This Day in College Football History – July 8th

John David Crow (July 8, 1935 – June 17, 2015), was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He won the Heisman Trophy as a halfback for the Texas A&M Aggies football team of Texas A&M University in 1957. After college, he played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago and St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers between 1958 and 1968. Crow received the annual Len Eshmont Award twice, in 1966 and 1967. The award is voted by the players and given to the 49er who best exemplifies the “inspirational and courageous play” of Len Eshmont. After his playing career, Crow became an assistant football coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team of the University of Alabama, serving under coach Bear Bryant from 1969 to 1971. He moved to the NFL as an assistant with the Cleveland Browns in 1972, and then the San Diego Chargers in 1974. In December 1975, Crow was hired as head football coach and athletic director at Northeast Louisiana University—now the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He coached the football team for five seasons, from 1976 to 1980, compiling a record of 20–34–1. He remained as athletic director until 1981. Crow returned to his alma mater, Texas A&M, in 1983 as an assistant athletic director. He was promoted to athletic director in 1988 and served in that capacity until 1993. Crow was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1976. A street on the campus of Texas A&M University adjacent to Kyle Field is named after him.

A native of Marion in Union Parish in North Louisiana, Crow was reared to the west in Springhill in northern Webster Parish near the Arkansas state line. He graduated in 1954 from Springhill High School. Under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant at Texas A&M, Crow was not one of the “Junction Boys”, since he was a freshman in 1954, Bryant’s first season, and was thus ineligible to play under NCAA rules at the time. In 1956, Crow was part of the first Aggie football team to beat the University of Texas at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. In the 1957 season, the Aggies won their first eight games and were ranked Number 1 in the AP Poll. The team lost their last three games after uncertainty over whether their coach, Bear Bryant, would be leaving the school. Although injured early in the season, Crow was able to play in 7 games in his senior season. He rushed for 562 yards on 129 carries, with 6 touchdowns. Crow also caught 2 passes and passed for 5 touchdowns. While playing on defense, he intercepted the ball 5 times. During the 1957 season, Bryant famously quipped, “If John David Crow doesn’t win the Heisman Trophy, they ought to stop giving it.”. Crow was named a scholastic All-American and won the Heisman on December 3, 1957, defeating Iowa tackle Alex Karras. Crow claims not to have understood the importance of the award until sponsors flew him and his family to New York for the presentation. He was the first Aggie to win the Heisman, and he was the only one of Bryant’s players to win. Bryant then left for Alabama shortly after Crow received the Heisman.

In the 1958 NFL Draft, Crow was a first–round draft pick for the Chicago Cardinals. He played 11 seasons and appeared in 4 Pro Bowls. He later played for the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. He completed more passes than any other non-quarterback in history with 33 completions, including five touchdowns.When his playing career ended, Crow became a coach. In 1969, he was named the offensive backfield coach under Bryant at Alabama, a position he retained until 1971. He was personally close to Bryant, under whom Crow’s late son, John David “Johnny” Crow, Jr., played at Alabama. He later worked as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns and the San Diego Chargers.

Crow was the sixth head football coach for Northeast Louisiana University—now the University of Louisiana at Monroe—and he held that position for five seasons, from 1976 until 1980. His coaching record at Northeast Louisiana was 20–34–1.Crow became the athletic director and head football coach at Northeast Louisiana University (now the University of Louisiana at Monroe) in 1975. He remained there until 1981, when he left to pursue private business opportunities. In 1983, he became assistant athletic director at Texas A&M under Jackie Sherrill, who served as both athletic director and head coach of the football team. Crow handled most duties for all sports except football, which Sherrill oversaw. He was promoted to athletic director at the end of the 1988 football season when Sherrill, resigned in the midst of a scandal. Texas A&M President William Mobley hired R. C. Slocum, Sherrill’s defensive coordinator, as the new head football coach. In a press conference the day after his appointment, Crow announced that “‘I want to reaffirm my commitment to full compliance with the NCAA, Southwest Conference and Texas A&M University regulations in our athletic department.'”

