Tuesday, July 31, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 9 Greatest Athlete in Duquesne Athletics History

Boyd Brumbaugh, (Football) - Inducted into the Duquesne University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1965, Brumbaugh was the second Duquesne athlete ever to be selected in an NFL Draft, one of only two to be taken in the first round and, to this day, is the highest-drafted Duquesne Football player ever.
  He was selected third overall by the now-defunct Brooklyn Dodgers (later known as the Tigers) in 1938, and enjoyed a colorful four-year NFL career for that team and later the Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers.
  Brumbaugh's exact time period of Duquesne Football roster membership is unknown, but it is certain that he was a key part of the Dukes' 1937 Orange Bowl win. It was Brumbaugh's 72-yard halfback pass in that game that provided Duquesne the winning margin over Mississippi State College (now University).
  The Duquesne Football media guide also credits Brumbaugh as once being "an honorable mention All-American."

(Image: Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, 1938, Copyright AllPosters.com)

Monday, July 30, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 10 Greatest Athlete in Duquesne Athletics History

Tom Slosky, (Men's Outdoor Track & Field, Men's Cross Country, Men's Indoor Track & Field) - Slosky's contributions to the image of Duquesne University Athletics cannot be overlooked, which merits him inclusion in this countdown.
  Though he is believed to hold numerous men's records for Duquesne Indoor Track & Field, records for this club team are not completely verifiable. Nonetheless, Slosky's highest accomplishments have been for Duquesne University Outdoor Track & Field. An Atlantic Ten Conference champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in both 2005 and 2006, Slosky has advanced to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championship twice in that event (in 2006 and 2007), advancing to the final heat of the competition in 2007.
  He is the first Duquesne athlete ever to compete in the very final competition of an NCAA-sanctioned national championship.
  Some of Slosky's other accomplishments include two Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2006 and 2007 as well as a Atlantic Ten team title in 2005 with men's cross country. Slosky was Duquesne's top finisher at the championship meet, and the 2005 title was Duquesne's first postseason A-10 team championship of any kind since 1977.
  In addition to being Duquesne's record-holder in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Slosky also holds Duquesne Outdoor Track & Field records in the 1,500 and 5,000-meter runs and is part of the record-holding 4x1,500-meter relay team.

(Image: Tom Slosky, Copyright Duquesne University)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Top Ten Athletes in Duquesne Athletics History

  Sometime next week, Dukes Chat will unveil its newest countdown -- the Top Ten Athletes in Duquesne Athletics History.

  The details involved with judging Duquesne University athletes:

- The person must have competed for Duquesne as an ATHLETE in some capacity for either a club or a varsity team. (Coaching accomplishments will not be included in this criteria.)

- The person's entire body of ATHLETIC work DURING AND AFTER his/her tenure as a Duquesne athlete will be considered.

(Image: 1933-34 Duquesne University Men's Basketball Team, Copyright Duquesne University)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

2007-08 Men's Basketball Opponents

  Duquesne University Athletics unveiled its men's basketball team's opponents for the 2007-08 season.
  Non-conference home contests will be waged against Howard University (November 9), Winston-Salem State University (Nov. 12), Niagra University (Nov. 24), the University of Pittsburgh (December 4), Saint Francis University (Pa.) (Dec. 21), Robert Morris University (Dec. 28) and the University of South Carolina-Upstate (Dec. 30).
  Non-conference away contests will be played versus Rice University (Nov. 17), Oakland University (Nov. 20), West Virginia University (Dec. 8) and Bowling Green State University (January 2).
  Atlantic Ten Conference home contests pit Duquesne against Fordham University, La Salle University, Saint Bonaventure University, The George Washington University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the University of Richmond, Saint Joseph's University and Saint Louis University.
  Intraconference away contests for Duquesne: Fordham, La Salle, Saint Bonaventure, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of Dayton, the University of Rhode Island, Temple University and Xavier University.
  In addition, an in-season tournament at Drake University from Nov. 30-Dec. 1 will include Duquesne, Drake, The California State University-Northridge and North Carolina Central University.

