Sunday, February 28, 2010

This Day In DePaul Hoops History - Feb.28

February 28
Men’s Basketball
1998 - Willie Coleman compiled nine steals in DePaul's regular season-ending loss to Louisville. The Blue Demons dropped the overtime 85-82 loss to the Cardinals in the United Center. Coleman had a great 1998 season, leading DePaul in steals, assists, field goal pct. and three-point goals. The 6-1 guard from Peoria amassed  a no. 2 all-time season mark with 100 steals in 1998 season, trailing only Gary Garland's 124 in 1978-79. Coleman concluded his career fifth on the all-time steal list with 152.

Women’s Basketball
1997 - In the opening round of the 1997 Conference USA tournament hosted by DePaul, Doug Bruno's women's basketball team defeated Houston, 100-75. The 1997 team was led by captains Kris Booker, Amy Lundquist and Kim Williams, finished the season at 20-9. The squad was rewarded with an NCAA berth and a first round match-up against Duke played in Champaign. DePaul came out on the short side of a 70-56 match-up in NCAA play.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Today in DePaul Hoops History - Feb. 27

February  27
Men’s Basketball
1965 – Sophomore Errol Palmer pulled down 25 rebounds in DePaul’s 83-67 Alumni Hall loss to Notre Dame. Three times Palmer finished the season as the Blue Demons leading rebounder. Palmer currently ranked no. 6 all-time in career rebounding with 874 caroms. The 1965 team behind a balanced offensive attack that featured four players averaging double figures advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. 

Women’s Basketball
2005 - DePaul's no.3 all-time scorer Allie Quigley knocked down five-out-of-six three-point goals in a 77-56 win over rival Marquette in McGrath Arena. Eighty-three percent is the best shooting from three-point range in McGrath Arena history. The 05 version of the Blue Demons captured the Conference USA title and compiled a 26-5 mark and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Basketball Alum Jon Harris Featured in DePaul Magazine

Men's Basketball Alum Jon Harris (1991-95) was recently featured in the Winter 2010 issue of DePaul Magazine.  The DePaul Magazine is published for alumni, staff, faculty and friends by Marketing Communications. To download the entire Winter 2010, click HERE

A Life Outside Sports
DePaul Magazine – Winter 2010

A self-described “country boy” from upstate NewYork Jonathan Harris (LAS ’95, MS ’00) makes an impact across the nation preparing athletes for a life outside their sport. Through the company he founded in 2004, AthLife, Harris provides education, career transition and life-skill programs for professional, collegiate and high school athletes.

He counts the National Football League (NFL) Players Association, the Atlanta Falcons, the Major League Soccer Players Union and more than 30 Universities, including DePaul, among his clients, but the real impact of his work can be seen through his advocacy for the value of education.

“Education and financial security are the keys to an athlete’s successful career transition,” says Harris. “Through AthLife, we help professional sports players complete their degrees and go on to meaningful careers. We also provide career and educational resources to young athletes at the collegiate and high school level.”

Harris has had countless successes stories in his work, including that of former linebacker Derrick Thomas, a standout for the Kansas City Chiefs and 2009 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With Harris’ help, Thomas was just two classes away from earning his degree at the University of Alabama when he died from injuries sustained in a car accident. In May 2000, the university granted Thomas a degree posthumously. “That was one of the defining moments for his family, and it was fulfilling to be a part of it,” says Harris.

No stranger to athletics himself, Harris was a four-year letterman in basketball at DePaul under Coach Joey Meyer. “I started as a walkon player, just glad to be involved in the program any way I could,” says Harris. While earning a bachelor’s degree in political science, Harris honed more than his basketball skills during his college years. “DePaul challenged me, helping me become a critical thinker and changing how I viewed the world,” he says. “In my first job out of college, I ‘cut my teeth’ at the National Consortium for Academics and Sports Midwest Regional Office, which was housed at DePaul.”

There, Harris worked on Project Academics—a program designed to help athletes from the NBA, NFL and DePaul complete their degrees while serving the community. The program proved to be so successful that the NFL decided to bring it in-house and asked Harris to run it as manager of player development.

After four years with the NFL’s program, Harris started AthLife. Most recently, he formed The AthLife Foundation—an expansion of the National Football Foundation’s Play It Smart Program, a mentoring program that helps high school football players from economically disadvantaged environments successfully graduate from high school and go on to college.

Similarly, The AthLife Foundation will help young athletes with SAT/ACT preparation and encourage them to take responsibility for their futures through lessons learned on the playing field, in the classroom and in service to others. Harris credits his time at DePaul for giving him the tools for success. “The skills I learned in my master’s in public service management program at DePaul have been very practical in running my own business,” he says. “Building on the lessons I learned there, I feel good when I go to bed every night, knowing that I’ve helped someone.”

