peter Miller Dawkins, born March 8, 1938 in the suburbs of Detroit, successfully battled polio as a youngster.

West Point Football

He is the son of a dentist. “Dad always wanted to be a dentist even as a little boy,” Dawkins told me. Part-scientist, part-artist, Dr. Henry Dawkins lived to age 100 and -he was in full command of his capacities right up to the end. “I talked to my dad every day,” his son said. “Just an amazing guy.”

For early guidance, he credits his Depression era parents and a “wonderful” cigar-smoking grandma, Clara. Working on her rustic farm in Northwestern Michigan during many youth summers, Dawkins slopped pigs, milked cows, and planted fields. Ultimately his grandmother gave him 5 acres “for my own.” There he learned of self reliance and hard work. “As I look back, that time was of enormous importance to me,” he said. “Those values became the bedrock of my life.”

Dawkins said he “wasn’t keen on going to West Point.” It was his Cranbrook School football coach Fred Campbell, an ex-Marine, who believed in him. “He cared enough and thought the game was right for me and, without an appointment, he took me on a two-day drive to see the legendary Army Coach Red Blaik.” After a 5-hour wait for, and a 5-minute talk with Coach Blaik, Dawkins explained, “we went back to Michigan.”

“I have a secret and dangerous mission. Send me an Army football player.”
– General George Marshall

Somehow the “dumb-like-a-fox” visit worked and at age 17 he earned admission to West Point. Calling the US Military Academy both “intimating and inspiring,” Dawkins said he “threw himself into everything.” while there. “I was in total harmony,” he explained. “I loved the pressure. At West Point you learn to solve more and more complicated problems and by your senior year you’re pretty good at it. That’s the nature of the place. It’s a leadership laboratory.” For a role reversal, Dawkins went to Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, where you learn to “ask the right questions.” A lifetime student, in 1979 he earned an Ivy League doctorate in public affairs.

Officer & Gentleman

Gridiron Greatness

After half a century, he’s still very involved with Army football, which he says has gone through a “fallow period recently – but it’s coming back” under Coach Rich Ellerson. “It’s very hard for the service academies to compete in the football factories of today,” Dawkins explained. “For West Point to play football on a national level, and as a national institution I think we must, things have to be done just right and smartly. We’re getting there.”
Dawkins calls himself a “football voyeur – I follow it all. It’s been a great part of my life.” Today, he serves as one of the selectors for the Harris Poll’s weekly ranking of college football teams. Those weekends are spent at home “awash” in college and NFL games.
The year Dawkins won his Heisman Trophy (1958), the West Point football squad “was not highly touted,” he said. “And players on unranked teams don’t win the Heisman.” But thanks to some innovation by Coach Blaik, Army was ready to march. “He developed the Lonesome End formation, really the precursor to the modern wide receiver formation which dominates football today.” When West Point knocked off the nationally-ranked South Carolina 48-0 in the opener (with Dawkins scoring four TDs), there was no looking back. “It was just a magical season – we went undefeated. The last Army team to do so.”

Pete Dawkins and President Reagan in 1988.

Things where different then, he said. During college football season on weekends the New York Times would print several full pages on Army games. The team became the “darlings of the press,” he said. “And as captain I was propelled along with the team.” Even though West Point training and practice doesn’t allow for any egotism, Dawkins said he was both “surprised and proud” of his achievements. He explained that in his travels, people all over the world ask him about the Heisman Trophy.

Almost a Senator

Most Monmouth County residents will recall the Dawkins name from his unsuccessful run for the United States Senate in 1988. About a race that brought national headlines, Dawkins said: “I look back at that time as a very positive experience for me and my family. My son (Sean) and daughter (Noel) took time off from college and they and my wife traveled with me all over the state. They became rabid campaigners. The whole family came together.”

“Although I didn’t do all the preliminary things that one does to run statewide, it was the right time for me,” he said. “Less than a week from election day, the polls had us dead even, then we ran out of money.” Facing millionaire incumbent Senator Frank Lautenberg (and the vaunted political team of Carville and Begala), Dawkins captured more than 1.2 million NJ votes or about 45%.

War & Lessons

As a solider, Vietnam was “my war,” the general said. Commanding (editors note Advisor to Vietnamese Airborne – not commanded) mostly elite airborne units there, he adds that the “wonderful” result of that long conflict in Southeast Asia is the nation learned a lesson.