(Image: 2006-07 Duquesne University Men's Basketball Team, Copyright U.S. Basketball Writers Association)

Monday, July 23, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 1 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

March 20, 1955 - Men’s basketball defeats the University of Dayton, 70-58, at Madison Square Garden (III) in New York City to win the 1955 National Invitation Tournament -- the most exclusive collegiate basketball tournament in the country at the time.
  According to the Duquesne University Web site, "Five thousand people greeted the returning Dukes at the Pittsburgh airport, and the entire student body was invited to a testimonial dinner honoring the team."
  The NCAA began sponsoring a national championship tournament for men's basketball in 1939, but it wasn't until the 1960s that this NCAA tournament became the most exclusive and important college basketball tournament in the country. Colleges and universities routinely declined offers to participate in the NCAA Championship Tournament during this time period while still accepting bids to the NIT.
  An NIT championship before the mid-1960s or so, like the Dukes' 1955 title, was an unofficial (by the NCAA's standards) national championship, but it still meant that Duquesne was the home of the best college basketball team in the country.

(Image: 1954-55 Duquesne University Men's Basketball Team, Copyright Duquesne University)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 2 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

January 1, 1937 - Football defeats Mississippi State College (now University), 13-12, in the Orange Bowl.
  According to The Duquesne Duke’s January 7, 1937, issue, "Thousands of followers and classmates greeted the conquering Duquesne University squad on its arrival at the Pennsylvania station last night at 11:25 p.m. The Duke gridders, weary from the long train ride, were pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic throng which greeted them on their return from Miami [Fl.] in tribute to their brilliant 13-12 triumph.
  "The welcome celebration climaxed one of the most successful seasons in the athletic history of Duquesne. Loyal followers cheered wildly and sang the school songs as the train bearing the squad pulled into the train shed a few minutes late... Radio announcers succeeded in detaining the coaches and some of the gridders for a few hurried words to audiences of WWSW and KDKA."
  This moment remains, to this day, the pinnacle of Duquesne Football's success as an NCAA Division I team and thus, the program's greatest moment.

(Images: Oranges and Bowl, Copyright chennaiist)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 3 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

October 21, 1939 - Football visits and defeats then-No. 1-ranked (AP) the University of Pittsburgh, 21-13, on its way to an undefeated season and a top ten AP ranking.
  The 1939 Dukes Football team finished 8-0-1 under head coach Aldo "Buff" Donelli. Donelli was the former player that captained Duquesne to its first official undefeated season (9-0-1 in 1929).
  The 1939 Dukes were arguably Duquesne's second-greatest football team ever behind the undefeated and untied 8-0-0 Dukes of 1941, but the Duquesne Football win over Pittsburgh in 1939 ranks as one the school's greatest, especially given the opponent and thus, the situation.
  Pitt entered the 1939 contest ranked No. 1 in the country by the Associated Press, and Duquesne was still undefeated and untied. A showdown between the city of Pittsburgh's top two college football teams would lead to ultimate bragging rights, and you could taste the drama in the air. The Dukes were considered legitimate underdogs, especially since they were the official visitors.
  However, the Duquesne victory truly signalled a "changing of the guard" in Pittsburgh's college football scene. The Panthers entered the 1939 season riding eight straight seasons of at least seven wins and no more than two losses, but after the 1939 season, the Panthers would not win seven games in a season again until 1955.
  The Dukes, meanwhile, would go 7-1-0 in 1940 and 8-0-0 in 1941.
  Unfortunately, after a 6-3-1 1942 season, World War II would force Duquesne to suspend football operations, and "big time" football success would truly never come back to the Bluff.