This Day in Blue Demon Hoops History - Feb. 26

February  26
Men’s Basketball
1984 – DePaul knocked off Louisville 73-63 in front of the eighth-largest crowd in Allstate Arena history with 17,499 fans looking on. The 1984 Blue Demons  finished the season 27-3 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before bowing out to Wake Forest in overtime, 73-71.

Women’s Basketball
1979 - In the first overtime game in DePaul women's basketball history, the Blue Demons dropped a 64-61 contest to Southern Illinois at at the 1979 AIAW State Tournament played in Carbondale. The 1979 squad captained by DePaul legends Diane Bryniarski and Patti Hie finished the season with a 23-4 mark. The 23-win total was a school record for wins that held for nearly 10 years.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Artist Needs a Little Help on Miniature Project

To artist Stuart Gootnik, little things are everything.

Two years ago in celebration of the inaugural running of The DePaul Relays, Stuart Gootnik built his first miniature masterpiece for DePaul when he created a scale model of the Outdoor Track at Lane Stadium. He labored over the model for months trying to get all the details correct: lining the track, insuring the texture of the long jump pits and shot put rings were appropriate, and making sure the brick work on the exterior was exactly right. Currently the model is located inside the varsity sports suite on the fourth floor of the Sullivan Athletic Center.

"The model of the Outdoor Track is priceless," DePaul Track Coach Pat Savage said. "It allows our alumni and visitors to see a perfect representation of the Outdoor Track when they visit the Sullivan Athletic Center."

Gootnik has built a number of historic buildings from across the country like the Touro Synagogue - Newport, Rhode Island which is on display in the National Museum of Jewish History in Philadelphia. He also has constructed replicas of several local attractions like the Charnley Persky House - an early example of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Robie House.

For the last year, Gootnik has embarked on an effort to recreate a model of Alumni Hall. Painstakingly, he has researched the historic arena, viewing pictures, blue prints, interviewing coaches and watching old videos. Gootnik is now working on the finishing touches of the model and needs some help from Blue Demon fans.

Gootnik is looking for any color pictures of the interior or exterior of Alumni Hall. He is especially in need of color exterior shots of Alumni Hall. The artist is looking to find the exact color of the outside walls.

Working in miniature is all about the details.

Please send any digital images of Alumni to Hall to Thad Dohrn at

Works completed by artist Stuart Gootnik
Touro Synagogue - Newport, Rhode Island (National Museum of Jewish History in Philadelphia)
Our Lady of Angeles Disaster - Chicago (Fire Museum of Greater Chicago)
Robie House - Chicago (Private collection)
Charnley Persky House - Chicago (Private collection)
Lane Stadium and Outdoor Track - Chicago (DePaul University Athletics)
DePaul University Alumni Hall - Chicago (Work in Progress)

Charnley Persky House

This Day in Blue Demon Hoops History - Feb. 25

February 25

Men’s Basketball
1995 - TK for Four -  Down by three points with 11.4 seconds remaining, Tom Kleinschmidt is fouled as he drills a three-point goal. Kleinschmidt, who finishes with 30 points, converts the four-point play and leads DePaul to an 82-81 win for the ages over Louisville on national television.

Women’s Basketball
1996 - DePaul women's basketball has played on February 25 nine times in school history, winning eight of the match-ups. The 1996 rivalry-game against Marquette proved to be one for the ages as the Blue Demons smashed their rival to the north, 96-53, in the biggest margin of victory in that historic series.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dick Vitale - Another Career Begins at DePaul

I received a number of responses to yesterday's article about Jack Buck's humble beginning as a sports broadcaster, reminding me that Dick Vitale broadcast his first ESPN game on DePaul's Lincoln Park campus on December 5, 1979. The Blue Demons defeated the Wisconsin Badgers, 90-77 in the historic game.

A Feb. 12, 2009, Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel article written by Bob Wolfley chronicles Vitale's initial foray into broadcasting. Read the article and see some video from that first game, Click here.

It wasn't Vitale's first intersection into Blue Demon basketball history. Several years earlier on December 27, 1975, the colorful commentator was head coach for Detroit when the Blue Demons came to town. Vitale and his Titans battled a DePaul team led by sophomores Dave Corzine, Joe Ponsetto and Randy Ramsey.

As time wound down in a hard-fought Detroit 74-67 victory over Ray Meyer's men, a group of DePaul fans led by Randy Ramsey's mother Lorraine, proud of the Blue Demons efforts began the chant, "WE ARE DE-PAUL!" Mrs. Ramsey would make signs before the next game and the chant would become a staple for DePaul and many of its Catholic peers.

Special Thanks to Demon Tracks for its report of the game - Click Here

This Day in Blue Demon Hoops - Feb. 24

February 24

Men's Basketball
1968 - The Blue Demons outlasted Detroit, 111-107, in a double-overtime road victory. The 1968 team finished with a 13-12 mark, despite opening the season 12-4. The Blue Demons were led in scoring by by a pair of "Z-men" Al Zetsche and Bob Zoretich, averaging 15.3 and 14.1 points, respectively.

Women's Basketball

1995 - The Blue Demon women defeat Cincinnati, 105-69 in Great Midwest action.  The 1995 team finished with a 20-9 mark, earning them a runner-up conference finish. Paced by scoring and rebounding leader Latasha Byears (12.3 ppg and 10.4 rpg), the Bruno-coached squad advanced to the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in sixth years. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Ordinary Start - A Remarkable Career

Image from

DePaul basketball has won 1,365 games. Among those wins is a non-descript 70-68 road win over Ohio State in 1949. The 1949 Blue Demons squad was full of notable DePaul names – Bato Govedarica, Bob Kampa, Clem Pavilonis, Sam Vukovich and Jack Lahey.

On that night, fresh off a season-opening victory over St. Norberts, the Blue Demons travelled to Columbus to battle the Big Ten foe. The win is a game that is mostly lost in the annals of both DePaul and Ohio State, but for one man the night opened a new chapter in a life that would enrich the lives of sports fans forever.

On the microphone that night covering the Buckeyes for WCOL was legendary baseball play-by-play Hall of Famer Jack Buck. Amazingly, the broadcast was the first of Buck’s Hall of Fame career

Buck’s auspicious beginning is chronicled in his autobiography “That’s a Winner!” on pages 57-58.

"WCOL was not broadcasting sports at that time, but the general manager decided he wanted to carry Ohio State basketball. Any station that wanted to do the games could get the rights for the university events. There were several others already airing the games, but the GM thought it could be profitable. He wanted me to do the play-by-play, and I did. I didn’t know how to do it, but when the game started, I was at the microphone, doing play-by-play for the first time.

Ohio State and DePaul; I’ll never forget the starting line-ups – Schnitker, Donham, Taylor, Burkholder, and Brown for Ohio State; Leahy, Campa, Pavalonas, Vuckovich, and Govedarica for DePaul.

Years later, I was at a Super Bowl dinner in New Orleans and was seated next to Ray Meyer, the longtime DePaul basketball coach. I said “Ray, do you know one of your teams I really liked? That 1949 team of Leahy, Campa, Pavalonas, Vuckovich and Govedarica.”

“Damn,” he said, “How do you remember those names?” I told him why I was able to remember that lineup.

I was still a student at the time, and everyone in our class knew I was doing the game that night. The assignment for everybody else in that class was to listen to me and critique my broadcast the next morning. The professor’s name was Dick Mall, who later became the head of alumni affairs at Ohio State.

Both teams used a fast-break offense, and they played about nine minutes before either team called a time out. I said, “DePaul calls time out, thank God.” The use of that phrase was one of the criticisms the next morning.

The critiques were honest and helpful, but I’ll never forget what the professor said to me: “You’d better find something else to do for a living.” I knew he was wrong. I was still chasing my dream."

Click here for link to google books link to see complete text of book

Buck would graduate from Ohio State in 1949 with BA. He would begin baseball that summer by calling games for the Columbus Redbirds, the Triple AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 1954, he joined Harry Caray and Milo Hamilton in the box for the Cardinals and would become one of the most recognized voices in the history of baseball. He would have a career with Cardinals that would stretch into the 2000s. In all, Buck called 11 World Series, 18 Super Bowls, and four Major League Baseball All-Star Games. He received the Ford Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. Buck passed away on June 18, 2002.

Buck’s historic career began in a one of DePaul’s 1,365 wins and with advice to which he thankfully never listened.

This Day in Blue Demon Hoops - February 23

 February 23
Men’s Basketball
1980 – Clyde Bradshaw dished out 14 assists in a 94-87 win over Loyola. Bradshaw’s then school record 14 assists still ranks third all-time at DePaul. The New Jersey native ranks second all-time in career assists (606) behind fellow Garden Stater Kenny Patterson (669). Bradshaw’s 215 assists in 1979-80 rank as the most generous season in Blue Demon history.