After a public row in January 1990, Crow fired long-time Aggies basketball coach Shelby Metcalf, who had coached at Texas A&M for 32 years, with five Southwest Conference championships. The relationship between the men had often been described as bitter, and Crow cited “uncalled-for criticism” in his firing of Metcalf, who was not given the opportunity to say goodbye to his players. Crow appointed Kermit Davis to replace Metcalf. Later that year, after Arkansas left the Southwest Conference, Crow and DeLoss Dodds, the athletic director at the University of Texas, met with officials from the Pac-10 Conference about aligning with that conference. The two later cancelled a similar meeting with officials from the Southeastern Conference.Crow resigned from his position as athletic director in April 1993 to invest as a limited partner in a greyhound racetrack. At the time of his resignation, the Texas A&M football program was embroiled in a scandal over students accepting money from boosters for jobs they had not performed. He was succeeded as athletic director by Wally Groff. As a result of the scandal, the Texas A&M football program was placed on five years probation and was banned from television or postseason appearances for one year. He then took a job as the fundraiser for the university until 2001, when he retired.

Crow was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1976. In 2004, Crow was awarded the Price Waterhouse Coopers Doak Walker Legends Award, presented annually by the SMU Athletic Forum. The award is given to former college football running backs who had excellent college careers and later became leaders in their community. In 1976, he was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches. Crow retired in College Station, Texas. In an interview with the Bryan-College Station Eagle, Crow said, “I tell everybody that A&M is my true love and that I want us to win everything that we do, but Alabama is a close second because of the ties I had with Coach Bryant, and with my son playing over there. He died at a hospice in Bryan, Texas, on June 17, 2015; he was 79 years old, three weeks shy of his 80th birthday. In addition to their son, Crow and his high school sweetheart and wife of more than sixty years, the former Carolyn Gilliam, have two surviving daughters, Annalisa Stenklyft and husband, Jay, and Jeannie Pietrowiak and husband, Ken; daughter-in-law, Janice Crow, and seven grandchildren. He was cremated. A public reception was held in his memory on June 23 at Reed Arena in College Station.

Pete Mauthe (July 8, 1890 – January 1, 1967) was an American football player who lettered four years as a fullback for the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1909 to 1912. During that timespan, Penn State was undefeated in 1909, 1911 and 1912, while losing just two games in 1910. In 1911, Mauthe scored a 35-yard field goal to defeat the rivial Pitt Panthers, 3–0. In 1912 he was named the team’s captain and led Penn State to an 8–0 record. That season he scored a 51-yard field goal against Pitt. In 1913, Mauthe was named the head coach for Gettysburg College and led that team to a 3–6–1 record. He later graduated from college with a degree in metallurgy. He then joined Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. and later became that company’s president. Other significant positions held include roles as president and director of the Olga Coal Company, the Buckeye Coal Company, and the Youngstown Mines Corporation, and he was a director of Carbon Limestone Company. He began his career as a blast furnace laborer with the Carnegie Steel Company. In 1964 he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by Penn State. He served on the board of trustees at both Penn State and Youngstown State University and established a scholarship at Penn State for engineering students. Mauthe was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1957.

 

Gary Cochran (August 26, 1876 – July 8, 1918) was an American football player. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.  Gary Cochran stepped right into a Princeton uniform and took over the leadership of the team, building it into an unstoppable gridiron machine which Tiger followers quickly christened “Cochran’s Steamrollers.” Under captain Cochran, the 1896 Tigers have long been ranked as the best Princeton team of football’s Pioneer Era. Cochran made them great, using an inbred ability to inspire and endlessly urging them to perform above their normal talents. The Tigers crushed arch rival Yale, 24-6, and finished with a 10-0-1 record. Over the next two campaigns, the Orange and Black were 21-1-1, as Cochran was lauded for his great leadership and play when he was named All-American in 1897. He was as strong as a bull and led by example, as Yale throttled the opposition. In selecting the 1897 All-America team, Caspar Whitney wrote, “The first and surest man for the All-America team is Garrett Cochran of Princeton.” He was Princeton captain his last two years. He served as head coach at California in 1898-99 with a 15-1-3 record and at Navy in 1900 with a 6-3 record. Cochran then became president of the Williamsport Wire Rope Company. Cochran was born August 26, 1876 in Driftwood, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 7, 1917, and served as a lieutenant in the Field Artillery in France. He was on a ship returning to the United States in April, 1918, when he suddenly took ill and died.

 

 


 

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