Life magazine, April 1966

“The vehement disagreement so many people had with the policy in Vietnam corroded their attitude toward people in uniform,” he explained. “Then, if you wore a uniform in the street, you really had people spit at you.” While working on the National Security Council in the 1970s, then Major Dawkins, said he would wear civilian clothes when he left the Pentagon to go to the US Capitol building for meetings”

“But people have learned some things,” he said. “Even if you violently disagree with the policy in Iraq or Afghanistan, you have the utmost regard for the military. You see that everywhere. In their own minds, the American people realized that this treatment of soldiers was misguided. They didn’t establish the policy; they’re just called upon to execute it.”

Although he says the military is always changing, some things seem to endure. “I genuinely believe that the men and women in uniform for today’s American armed forces are the best in history – the best in the history of any county,” Dawkins said. “They’×Ë˙re better trained, better equipped, more deeply committed, a higher Esprit de Corps. It’s extraordinary. These people have been tested. They know that they’re part of something bigger than themselves.”

The general and his wife, Judi, are very involved with helping America’s wounded warriors. The couple, who have a vacation home in Colorado, praises the worthy efforts of the Vail Veterans Program, which involves disabled vets in outdoor activities like skiing. “I sometimes think the volunteers get more out of it,” he said, “just to see the expression on the soldiers’ faces.”

Brigadier General Dawkins

Wall Street’s Lost Glory

Starting in 1983, he called his financial career “fascinating,- varied,” and joked that “it proved I couldn’t keep a job.” He did tours in investment banking, public banking, corporate banking, consulting, insurance, and wealth management. He recently launched a new commodities hedge fund, Flintlock Capital, with two West Point buddies.
Speaking about the financial markets, Dawkins said “it’s impossible to overemphasize the part that greed played in creating this historic catastrophe for the financial markets. Looking back, it’s all so clear. You had elite Wall Street firms doing very risking things – leveraging themselves on crazy, Las Vegas dice-rolling stuff.”

The creation of risky derivative investments where “mathematicians were put in charge of the business,” Dawkins explained, were a development that “no one understood.”
The Republican Dawkins gives credit to the Obama Administration for the – spectacular job it’s done on the financial meltdown. There was a period of 10 days when the world was coming apart and no one knew what to do,” he said. “You had to make tough decisions on deadlines with imperfect information -seeking to avoid total global financial collapse. It was a very profound time and I think that history will reflect well on how President Obama handled it. The administration made some remarkably able decisions.”

Dawkins today

That said, he remains a big backer of “America’s entrepreneurial spirit” and warned that “it’s something we could lose if we’re not careful.” He said that Congress does’t have the ability to control or solve complex market problems. “Only through entrepreneurial endeavors can we correct our economic problems. And I remain very hopeful that we will.”

No “Carpetbagger”

Like so many things in life, becoming a Monmouth County resident in 1987 was partly accidental. “My wife first came here to play tennis at the Seabright Lawn Tennis & Cricket Club (in Rumson) and she fell in love with the area.” Then living in Manhattan, the couple was seeking to branch out and “Rumson just worked for us – it’×Ë˙s been our oasis away from the pressure.”

Traveling a lot on business, Dawkins said the “magic” of the local commuter ferry made the area a “very attractive and practical place to live.” He relishes the fact that Wall Street can be just a 45-minute ferry ride away. “Rumson is just a different world,” he said. “We’re very blessed to be here.”

Dawkins likes to think that the community has embraced him as he has it. He greatly values his participation in several town military memorial events each year and offers a pep talk to the Rumson-Fair Haven High School football team before its annual Thanksgiving Day game. “A great bunch of kids,” he said. “Rumson is small town America – that has a real comfortableness about it,” he says. “We’ve made so many friends here.”


ArmyFB_1958_Dawkins_LIFE_Oct131958p125 ArmyFB_1958_Dawkins_LIFE_Oct201958p136a ArmyFB_1958_Dawkins_LIFE_Oct201958p136b ArmyFB_1958_Dawkins_LIFEx Pete Dawkins Chatting with Earl Blaik ArmyFB_1958_Dawkins-Heisman_OcalaStarBanner_Dec31958 ArmyFB_1958_Dawkins-Heisman-JackReilly_PortsmouthTimes_Dec31958 ArmyFB_1958_Dawkins-Heisman-RhodesScholar_MiamiNews_Dec211958 Dawkins-Rugby_Oxford_Dec61959

as depicted by sport’s cartoonists



News articles posted by Russ “Skip” Grimm – Class of ’76


Bob Novogratz

April 3, 2007

Bob Novogratz – Humble on the Hall of Fame

Rob O’Sullivan

GoBlackKnights.com Publisher

Talk about it in The 12th Knight

Most fans of Army football fit a different mold than your typical college sports fan. Sure, there is the desire for a competitive program, and Army fans can be as spirited as any fans in the country. But beneath the surface, most fans of Army Football are fans of West Point first. The history of the Academy, the representation of our troops overseas and in harms way, and the knowledge that at this place, on these grounds, young men and women make one of the noblest choices one can at a very young age ? the decision to commit to service to country.

It may have been said best by David Labensky, when he titled the book of his four year experience with the cadets of West Point, “Absolutely American”.

So goes the story of former Army football player Bob Novogratz, the 1958 Knute Rockne Award winner as the nation’s top offensive lineman, an All-American, and current candidate for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

The son of Austrian immigrants, Novogratz grew up in Northamton, PA, outside of Allentown. “I wasn’t a great athlete in high school,” starts the former Army standout, “I attended Blair Academy after graduation, and that year I grew quite a bit. I got bigger and stronger.”

The physical growth of Novogratz, coupled with his performance as a wrestler, had a lot of schools looking his way, including Penn and Virginia. But Novogratz had another influence that pushed him in the direction of West Point. “My father was an immigrant, and became a mill worker. He also drove people to the poles on election day. Through that, he got to know the Prison Warden ? who knew our local congressman, Francis Walters,” explains Novogratz. “Before you knew it, I was taking the test and got an appointment.”

At the time, the decision to go to West Point was not necessarily foremost on Novogratz’s mind. “I had other opportunities ? Penn, Virginia. But there was a lot of pressure from my father,” he begins. “When you say something like that, it does not relay what is really underneath it all. You have to remember, he was an immigrant, and that is why it was so important to him. He worked in the mill, and this was an important opportunity for me from his perspective. At the same time, he was not a very communicative guy, but I knew it was a very big thing to him. Not until later in life did it really occur to me why that was.”

Novogratz, though not recruited to play football, would now find himself on the banks of the Hudson, where he began his West Point career as a wrestler. For a guy that would go on to be the top lineman in the country, his first two years would not seem to lead down that path. However, legendary Army coach Red Blaik saw something in Novogratz, and by the spring of his yearling (sophomore) year, Bob was on the football field.

“Went I entered West Point, I was not recruited to play football,” explains Novogratz. “I had two knee operations in my first two years at the Academy. It wasn’t until the spring of my second year that I started playing. When I got to practice, I was on the very bottom of the ladder; there were thirteen of us competing for the top two starting spots, I was dead last. But I worked my way up.”

So how does a cadet with bad knees who was not recruited end up on Army’s football team, playing for Coach Blaik?

“I had been a wrestler and COL Blaik saw me and said something to the effect that ‘we oughta get that guy out to play football.’ I was talking to my brothers and their friends about it, and decided to go out that spring,” explains Novogratz. “I worked my way up the ladder and started by the next fall. My junior year, I was named to the all east team. We were 7-2 that year; we lost to Notre Dame and Navy. The Notre Dame game was the toughest loss; we were leading the entire game, and they came back and won with a field goal late in the game.”

During that era, players played on both sides of the ball. Though the accolades surrounding Novogratz’s play center around his offensive guard play, you can hear the pride he took in his defensive play as well.

“I was a guard and a linebacker. On the defensive side of the ball, I was making a lot of tackles. In the Penn State and the Notre Dame games, I had a total of 48 tackles. I don’t have the cards with the stats, but I had a lot of tackles. We had a very strong season, but I hurt my ankle before the Navy game and was not at 100%”

Novogratz’s first season was successful. The team had a strong season, and he distinguished himself as an all-east talent. However, the best was yet to come for Bob and the team of which he was a part. 1958 was a return to prominence for the Black Knights.

