BACK IN BLOCKS: Defensive back Chris Santaniello (So., Somers Point, NJ/Mainland) could make history this year as he recorded three blocked kicks with two field goals and an extra point to tie John Schropp for the F&M single season record last year. Currently, he is on pace to reset the school career record of eight blocked kicks held by Schropp. In the latest NCAA Division III statistics, he is ranked 14th in forced fumbles as he has tallied two versus Hobart for an average of 0.67 per game. For his career, he has 50 tackles, two interceptions for 30 yards, two forced fumbles, three blocked kicks and eight passes defended.
THE F&M HEISMAN CONNECTION: An award annually presented to a Division I player, the 13-inch tall Heisman Trophy has its roots in Division III as on December 9, 1935, the Downtown Athletic Club presented the University of Chicago's Jay Berwanger, a triple-threat cyclone in Chicago's backfield, with the inaugural trophy. At the time, there were no divisions in NCAA sports, as the University of Chicago and other small colleges like Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg and the University of Rochester competed versus schools like Penn State, Yale, Michigan, Ohio State, Syracuse and Fordham on an equal level. For Franklin & Marshall, which never fielded a Heisman recipient as the University of Chicago is the only non-Division I school to ever yield the stiff-arming trophy, the Heisman Trophy plays a minor role in the program's nickname. In 1935, the Nevonians (as F&M sports teams were then known) were among the elite small college programs in the United States. Coming off an 8-1 record in 1934 (a 6-0 loss at Ursinus spoiling the team's quest for a perfect season) in which the team blanked Rutgers and Lafayette by 7-0 and 14-0 scores, respectively, Franklin & Marshall was the toast of Southeastern Pennsylvania college football. Led by brash coach Al Holman, F&M started the year in the land of Giants by travelling to New York City to face the Fordham Rams in the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants professional baseball team. How big was the game? Consider that Fordham's offensive and defensive lines, under head coach "Sleepy" Jim Crowley, one of Notre Dame's legendary "Four Horseman", were known as the "The Seven Blocks of Granite". On the line looking across at the experienced team from Lancaster were a pair of future National Football League Hall-of-Fame players in Alex Wojciechowicz and a sophomore by the name of Vince Lombardi. The Dipomats, as they would be called following the game2C entered the contest with all 11 starters either seniors or juniors. According to the newspapers of the time, F&M was a bump in the road for Fordham which was acknowledged as one of the best college football teams in the nation and a sure bet to advance to the only post-season game around in 1935 - the Rose Bowl. "All the newspapers said we would have stiff necks looking at the buildings," said left end and F&M Hall-of-Famer George "Whitey" Pew in an interview with the Lancaster New Era in 1985. "They thought we were a bunch of hicks." To get to the game, the 33-member F&M team took the railroad to New York, including a young center by the name of Solomon Woodrow "Woody" Sponaugle. Sponaugle, who coached F&M's football team from 1948 to 1962 and led the program to a record of 59-58-6, got the Diplomats on the board first blocking and recovering a punt as the team's left the field at halftime with the upstart Nevonians leading 7-0. What happened next changed at least the image of the football program and the name of F&M athletics. "The Diplomats' downfall could be traced indirectly to their penchant for oratory, conference, or just plain gas in the clubhouse, a failing customary in the diplomatic services of both hemispheres. An uncommon penalty was revoked against F&M for remaining too long in its dressing room between halves, and it never recovered from the blow," noted New York sportswriter Arthur Daley. Fordham came back to win the game 14-7, but Franklin & Marshall College had a new mascot and respect as a power in college football earning the title of "greatest small-time college team" from Fordham's Crowley. So, how does this tie into the Heisman Trophy? It is the invitation of assisting in the awards creation offered to Fordham and Crowley following the game that moderately links Franklin & Marshall and the Heisman. The Heisman website (www.heisman.com) states, "Prior to the 1935 season, the Downtown Athletic Club further evidenced its devotion to sports by creating an annual award to the Outstanding College Football Player in the United States. It was decided to make the first award presentation at the close of the 1935 football season. Before that, however, a great deal of preparatory work had to be done. First, the trophy itself - what style should it be, how big. And what style of design? The traditional cup or bowl seemed too commonplace, lacked distinction and was in no way emblematic of the athletic talent to be honored and immortalized. The Club Trophy Committee decided after deliberation that the trophy should be the replica, in bronze, of a muscular gridder driving for yardage. To create this trophy, a well-known sculptor and National Academy prizewinner, Frank Eliscu, was engaged. He set to work at once selecting Ed Smith, a leading player on the 1934 New York University football team, as his model. In due course, Eliscu prepared a rough clay model. It was approved by the DAC Committee and sent uptown to Fordhamn's Crowley for his inspection. He showed the replica to his 1935 players who took various positions on the field to illustrate and verify the sidestep, the forward drive and the strong arm thrust of the right arm." A picture of Fordham running back Warren Mulrey posing in the "Heisman" stance for Crowley at Rose Hill Field has appeared in multiple places connected with the award. Sculptor Eliscu closely observed these action sequences and modified his clay prototype to correspond. The result was a truly lifelike simulation of player action. It was then converted into a plaster cast, a step preliminary to ultimate production in bronze. Before the time came to select the top collegiate gridiron star for the next year (1936) the DAC Trophy was accorded a special dedication and a new name. In 1930, John W. Heisman became the first Athletic Director of the Downtown Athletic Club. He was singularly qualified for this position by virtue of an outstanding athletic career. He played varsity football at Brown and Penn and then moved on to a success and stature in coaching comparable with such immortals as Alonzo Stagg, Pop Warner, Bob Zuppke, Percy Haughton, Clark Shaughnessy, Hurry-Up Yost and Knute Rockne. His coaching career spanned 36 years from 1892 through Oberlin (1892), Akron (1893-94), