Tag Archives: Army Sports Hall of Fame

Proposal for ’53 Team Room at the Thayer


Insure the Corps of Cadets today & in future years is aware of and understands the significance of what was accomplished in the Fall of 1953.


1. Acceptance of the 1953 Army Football Team into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.

a. A 13 Page Nomination submitted.

b. An internal Academy decision removed Teams from consideration. The Purpose of Hall of Fame has not changed. It still includes Teams

c. Effort will be made to affect reversal of decision.

2. Convince Thayer Committee to select the 1953 Football Team as part of the distinguished graduate dedicated room program. http://rdp.thethayerhotel.com/

3. Wayne Culbreth is Point of Contact 845 445-8534, note new Email address is wculbreth@thayerfellows.org

4. 1953 Team was selected for inclusion on 1 March 2011.


1. A $25,000 contribution is required.

a. Funds are used to furnish the room including; 2 plaques on the door one for the
Team, and one under the Team for the Sponsor; a hanging in the hallway of the Team; and a listing in a dedicated display in the Lobby. In addition the story will be told in perpetuity on the Thayer History Channel. http://rdp.thethayerhotel.com/Thayer-RoomDedication.pdf

b. The room decor will reflect the accomplishments of that season with photos and memorabilia associated with the 1953 Season. Each guest will be offered a video commemorating the Team. Subsidized Books will be sold by the Thayer.

c. Remaining funds will be directed toward the high tech upgrade of the room and the Hotel.

2. Additional funding is required.

a. Funds include a standardized video reflecting the accomplishments of each Honoree.

b. However, the story of the 1953 season is more extensive than just a highlight film of the Team’s accomplishments. The complete story of the ’53 season must be told. The Thayer is evaluating the expected requirements to accurately depict what was accomplished that Fall.

Source of Funds

1. Funding for the room, additional funding for an enhanced video, and memorabilia will be by the 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets.

2. The Class of 1954 will have an organized Class effort to fund and secure memorabilia.

3. The Class Leaders from the Classes of ’55, ’56, and ’57 will be contacted to determine Class interest in support of the Room Designation.

4. The Register of Graduates has been utilized to contact individual members of ’55, ’56, and ’57 to seek support .

A draft Plaque is at


The video narration will be by a 1954 Graduate.

The material to be used is at http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-teams/football/1953-football and http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-53/nom-team in addition game highlight film will be used

1. After the highlights of the Northwester game, the narrator will comment -During the 1953 season the rules of substitution changed (ostensibly because of the Korean War and the lack of young men to play college football) to essentially eliminate the two platoon system that had been used previously.

2. Lowell Sisson will be asked to comment – After the 1952 season, during which I played offensive end, I was switched to play halfback at the start of Spring practice. I continued in that mode until just before the start of the 1953 season. About 10 days before the season was to start I was called in to Col Blaik’s office. Fearful regarding what the reason was, I reported in to find Col Blaik and Vince Lombardi there and they proceeded to ask me what my reaction would be if they were to switch me back to end. I said I did not care where they wanted me to play as long as I could be of value to the team. They did not explain why they wanted to make this change and I did not ask … maybe I should have. I speculated that the new substitution rule had something to do with it. I must admit I always thought I was a better halfback than an end.During the 1953 season the rules of substitution changed (ostensibly because of the Korean War and the lack of young men to play college football) to essentially eliminate the two platoon system that had been used previously.

3. Twenty-twenty hindsight revealed to me that they knew they had a diamond in Don Holleder and with the two platoon system he would have more than replaced me. But because we had to play both offense and defense they must have concluded that it would be better to leave me at end.

4. Because of the switch back to end I did not get totally grooved into playing defensive end and this contributed (in my mind) to a large degree why we lost our only game that season. I felt I played a terrible game against Northwestern and contributed mightily to our defeat.

5. Narrator — Lowell Sisson made up for the Northwestern loss in the Navy Game. On the kickoff, Norm Stephen came down the field so fast and so hard that he had knocked the ball right out of the Navy player’s hands and right into Lowell’s hands on the Navy 30 yard line. Lowell remembers Norm Stephen as a real leader, a motivator for the Team.