Women’s Basketball
1976 – In the first meeting in the 41-game series DePaul defeated Loyola, 73-24.The 49-point margin of victory is the 12th-largest differential in school history. Behind captains Judy Hojnowski and Jean Lenti Ponsetto and leading scorer Patti Hie, the Blue Demons finished the second season 7-12 under coach Debbie Miller.

Monday, February 22, 2010

This Day in Blue Demon Hoops History

February 22
Men’s Basketball
1961 – Ray Meyer’s Blue Demons defeated Louisville, 75-67, on the road. The win started a four-game win streak that earned DePaul a berth in the NIT with a 17-8 mark. DePaul was led in scoring by sharp shooter Howie Carl (21.0 ppg) and big man M.C. Thompson (16.3 ppg).

Women’s Basketball
1996 – The Blue Demons, under the direction of head coach Doug Bruno, eclipsed Memphis, 109-88, in Memphis. The victory was part of a nine-game winning streak that secured a 13-1 mark enroute to a Conference USA title. The 1996 squad behind the leadership of captains Tawona Alhaleem, Becky Blacharcyzyk and Latasha Byears, advanced to the NCAA Tournament while compiling a 21-10 record.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

This Day in Blue Demon Hoops History - Feb. 20

February 20
Men’s Basketball
1985 – Kenny Patterson collected 13 assists in a 77-65 win over Indiana State in Allstate Arena. Patterson’s senior campaign saw him average 11.0 points and 6.9 assists per game. The 1985 Blue Demons finished 19-10 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Women’s Basketball
1981 – Joanne Feiereisel connects on a then-record 16 freethrows in a 73-64 loss to Northwestern. Feiereisel, who captained the Blue Demons in 1981 and 1982, finished her career in 1982 as DePaul’s all-time leading scorer with 1,630 points.

This Day in Blue Demon Hoops History - Feb. 19

February 19
Men’s Basketball
1963-66 – In a scheduling oddity, the Blue Demons would collect victories in four consecutive seasons on February 19. The Blue Demons picked up wins over Gannon, St. Bonaventure, Portland and Duquesne. Their luck ran out with a loss on February 19 in 1967 to Duquesne.

Women’s Basketball
1979 - The Blue Demon women defeat Marquette, 81-49 . Under the tutelage of head coach John Lawler, DePaul finished the 1979 season with a 23-4 mark. In his two years at the helm of DePaul, Lawler compiled a 34-17 mark.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18
Men’s Basketball
1959 - Billy Haig made 14 free throws in DePaul’s 70-63 victory over Louisville in Alumni Hall . The effort ranked as the fifth-best performance in school history at the time. Little more than a week earlier, Howie Carl set the current school record, knocking down 23 free throws in a game against Marquette.
The 1959 season saw DePaul amass a 13-11 mark, which included three games in the NCAA Tournament. The team's success was a precursor for a pair of  consecutive 17-win seasons to follow.
Women’s Basketball
2005 -  Standout guard Jenni Dant pilfered the Billikens with nine steals in DePaul’s  82-64 win. Dant’s nine steals in a game ranks third in DePaul history.  She would lead the Blue Demons in steals from 2002-04.  The 2005 Blue Demons were a No. 5 seed and advanced to the second round in the NCAA Tournament.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17
Men's Basketball
1982 – Walter Downing blocked a then-school record six shots in DePaul’s 74-70 win over rival Dayton on the road. The win notched the Blue Demon’s 19th-consecutive win. That 1982 team, led by All-American Terry Cummings finished the season 26-2, bowing out to Boston College in the NCAA Tournament.

Women's Basketball
1975 – In DePaul’s first year of competition, co-captain Joannie Koehler knocked down a record 17 field goals in DePaul’s 50-38 win over Elmhurst. The team coached by Debbie Miller and captained by Koehler and Jean Lenti finished with a 3-8 mark. The single-game field goal record has subsequently be broken by Beth Hasenmiller in 1991.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 16

Men's Basketball
2005 – Drake Deiner ties the then-school record, knocking down seven (7) three-pointers in DePaul’s 66-62 loss to Charlotte. The Blue Demon guard equaled the previous mark held by Brad Niemann (vs. Chaminade- 1988). Draelon Burns would break the record making eight treys vs. TAMU-Corpus Christi in 2007. The 2005 Blue Demons under Dave Leitao finished 20-11 and advanced to the second round of the NIT.