“The following year (1958) Blaik came out with the “Lonely End” offense. The “Lonely End” was (College Hall of Famer) Bill Carpenter. (College Football Hall of Famer) Bob Anderson had a great season as well. It was the year of (Heisman Trophy Winner, Pete) Dawkins, Anderson, and Carpenter,” Novogratz reflects. “I was the leading tackler that year as linebacker, and I also played offensive guard. The week against Navy, I was the (Sports Illustrated) National Player of the Week. We were undefeated; our record was 8-0-1, and we finished the season ranked third in the country. We were also third in the country for defense. Our other guys were great as well; we had a very well balanced team. In some games, like Notre Dame, I played 56 minutes. Statistics for that type of thing were not kept, but we all played both ways, and we would be on the field for over 50 minutes per game.”

The experience of being on such a talented team brought with it a great sense of camaraderie between Bob and his fellow teammates. “We were very close, especially the linemen, we always hung out and still get together even now, at least every few years. Though I don’t see them a lot, we are in touch.”

The most recent reunion for the 1958 team was in South Bend this past season, when Army visited Notre Dame. The 1958 team was the last Army team to beat Notre Dame at their home stadium.

“The 1958 team all got together at the Notre Dame game. We had the opportunity to tour the College Football Hall of Fame together, and to see the statue of Colonel Blaik. It really looked perfect, and we all enjoyed seeing it together,” explains Novogatz. “At the game itself, I was amazed by how many Army fans were there from all over the country. Pete Dawkins was at the event, and over the years Pete kept in touch with the Fathers and past Presidents of Notre Dame. Father Hesberg, former President of Notre Dame invited Pete up to his box at the game, and Pete brought along a few of his teammates. Father Monk Malloy was also there. Notre Dame has a ton of respect for Army, and that has carried through the years.”

Though he only played football at West Point for two seasons, Novogratz made his mark and became one of the most valuable members of a very talented team. He played some very good foes in those two years, but his two favorite opponents were Navy and Notre Dame.

“My favorite games were against Notre Dame and Navy. When we went to South Bend, in 1958, Notre Dame was one of the top teams in the nation. We went out and beat them on their home turf. The other big thing for me in this game was the following I had watching me. My hometown is a football town, and they all were big Notre Dame Fans; I had 40 people go out to Notre Dame to see the game. In addition, that game was such a big win, and seeing the cadets and Army Fans run onto the field was very exciting,” reflects Novogratz”. “The Navy game was just such a big game. Back in my day, we had a full week of hype. We had a bonfire, and there was stuff going on every night in the mess hall. When the team got ready to go, the Corps would line up, and we would all get on the bus. As the busses left, the whole corps would run after us all the way down to Thayer Gate. After that experience, you are flying high. Nobody has to say more than that, you are ready. In addition to that, I always knew that I had at least 50 sets of eyeballs from my hometown looking at every play; they would come down to see me in Philadelphia.

The 1958 game, Novogratz’s last playing for Army (he would play one more game, the East-West post-season all star game), was a memorable one for him. “It was an intense game. It didn’t start well; we never put the game out of sight. I recovered 3 fumbles in that one, and the hometown folks were happy.”

The 1958 team was Army’s last undefeated team, and it was also the last season legendary head Coach Earl “Red” Blaik would mentor the Black Knights. “Blaik was a serious guy, he didn’t establish a personal relationship with individual players for the most part,” explains Novogratz. “He had a flare for the dramatic. He had the same routine for every away game. One year, he had a problem with the team getting sick, there must have been some bad water on the trip. So from that point forward, we brought our own water to the games – he was somewhat superstitious. He always wore the same hat; before a game we would always go out for a movie and it would always be a shoot ’em up type of movie. Then we would take a walk as a team, and for the big game, he would pull out a telegram from MacArthur or Eisenhower. Like I said, he had a flare for the dramatic. I did not have a close personal relationship with him. In fact, I could remember every word he ever said to me, but we liked him. What made him great was that he brought out the best in us. He was a guy of high moral fiber. He was not a bag of laughs, but it worked. We loved the guy.”

The game in 1958 was different than it is now. In Novogratz’s mind, yesterday’s game seems like it would be more enjoyable than what he sees out there today. “I think the game was a lot more fun to play when I did. You are on the field all the time. Offense, defense, kickoffs, kick returns – you played the whole game. The idea of playing a limited role doesn’t seem as interesting. But the game has changed, things are more specialized now. People are bigger and much more physically capable.”