6. At the conclusion of the Duke highlights the narrator will comment on Bob Mischak’s professional career – Bob Mischak who started in the Famed 1958 “Greatest Game Ever Played” and who as a player and coach was member of 3 Super Bowl winning teams, involvedin 8 AFC Champion’ship games and numerous playoff games had this to say

7. Bob Mischak will be asked to comment on the Duke Game – 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.

Additional Considerations

1. The First & Last Name listed under the Team photo in the room. We could add Class if it is felt appropriate.

2. A framed listing of each donee by Class could be put in the room.

3. A request would be made to ODIA to record 2 or 3 reps of the drum roll, bugle and GO! GO! GO! by the Corps of Cadets.

Army Sports Hall of Fame Inductees 2004 – 2009

AAA-2010 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees Booklet


2010 Army Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

Click on each photo for larger photo. Joe Stilwell , Peter Vann and Al Rushatz have a great deal of material on their pages.

West Point Contacts

We ask that you not contact Academy principals unless you know or are friends with the representative. We ask that you include in your email or phone call the specific point that teams should be considered for the Army Sports Hall of Fame. We further ask that you contact as many as you wish, but only once per month. It may take between 18 months and 2 years to convince the Academy that recognition of Team success is more important than individual accomplishment. We ask that you contact the Academy at least once a month until Team recognition is acceptable for the Hall of Fame.

Should you wish to write a letter the address is

U.S. Military Academy
West Point, N.Y. 10996

Athletic Department

Note we will not include Fall Team Representatives at this time and we ask that you not contact Coaches with a current schedule

Lt. Col. Kim Kawamoto Assoc. AD/Senior Woman Administrator 845-938-5145

Barbara McMillen Administrative Assistant 845-938-8757

Bob Daplyn Assistant Athletic Trainer 845-938-TBA

Michelle Centolanza Athletic Communications Coordinator 845-938-3303

Brad Brown
Asst. AD/Team Operations 845-938-3682


Anthony DeCicco Asst. Baseball Coach 845-938-3712

Omar Mance Asst. Men’s Basketball Coach 845-938-8664

Jada Pierce
Asst. Women’s Basketball Coach 845-938-3632 jada.pierce@usma.edu

Brian Watts Head Golf Coach 845-938-3819

Carmine Giglio Asst. Gymnastics Coach 845-938-3802

Trevor Large Asst. Hockey Coach 845-938-3711

Mike Murphy Asst. Lacrosse Coach 845-938-2429

Maj. Ron Wigger Head Rifle Coach 845-938-4558

Stacy Birk Assistant Softball Coach 845-938-2575

Nadia Staubitz Asst. Swimming Coach 845-938-3928

Jim Poling Head Men’s Tennis Coach 845-938-6011

Bobbe Vasos Bennett Asst. Women’s Tennis Coach 845-938-6015

Julie Chester Asst. Volleyball Coach 845-938-3294

Rafael Vega Asst. Wrestling Coach 845-938-5999

Dean’s Office


Behavioral Sciences & Leadership Department


Department of Military Instruction

Damien.King@usma.edu&subject=DMI External Home Page

Department of Physical Education


Commandant’s Office


Exclusion of Teams from Hall of Fame Consideration

The United States Military Academy’s Mission is to provide a Cadre of Officers for the Nation. Although the Athletic Department and Association of Graduates are not taxpayer funded they must support the Training of the Cadet Corps.

Note addresses have been removed for both privacy and brevity

Selected Comments for and against Hall of Fame Recognition of Teams

1. Letter to Director of Athletics – September 2010

August 29, 2010

Mr. Anderson

I was a Cadet during the period Col Blaik began the rebuilding of the Army Football Team. There was emphasis on Team success over individual success just as we as Cadets were taught the importance and success of a unit over our individual success.

As an Officer I served with the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment; 82d Airborne Division; 11th Airborne Division; 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment; Berlin Command; and 10th Special Forces Group. If you are unaware of the linage of units, suffice it say that some of the Army’s finest leaders led my units. Our success was achieved because of the subordination of our leadership to the success of the Command.

I believe, just as it was impressed upon the Cadet Corps in which I was a member, today’s Cadet Corps, especially in today’s society, must have impressed upon them the over riding importance of Team success over individual achievement.