Women's Basketball
2003 – Doug Bruno’s squads have long been known for their proclivity for shooting behind the arch. In Feb. 16, 2003 the Blue Demons set the McGrath Arena mark for best single-game three-point shooting percentage (min. 10 attempts). Shooting 60.9% on 14-of-23 attempts, the Blue Demons crushed the Pirates, 105-70, in McGrath Arena. The 2003 DePaul squad finished 22-10 and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Men's Basketball
2003 - Men's basketball under head coach Dave Leitao defeated Southern Mississippi, 74-69, in overtime at Allstate Arena. The 02-03 Blue Demons would finish 16-13 and advance to the NIT.

Women's Basketball
2002 - Women's basketball posted a then school-record 15 three-point goals in DePaul's 83-81 overtime victory over Louisville. Lenae Williams would lead the way with a school-record 30 field goal attempts. The 02 Blue Demons would finish with a 15-14 mark, earning a berth in the NIT.

Oscar Serlin and Broadway

Oscar Serlin featured in Life magazine enjoying Life With Father.

Oscar Serlin - Football 1924
DePaul has long had a rich tradition in the theatre world. In Uncovering Blue Demon Treasures, today's spotlight will be on football alum Oscar Serlin '26 and his place in Broadway history.

In the June 1945 issue of DePaul University Alumni News, unassumingly hidden in the Down Memory Lane... section was a small blurb about Serlin.

"Oscar Serlin, LA '26, who played football under Eddie Anderson and laid the foundations for his career as a producer here at DePaul, has been getting more publicity than ever as his "Life with Father" rolls on and on. Colliers and Coronet each featured Oscar in special articles during the last month.

His play has had a longer continuous run on Broadway than any other play...Oscar is always on hand in Madison Square, rooting for his Alma Mater, when the boys play in New York."

Serlin's Life with Father certainly had staying power. The original play is still the longest running play in Broadway history. Opening on Nov. 8, 1939 and running until July 12, 1947, Serlin's masterpiece was played 3,224 consecutive performances. A film version was released in 1947.

The production remains the 15th longest run in Broadway history. Life with Father ranks among the all-time greats of Broadway.

1. Phantom of the Opera - 9,163 performances
2. Cats - 7,485
3. Les Miserables - 6,680 performances
4. A Chorus Line - 6,137 performances
5. Oh! Calcutta - 5,959 performances
6. Chicago - 5,492 performances
7. Beauty and the Beast - 5,461 performances
8. Rent - 5,123 performances
9 . The Lion King - 5,077 performances
10. Miss Saigon - 4,092 performances
11. 42nd Street - 3,486 performances
12. Momma Mia! - 3,440 performances
13. Grease - 3,388 performances
14. Fiddler on the Roof - 3,242 performances
15. Life with Father, - 3,224 performances

Serlin and his production were featured in Time on Sept. 14, 1942.

For nearly three years the ten owners of Life With Father sat tight and looked haughty. They were in no hurry: oil was gushing in their own backyard, and Hollywood's checks could be waved away. The ten owners—Producer Oscar Serlin, Adapters Lindsay & Crouse, Mrs. Clarence Day, John Hay Whitney and the rest—saw Life With Father gross $973,000 on Broadway the first year, $860,000 the second, could still count on a tidy sum the third, while road companies grossed $2,000,000 more. Inwardly they rocked with laughter thinking of the $15,000 Warner Bros, had once offered for the film rights; but last year when Mary Pickford offered half a million, their no was just as brusque.

Last week the ten owners finally unbent. With Producer Serlin about to go in the Army, they announced to the movie industry that Life With Father could be had. It was hardly an announcement; it was more like a proclamation. The unprecedented terms at which the bidding could start would have satisfied even Father:*

> $500,000 down, plus a percentage of the gross receipts.

> The film rights revert after seven years, and only one film can be made.

> The picture must be made entirely from the material in the play.

> Mrs. Day and Lindsay & Crouse are to have editorial jurisdiction over the movie, especially in matters of "good taste," and can stop any script they dislike from being filmed.

> No radio or television rights go with the sale.

> The picture cannot be released before the end of 1944. (The owners believe that Father will run for five years on Broadway.)

In Hollywood, cinemakers first gasped, then gulped. The general feeling was that the terms were fantastic, and if accepted would create a dangerous precedent. Warner's Charles Einfeld came closest to a favorable reaction about Father: "It's a tough deal but ... a terrific property." Most other people think that Serlin & Co. may have overreached themselves.

Husky, Polish-born, 41-year-old Producer Serlin once played football for Catholic De Paul University, where he was the only Jew in the student body. Stagestruck, he became a smalltime actor, later a smalltime producer, putting on several flops while rejecting such hits as Once in a Lifetime and Room Service. He found his feet as talent scout for Paramount, where he discovered Cary Grant, Margo, Gladys Swarthout, many another. Sniffing a hit in Clarence Day's Father sketches, he tied up the stage rights, commissioned Lindsay & Crouse to write the play. His last chore before entering the Army will be to produce their new one, Strip for Action, which reaches Broadway late this month.

