This Day in College Football History – May 12th

Don McCauley (born May 12, 1949) was a running back for the University of North Carolina from 1968 to 1970 and he attended Garden City High School in Garden City, New York.McCauley was a two-time First Team All-Conference selection and two-time Conference Player of the Year. He garnered the 1971 ACC Athlete of the Year award. He broke many rushing records. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001. The versatile McCauley contributed to the team as a receiver, rusher, kick returner, and punter, leading the team in most categories. In 1970 he led the nation in rushing with 1,720 yards and all-purpose running with 2,021 yards. His 1,720 yards rushing broke the NCAA record and continues to withstand the test of time ranking as the second highest total in ACC history and the highest at North Carolina. A consensus All-America selection and team captain his senior year, McCauley led the conference in scoring with 21 touchdowns for 126 points and continues to hold numerous school records. His career statistics include 5,014 all-purpose yards, 3,172 rushing yards, 786 yards receiving, and 1,056 yards on kick returns. He also led the team in punting with 48 punts for 1,845 yards—a 38.4 yard average. With the acquisition of the Miami Dolphins first round draft pick, awarded to them as compensation for tampering in the hiring of then head coach of the Colts, Don Shula, Baltimore selected McCauley in the first round (22nd overall) in the 1971 NFL draft. McCauley played 11 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Baltimore Colts.

John Wilce (May 12, 1888 – May 17, 1963) was a player and coach, physician, and university professor. He served as the head football coach at Ohio State University from 1913 to 1928, compiling a record of 78–33–9. Wilce is best known for coaching the great “Chic” Harley and leading Ohio State to their first win over archrival Michigan in 1919. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1954. Wilce was born in Rochester, New York. He lettered in three sports while attending the University of Wisconsin. In football, Wilce was an all-conference fullback and captain of the 1909 team. Following his graduation from Wisconsin, Wilce coached high school football in La Crosse, Wisconsin and then became both an assistant football coach and assistant professor of physical education at Wisconsin.

In 1913, Ohio State began play in the Western Conference, later the Big Ten Conference, and hired Wilce as its head football coach. Wilce’s teams won a conference championship in 1916 with a 7–0 record, and repeated in 1917 (8–0–1) and in 1920 (7–1) when Ohio State played its first bowl game, losing the 1921 Rose Bowl to California, 28–0. Wilce coached the Ohio State Buckeyes football team for sixteen seasons, the second longest tenure in school history after Woody Hayes, compiling a career record of 78–33–9. In 1919, Wilce received his medical degree. He retired from football after the 1928 season to practice medicine. Wilce completed postgraduate training in cardiology at University of Edinburgh in the 1930s and was a professor of preventive medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, specializing in research and treatment of heart disease. He also served as Director of Student Health Services from 1934 to 1958. The John W. Wilce Student Health Center, built in 1969, is named for Wilce.

Wilce’s “combination of medicine and football” and a sense of propriety that reflected his English heritage led him to try to reform the speech of his players on and off the field. He coined the phrase “intestinal fortitude.” Haber (1955) records the story of the coinage, the idea first coming to Wilce on the way to a lecture he was to present on anatomy and physiology at Ohio State in 1916, his first use of the phrase in public in a lecture to his team, and how he began to hear the phrase used by others. In 1954, Wilce was selected for enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame and was elected a member of the Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame in 1977. His academic honors include the Ohio State Distinguished Service Award in 1956. He died of complications of cardiovascular disease on May 17, 1963, in the Columbus suburb of Westerville, Ohio. Of his departure from coaching he was quoted: “Football was becoming too much of a business. The game was being taken away from the boys. I was a faculty-type coach who believed educational aspects were more important than winning games.” Wilce was survived by his wife, Minerva Connor Wilce, sons Jay and James M. “Jim” Wilce (1922–1988), and daughters Roseanne Wilce Pearcy and Dorothy Wilce Krause, along with many grandchildren, amongst whom are the nationally known sports and outdoors photographer Anne Krause (1952–2006) and James M. “Jim” Wilce, Jr., a linguistic anthropologist at Northern Arizona University.

Wear Schoonover (March 18, 1910 – May 12, 1982)  was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1967. He was the first Arkansas Razorback, as well as the first Southwestern, football player to be on the All-American team. Schoonover is one of five members of the inaugural class of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

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