In terms of the overall experience for Bob at West Point, Football was only a part of it, though an important part. “In those days, you would go from football, to wrestling season, to graduation, then go on leave, then into the military. It all went by so fast. It was a fantastic experience, far beyond anything I had ever imagined. There were so many different parts to it ? the relationships with your fellow cadets, family coming to the games, and then afterwards – getting the honors, the Knute Rockne award.”

For Novogratz, the accolades at the end of the season seemed to have a greater impact on him by what it gave his father, rather than the notoriety it provided him. “My father was working in the mill, and he came down to Washington for the day when the (Knute Rockne) award was presented. At the event reception, I looked over and saw that my father was in a full conversation with (Speaker of the House) Sam Rayburn and (Vice President) Richard Nixon. They spoke for twenty minutes. It was just so exciting. We went to the East-West game in California and met a host of celebrities – Mel Allen, Casey Stengal, Babe Ruth’s wife. It was big stuff for a kid out of a small town in PA.”

Today, Novogratz still has the arms of his teammates around him as they have kicked off a campaign for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. He shard the process his supporters have gone through.

“Getting here has really been a combination of things. My teammates started it. After Bob Anderson was inducted, then the team said they would get behind my nomination. At the same time, Dick Stephenson (Class of ’57) talked to the president of the NFFCHOF (National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame), and asked if he could start a Hall of Fame Chapter in the Northern Virginia region. It is not something that was my idea, but it is very flattering. That is where the emphasis came from.”

The support Novogratz has received from a whole host of supporters is something that quite obviously has impacted him, and something he is very appreciative of. “The first year around, we had not done this and we did not know the process. Jack Morrison (Army ’59) pulled together letters from players and coaches from our team and players from other teams and compiled my story. Dick Stephenson sent it out to all of the presidents of the local Hall of Fame chapters. They review the potential candidates and bring in a total of about 75 candidates that are put on the ballot. I made the ballot in 2006. Then there is a vote by all of the members of the Hall of Fame. After the ballot, there is an additional review, and they make a selection of 11-12 guys. The ballot closes this year on April 4th, and they announce the inductees on May 9th.”

Novogratz is humbled by the support and notoriety in the process, and is most appreciative of the support of his peers. “My oldest daughter said it best ? you know, you don’t know how this comes out, but to get all of your friends, teammates, coaches, guys from other schools, other coaches, to come out for you in such a way, that makes it as special. She is absolutely right.”

Though it has been almost 50 years since Novogratz last suited up in an Army uniform, he still follows the team and takes great interest in Army’s success on the gridiron. “I follow the team closely. Every year, I get together with all of the former players for a golf tournament. I go to a game or two each season, and I go to the Football Awards banquet each January,” explains Novogratz. “You have to be disappointed in the progress of the team, even Coach Ross was disappointed. I think he was looking at this past year as the big win. I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Coach Brock at a local sports banquet recently. I think he is the type of guy people that people respond to. There are folks that don’t think we can compete with a pro style offense, but these are professional guys and if it doesn’t work they’ll adjust and do something else. I think Tim Walsh has a great reputation. I guess I am eternally optimistic, but you have to be as an Army Fan. I am still hopeful for the current team – we brought in a lot of good kids that give us a chance to compete. That is what Coach Ross did, he put the infrastructure in place. He filled the Prep School pipeline; he did a very good job recruiting. I think this could be the year that the offense really takes a step. We are going to be better.”

The story of Bob Novogratz does not end with his playing days at West Point. Though drafted by Baltimore in 1958, he decided to maintain his commitment to service to country. He went on to serve in the Army for 30 years, in between earning a Masters degree from the Wharton school. He and his wife have seven successful children who have taken all life has to give. He is what West Point stands for, ensuring that opportunity is available for any individual who wants to work at it and take it.

“My story is of two things,” starts a pensive Novogratz. “It is of encouragement, at prep school and each step along the way; and it is about this country. My father was an immigrant who worked at a mill. I am then given an opportunity and ended up a Colonel with 30 years of service, and now my kids are doing great things. My father, me and my kids, to me it is a great American Story.”

It absolutely is.

GoBlackKnights.com wishes Bob Novogratz all the best as he is considered for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.