* In real life the late Clarence Day Sr., crusty Wall Street broker of the horsecar days, son of the New York Sun's Founder Benjamin Day.

Read more:

At this point little is known about Serlin's time at DePaul other than his own admission to playing football for DePaul in his Time interview and the editor's insertion about him playing for DePaul's Anderson on the gridiron in the alumni.

More digging will be required as we continue to work to Uncover Blue Demon Treasures.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Thoughts - Blue Demon Dreams

As I watched the Super Bowl on Sunday, I started searching the web to dig deeper into DePaul's impact on the NFL. Since DePaul stopped playing football long before Super Bowl I, there has never been a Blue Demon to appear in a Super Bowl.

The research started on did show 15 Blue Demons student-athletes have appeared on the NFL gridiron.

The search opened a treasure trove of Blue Demon stories and excellence. Unveiled among the NFL alumni was Chet Chesney who played for the Bears in 1939-40. His greatest contribution came off the field when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949-51.

Some careers were filled with football accolades like Max Fiske's 1937 season quarterbacking Pittsburgh, others played with stars like Otto Graham and Sammy Baugh, while many others may have played just one game.

As I searched, two of the alumni were student-athletes at DePaul, but didn't play football. Two other alumni actually played collegiately elsewhere, but did graduate from DePaul.

All those qualifiers, each of these individuals could call himself an alum, not just of DePaul, but of the National Football League.

DePaul's Alumni NFL Football Capsules
Youtube - Pictures of DePaul's Football Alumni in the NFL

Chuck Apolskis
End - 6-2 - 207 - 1938-39
1938 Chicago Bears – played one game

- called up from the Jersey City Giants

1939 Chicago Bears - played one game

Art Bramhall
Chicago Bears – 1931

Art Bramhall was featured earlier in on this Blog as a Blue Demon that played major league baseball. Bramhall also is listed in the Chicago Bears media guide in 1931. Following his retirement from football, he and his wife moved to Madison, Wisc. where he worked in radio. He became known as the "Voice of Wisconsin football and basketball. He was inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.

Hal Carlson
Guard - 6-3 - 220 - 1937
1937 Chicago Cardinals – 1 game

Harold Cherne
Tackle - Guard - 6-0 - 230 - 1933
1933 Boston Redskins – played in four games

He played for football prep powerhouse Mt. Carmel.

Chet Chesney
Center – Linebacker 6-2 227 1939-40

1939 Chicago Bears – finished second in the NFL West – Center saw – seven different players make passes, including Hall of Fame Sid Luckman who was listed as left halfback

1940 Chicago Bears – 8-3-0 NFL West Division Champions – 1940 NFL Champions – beat Redskins 73-0 in Championship game – Named NFL –All-Pro – reserved

In addition to Chesney's two season playing in the NFL, Chesny owns the distinction of being the only DePaul student-athlete to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Blue Demon Center was elected as a Democrat to the Eight-first Congress (Jan. 3, 1949-Jan. 3, 1951).

Pat Dowling
End - 5-11 - 185 - 1929
1929 Chicago Cardinals – played in 13 games, starting 10

Dick Egan (unconfirmed)
End-Back - 1920-24
1920 Chicago Cardinals – played in seven games, starting two

1921 Chicago Cardinals – played one game, teaming with Blue Demon John Scanlon

1922 Chicago Cardinals – started nine games

1923 Chicago Cardinals – played in four games

1924 Kenosha Maroons – played two games

Max Fiske
Back-End - 6-0 - 199 - 1936-39

Max Fiske played four seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates (Steelers). His 1937 season, saw him among the NFL leaders in passing touchdowns, yards per game and passes completed. He was recently ranked top Steelers player to wear the No. 19 by In 1977, he was honored with induction into the Roselund Pullman Hall of Fame with DePaul teammate and NFL alum Tom Roberts.

