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)

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