In its seven years, The Army Sports Hall of Fame has selected some 73 Players, Coaches and Administrators, yet not one Team has received recognition.

I believe such a lack of recognition is a reflection of today’s society which trumpets the importance of the individual rather than the success of the organization. I believe such a lack of recognition is detrimental to the training of the future members of the Officer Corps which must serve this Nation.

Thank you for your time,


J R Shelton

Joe Shelton

Class of 1944

2+?. To Be Added if Necessary

Criteria Considerations

In the process of trying to assist in development of Criteria for Team selections for the Amy Sports Hall of Fame we are contacting Universities and Colleges throughout the Nation.

There is one issue that motivates the effort to recognize Teams – that being The Army Sports Hall of Fame exists for today’s and tomorrow’s Cadet Corps – not we Graduates.

Universities confirm that recognition of Teams is an Administrative effort. Academy Graduates recognize MacArthur’s overcoming 42 Tides at Incheon as difficult.

1. It appears that the 150/Lightweight/Sprint Annual Reunions has been very successful – at least as far as Graduates are concerned. If the Coaching Staff feels the intermingling of Graduates and Players is helpful for the Team, then perhaps Team Selections for the Army Sports Hall of Fame recognition could occur during the season of each Sport rather than on a specific weekend in the Fall when Individuals are inducted. Such a process would allow inductees to meet with current Team Athletes.

2. Although West Point will probably never have another National Champion in any Sport, Criteria could be established such that Teams from the first 60 years are considered separately from Teams of the last 60 years. Even this breakdown might be too large a grouping requiring a more selected division. Teams which no longer have living Graduates could be inducted in the Fall along with individual Honorees.

Note although few Colleges and Universities have the number of outstanding Teams included in West Point’s Sports Lore – Greatness should not prevent recognition.

3. Wyoming – Kevin McKinney 307 766 2444


National or Conference Champion or a Bowl attendee are automatically eligible, while any team that has brought credit to the University is considered. Team members attend, including coaches, trainers and managers. There is an Award Dinner in the Fall, each Honoree receives a plaque, and the entire team is Honored at Ã∞â√ıââ≈√ Ã∞/Ã≠  time of a Football Game in the Fall.

It is an administrative undertaking to honor a football Team – but well worth the effort. The program requires absolute support by the University for success. Mr. Kinney was interested in comment about honor teams during their respective seasons when the success of the West Point annual 150/Sprint/Lightweight Reunion was mentioned.

4. Oregon – Charles Warren 541 344 0922


National Champions and teams which have accomplished success in difficult circumstances are considered. (There is an example below)
Mr. Warren was very explicit – – The University must place a very very high importance in supporting athletics and must place a very very high commitment to Honoring Athletes and especially Teams for the Hall of Fame to succeed.

Oregon’s 1974-75 Men’s Basketball Team – Kamikaze Kids

They drove onto the floor and into the stands. They played tenacious defense and played before a continual string of sellout crowds in McArthur Court. The collection of some of the most well-known names on Oregon basketball history, they were known as the Kamikaze Kids. Accumulating a 21-9 record and a third-place finish in the 1974 National Invitation Tournament (NIT), two of the standouts both earned first-team All-America honors and became first-round selections in the NBA draft. Several others have made their marks in the collegiate and professional coaching ranks, patterning themselves after their college mentor Dick Harter. Included among the team members were Greg Ballard, Daryl Banks, Mike Barwig, Bruce Coldren, Mike Drummond, Burt Frederickson, Greg Graham, Stu Jackson, Ernie Kent, Ron Lee, Geoff Nelson, Ken Stringer, Gerald Willett; team managers Bob Gooze and Jim Kress; as well as assistant coaches Ron Billingslea, Jim Haney, Dick Stewart, Frank DeWitt and Paul Halupa.

Note the Criteria for Oregon’s Hall of Fame process and Team selection is available.

5. One Criteria at the Univ of Arizona is an automatic induction of any full varsity level team has won a NCAA/AIAW National Championship. We strongly recommend against such a Criteria as recognition of each team’s accomplishment even from many years past is believed to beneficial to the Corps of Cadets. We will contact Arizona to sort out the details.