1936 Pittsburgh Pirates – threw 15 passes, completing six for 64 yards

1937 Pittsburgh Pirates – started one game – completed 17-of-43 passes, leading the team in passing
Ranked 8th in passing touchdowns with four
Ranked 7th in passing yards/game
Ranked 10th in passes completed per game and pass attempts per game

1938 Pittsburgh Pirates – played 10 games, starting two -played alongside Whizzer White
1939 Pittsburgh Pirates – played one game

William Clarence Muellner
End - 5-11 - 175 - 1937
1937 Chicago Cardinals – played in one game

Red O’Connor
End - 5-8 - 175 - 1920-24
1920 Chicago Cardinals – played in three games

1921 Chicago Cardinals – played in five games, starting four – played with Blue Demon John Scanlon

1922 Chicago Cardinals – played in five games, starting four

1924 Chicago Cardinals – started three games

Tom Roberts
Tackle-Guard - 6-1 - 215 - 1943-45
Drafted in the 10th round by the New York Giants – 90th overall pick

1943 New York Giants – played nine games – Giants finished first in NFL East
1944 Chicago Bears – played seven games, starting two games – finished second in the NFL West

1945 Chicago Bears – played nine games, starting one game

In 1977, he was honored with induction into the Roselund Pullman Hall of Fame with DePaul teammate and NFL alum Max Fiske.

John Scanlon
TB / WR - 1921-26
1921 Chicago Cardinals - scored one rushing touchdown

1926 Louisville Colonels – played two games, starting one

Dick Stahlman
Tackle-Guard 6-2 219 1924-33 (unconfirmed)
1924 – Akron Pros, Kansas City Blues, Hammond Pros and Kenosha Maroons – started eight games

1925 Akron Pros – second team all-NFL – Green Bay Press Gazette
started eight games games at right tackle

1927 New York Giants – started ten games at left tackle – finished 11-1-1 - 1927 Champions

1930 New York Giants – played in seven games, starting two – NFL runner-up

1931 Green Bay Packers – started 10-of-14 games at left tackle – finished 12-2 – NFL Champions

First-team All-NFL Colliers Eye Magazine – Second-Team All-NFL by NFL
Played for the Toledo Mudhens minor league baseball

1932 Green Bay Packers – started 10-of-13 games at right tackle – NFL Runner-up – under Coach Curly Lambeau

1933 Chicago Bears – played in eight games, starting two games - 1933 NFL Champions -

Student-Athletes at DePaul - Non-Football Letterwinners
Bill Boedeker
Halfback - 5-11 - 192 - 1946-50

Bill Boedeker played basketball at DePaul with hoops legend George Mikan. After DePaul, he was invited to play basketball professionally for the Chicago Stags. After fighting in WWII, Boedeker played five seasons in the NFL with shrapnel. In 1948, Boedeker played for the Cleveland Browns who became the first professional football team in a major league to win every game of the regular season and then continue victorious through the championship game.

1946 Chicago Rockets – 1 start - 1 receiving TD - backed up Halfback Elroy Hirsch

1947 Cleveland Browns – 3 starts – 4 rushing - 1 receiving TD - 1947 AAFC Champions – 12-1-1

1948 Cleveland Browns – 3 starts – 3 rushing - 2 receiving TD – 1948 AAFC Champions – 14-0-0 – Coached by legend Paul Brown with quarterback Otto Graham and Rookie Ara Parseghian

1949 Cleveland Browns – 7 starts - 1 rushing – 2 receiving TD – 1949 AAFC Champions – 9-1-2 Ranked Ninth in the league in yards from Scrimmage with 640 yards

1950 Philadelphia Eagles/ Green Bay

Bill Daley
FB/ DB/LB - 6-2 - 210 - 1946-48

Bill Daley originally came to Chicago to box professionally and enrolled at DePaul. While at DePaul, he participated in track and field until one of his coaches moved to the University of Minnesota where Daley followed. There he was introduced to the football coach and the game of football.

First Round – 7th Pick 1943 - Picked with the seventh pick of the 1943 NFL Draft

1946 Miami Seahawks & Brooklyn Dodgers
– started three games1947 Chicago Rockets – started 12 games- rushing for 447 yards

1948 New York Yankees
– played in seven games

DePaul Student - Non-Football Letterwinners
Theodore Aloysius Lapka
End - 6-1 - 193 - 1943-46

Theodore Lapka had a Hall-of-Fame caliber collegiate career at St. Ambrose College graduating in 1942. While playing in the NFL Lapka attended and graduated form DePaul Law School. In 1943, Lapka caught a touchdown pass from Hall of Fame quarterback Sammy Baugh to help the Redskins advance to the World Championship game.

1943 Washington Redskins – played in seven games – made two receptions – won the NFL East – Lost to Bears in 1943 World Championship

1944 Washington Redskins – played in five games, starting two – four receptions including one touchdown

1946 Washington Redskins – played in seven games


On Saturday, DePaul Athletics welcomed back more than 60 women basketball alums and their families.

Prior to the game, all alumni and their families were invited to a pre-game reception in DePaul’s new Alumni Center. Food, fun, and family were a commonality recognized at this event. Hugs were abundant; laughter and excitement coupled with appreciation at the framed pictures that adorned the Alumni Center’s conference room was also a shared moment among the group.

Despite running over to greet his former players with pink and white gym shoes in hand, Coach Bruno thanked his former players for their dedication and support of the program. “You ladies have paved the way…thank you for being here today—now let’s BEAT Villanova,” was bellowed out as Coach Bruno made his way back over to McGrath Arena for the start of the game.

At halftime, players were called to center court and acknowledged by Director of Athletics, and former DePaul women’s basketball player Jean Lenti Ponsetto. The night was capped off with the Blue Demons beating the Wildcats of Villanova, 64-60.

Special thanks to all of the alumnae who helped make this day special in so many ways!

Becky Blacharczyk

Candis Blankston

Kris Booker Rastrelli

Sue Buhmann Brodie

Stacy Krumrei Bruno

Diane Bryniarski

Patti Hie

Ciara Johnson

Cathy Pezdirtz Jones

Kelly Hogan Lenti

Kandace Nied Lenti

Jeanene Novick Levar

Karen Loiacono

Chris Mazik

Lori Newcombe

Barbra Atsaves Pabst

Jean Lenti Ponsetto

Jenna Rubino

Beth Hasenmiller Sauser

Caprice Smith

Khara Smith

Natasha Williams

Friday, February 5, 2010

DePaul Baseball Stadium - Precursor to Wrigley Field

Baseball fans and historians have celebrated Wrigley Field as a treasure of our time. Few know that Wrigley Field opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park as the home of the Federal League's Chicago Whales. Actually they evolved into the Whales from the Chifeds or the Chicago Keely's.

However in 1913, in the first organized season of the Federal League, the Chifeds played their home games at the DePaul baseball fields. Though the Chifeds occupation of the Lincoln Park baseball grounds is well documented on the internet, few facts are available.

In the Federal League of Baseball Clubs by Robert Peyton Wiggins, the author makes brief mention of the Chifeds playing at DePaul.

There is a fascinating short story about the opening of Federal League baseball in Chicago, complete with an auto parade, flower arrangements that made home plate "look like a conservatory", a band and a moving picture camera man. Pre-game promotions presented the DePaul grounds as having the potential to host 7,000 fans. Reports of the special day report a crowd of little more than 2,000 which saw the Sheriff of Chicago throw out the first pitch.

One of the most noteworthy parts of the game was the arrival of White Sox owner Charles Comiskey and his star pitcher Ed Walsh, who owns the record for lowest career ERA with a 1.82. As the "Old Roman" arrived, the game was delayed to allow he and Walsh to reach their seats.

Despite the hoopla, the Chifeds lost 7-1 to the Pittsburgh Filipinos, or Stogies depending on the source. The 1913 Chifeds would end the season in fourth place with a a 57-62 mark behind league champions Indianapolis.

The Federal League expanded from its meager beginnings in 1913 as an "outlaw" minor league to challenge "organized baseball" in 1914 and 1915 before its ultimate end. The Chicago Whales were the class of the league in 1914 and 1915 and ultimate challenged the White Sox and Cubs for the hearts of Chicagoans, partly because the Whales were led by Cub favorites Joe Tinker and Mordecai Brown.

By 1915, Weeghman was allowed to purchase the Cubs and moved them from West Side Park to their new home at the corner of Clark and Addision. He purchased a 99-year lease on the property that is presumed to expire in the year 2013. Cub fans unite in the hope that there will be at least one World Series before Weeghman's contract runs out.

The picture is of a turn of the century DePaul baseball team. Recently inducted into the DePaul Athletics Hall of Fame, Joe Wilhoit is pictured fourth from the left.

The picture is from a collection of photos that is featured on the Library of Congresses Website at You can find more DePaul images by searching using keyword DePaul. The photographs are from a collection from the Chicago Daily News from 1902-33.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Matthew Graham Sets Scottish U20 Record

DePaul Track and Cross Country Star Matthew Graham set the Scottish U20 mark for the indoor 3,000-meters at the Indiana Relays in a time of 8:18.22. Link to Scottish Athletics Story.

Matthew Graham, already regarded as one of the Blue Demon's most talented cross country runners of all time by winning each of his regular season xc starts in 2009, became a part of track and field history Saturday after clocking a 3,000m performance of 8:18.22.

Not only does that break Chris Birchall's 2002 all-time best time of 8:19.69, but counts as the sophomore's second BIG EAST qualifying mark of the season.