(Image: Antique Football Helmet, Copyright Akadema Inc.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 4 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

March 22, 1940 - Under head coach Charles "Chick" Davies -- according to the Duquesne University Men’s Basketball media guide, "the 'Dean' of Duquesne coaches" -- men’s basketball defeats Western Kentucky State Teachers College (now Western Kentucky University), 30-29, to earn a spot in the NCAA Championship Final Four after already reaching the NIT Championship game only seven days earlier.
  Davies's success at Duquesne put the Dukes on the map in terms of collegiate basketball and made Davies himself a celebrity. His obituary even appeared in The New York Times following his death in 1985.
  A clip from the NYT obituary about Davies, by far Duquesne's all-time winningest coach in any sport: "Davies's record at Duquesne was 314-106. He brought the Iron Dukes to national prominence in the late 1930s and early 1940s. His 1939-40 team, which compiled a 20-3 record, was the first to play in both the National Invitation Tournament and the NCAA Championship Tournament."

(Image: Charles Davies with Duquesne University Men's Basketball Players, Copyright Duquesne University)

Walker Leaves Duquesne

  Duquesne University Athletics has announced that now-former women's soccer head coach James Walker is leaving Duquesne to take an assistant coaching position with Pennsylvania State University Men's Soccer. Both Penn State Men's and Women's Soccer are very successful NCAA Division I programs with multiple Big Ten Conference championships between them. The men's team was the Big Ten regular season and postseason champion as recent as 2005.
  Walker's time at Duquesne was one of growth for the women's soccer program. His record at the helm of the Dukes was a respectable 31-36-6, but more importantly, he led Duquesne Women's Soccer to its first-ever appearance in an Atlantic Ten Conference Championship (in 2005).

(Image: James Walker, Copyright Duquesne University)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 5 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

November 15, 1941 - Football defeats Mississippi State College (now University), 16-0, to end its season undefeated and untied (8-0-0) and earn a No. 8 AP ranking. The 1941 Dukes, head coached by Aldo “Buff” Donelli, posted six shutouts and surrendered just 21 points, leading the nation in scoring, rushing and total defense.
  Donelli was a former football team captain for Duquesne when he took over head coaching duties in 1939. He would stay in that capacity from 1939-42 until the onset of World War II forced Duquesne to suspend football operations. In 1941, Donelli head coached not only Duquesne Football but also the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the only person to ever coach both an NFL and an NCAA Division I Football team in the same season. He also was an NFL player for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles from 1941-42.
  Donelli, who owns one of the most colorful careers in the history of American sports, also had a tremendous soccer career. During the 1934 FIFA World Cup, while playing for the United States, Donelli scored four goals against Mexico in a qualifying game and the lone U.S. goal against host Italy in the first round. He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1954.
  From 1933–42, Duquesne was among the elite college football teams in the United States, garnering the sixth-highest winning percentage (71-22-2, .762) in the nation. The only undefeated and untied season during this time period came in 1941--arguably, the finest college football season in Duquesne history.

(Image: Aldo Donelli, Copyright National Soccer Hall of Fame)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 6 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

January 1, 1934 - In his final game as Duquesne’s head coach, former Notre Dame “Four Horsemen” member Elmer Layden leads football to a 33-7 win over the University of Miami (Fl.) in the Festival of Palms Bowl. The Festival of Palms game would become the Orange Bowl game the very next season.
  Layden would go down as one of the most important people in the history of American football, having coached not only at Duquesne but also at Columbia College (Ia.) and at his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. He was also once commissioner of the NFL.
  The 1934 Festival of Palms victory was Layden's crowning moment at Duquesne.

(Image: Elmer Layden, Copyright The Des Moines Register)

Monday, July 16, 2007

McConnell-Serio Elected to WBBHOF

  Duquesne University got a reminder recently of just how fortunate it is to have Suzie McConnell-Serio as its women's basketball head coach. McConnell-Serio has recently been inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
  The induction is essentially a mere formality, as McConnell-Serio has assembled a basketball resume that truly speaks for itself... before she has even coached a single game at Duquesne.

(Image: Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, Copyright Women's Basketball Hall of Fame)

*OPINION PIECE* No. 7 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

March 1, 1961 - Men’s basketball defeats then-No. 2-ranked (AP) Saint Bonaventure University, 79-74, in overtime. In response to this game, university President Reverend Henry J. McAnulty cancelled the next day’s classes, giving Duquesne students the opportunity to celebrate the upset victory.
  The Dukes lost to St. Bonaventure earlier in the season in regulation, 78-89, when SBU was ranked No. 3 in the nation, and the Dukes only finished the season 14-7, playing in no postseason games.
  What makes this individual moment so great though, other than Rev. McAnulty's reaction, is that SBU finished the season 21-2 and is, to this day, the highest-ranked loser to Duquesne Basketball in history.

(Image: McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Copyright Duquesne University)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Two-Time Stanley Cup Champion to Strengthen Duquesne

  John Welday, former strength & conditioning coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins, is the almost certain replacement for former Duquesne University Athletics head strength & conditioning coach Nick Gannelli.
  Welday brings with him years of experience and, obviously, a winning background. His name appears twice on the Stanley Cup.

(Image: 1990-91 and 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins Logo, Copyright Pittsburgh Penguins)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 8 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

June 7, 2007 - Tom Slosky of men’s outdoor track & field advances to the final heat of the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
  Slosky is the first Duquesne athlete to advance to the very final competition of an NCAA-sanctioned championship.
  At the 2006 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Slosky was eliminated in a heat prior to the final, but in 2007, Slosky was granted a spot in the final heat when another runner interfered with him during his preliminary run. A post-heat ruling determined that Slosky would have qualified for the final had he not been interfered with.
  Slosky has one more year of collegiate competition eligibility left in both cross country and track & field, both likely to be used during the 2007-08 school year, so a return to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships is likely. Nonetheless, this 2007 appearance, the first of its kind, deserves significant recognition here.

(Image: Tom Slosky, Copyright Duquesne University)

Friday, July 13, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 9 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

November 22, 2003 - Football hosts Monmouth University in the ECAC Classic, winning 12-10 and going on to earn the Sports Network Cup as the NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major National Champions.
  Head coach Greg Gattuso would lose ECAC Bowls in 2001 and 2002 before winning this 2003 game. Duquesne unquestionably had the best NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major team in the country during the 2002 regular season, but a heartbreaking -- some would say, unfair (due to the weather) -- season-ending loss to the University at Albany that year, gave the Sports Network Cup to the University of Dayton (whom the Dukes defeated earlier in the season). The Dukes were in contention for the overall NCAA Division I-AA playoffs that season, but the Albany loss ended those hopes.
  In 2003, despite finishing the season with an 8-3 record, the Dukes were named national champions with their upset victory over Monmouth coupled with a Morehead State University loss in the Pioneer Football League championship game. Morehead State had defeated the Dukes earlier in the season, so the happenings to Duquesne in 2002 had been completely reversed.
  Gattuso and the Dukes' 2003 captains would be honored with the Sports Network Cup during a ceremony on the eve of the I-AA championship game that year.

(Image: The Sports Network Cup, Copyright The Sports Network)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 10 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

March 5, 1977 - Men’s basketball defeats Villanova 57-54 to win the Eastern Collegiate Basketball League championship (the forerunner to the Eastern Athletic Association―now known as the Atlantic Ten Conference) and clinch a berth in the NCAA Division I Championship.
  Although Duquesne would lose in the first round of the championship tournament to the Virginia Military Institute, 66-73, and finish the season with a .500 record (15-15), the university would not win another postseason/"full" Atlantic Ten team championship until men's cross country would do so in 2005.

(Image: 1976-77 Duquesne University Men's Basketball Team, Copyright Duquesne University)

Duquesne Makes Huge Recruiting Statement

  Schenley High School senior guard Deandre Kane, who's been listed between 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-4, has made a verbal commitment to Duquesne University.
  As a junior, Kane helped guide Schenley to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association's Class AAAA championship. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kane "is projected as one of the top players in Pennsylvania for 2007-08."
  Kane was also being recruited by the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Illinois, The Pennsylvania State University, The University of Wisconsin, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, The University of Wyoming, and The University of Toledo.
  It is important to remember that verbal commitments are not binding however. As Kane was quoted in the Post-Gazette, "I didn't fully commit yet; I just gave a verbal commitment." Kane did add though, "I think I can go down there [Duquesne] and help turn things around. I like their facility. They have a law program I like."

(Image: Ron Everhart, Copyright Duquesne University)

Top Ten Moments in Duquesne Athletics History

  Starting later today, Dukes Chat will unveil its picks for the Top Ten Moments in Duquesne Athletics History, beginning with No. 10 and counting down to No. 1. A new moment will be unveiled daily until the No. 1 moment is announced.
  As always, comments and debate are encouraged.

[Image: (left to right) Fred Lanzy, "Mossie" Murphy, and Carl Kologie of the Duquesne University Athletics Spirit Squad, Copyright Duquesne University]

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Duquesne Football Schedule Change

  Duquesne University and Robert Morris University have agreed to move their 2007 football game from September 8 to October 20 in a three-way move to help accommodate Monmouth University.
  The time of the Dukes-Colonials game will remain at 1 p.m., and Monmouth will now host Robert Morris on September 8.
  The move is an aftershock of Saint Peter’s College's late-June announcement that it was discontinuing its football program. Both Duquesne and Monmouth were scheduled to play the Peacocks this season.
  Duquesne filled its previous September 29 Homecoming date against St. Peter's with a game against Frostburg State University.
  Of additional scheduling interest, Duquesne has announced start times for its 2007 games at Brown University and Marist College. The Brown game will start at 12:30 p.m. and Marist game will start at 1 p.m.

[Image: Bruce Hocker (right), Copyright Duquesne University]

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Pride of Duquesne Keeps Hopes Alive

  A letter-writing campaign, an online petition, the creation of a global Facebook group and even a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article don't seem to be enough to keep Duquesne University's marching band, The Pride of Duquesne, from losing its university sponsorship.
  The university is insistent on replacing the marching band with, according to the Post-Gazette article, "an enhanced pep band."
  Rumors are spreading that, perhaps in protest, soon-to-be-former members of The Pride of Duquesne may continue to perform, practice and compete in the form of a student organization.
  To view the online petition, visit SavethePride.com.

(Image: Duquesne University Athletic Bands and Spirit Teams, Copyright Duquesne University)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* Forbes Avenue Project

  Duquesne University's soon-to-be-finished multipurpose recreational facility on Forbes Avenue in Uptown Pittsburgh is the "cherry on the top" of the university's recent improvements to its Athletics Department.
  The building is yet to have a catchy name just yet though (other than the Multipurpose Recreational Center, or MRC, of course).
  What should be the official name of Duquesne's MRC? Should it be named after a member of the Duquesne Athletics Hall of Fame? A past university president or even the current one? A significant financial contributor?
  As of today, nothing has been announced, but it would be a shame to let an opportunity to honor one of Duquesne's finest go by the wayside.

(Image: Duquesne University Forbes Avenue Project Artist's Rendering, Copyright Duquesne University)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

NEC Pursuing Automatic Qualifier

  Numerous Duquesne Football officials have confirmed that the commissioner of the Northeast Conference -- Duquesne Football's soon-to-be-new home (in 2008) -- has and is pursuing an automatic invitation for its football champion into the NCAA Division I Football Championship Tournament.

(Image: The Northeast Conference Logo, Copyright The Northeast Conference)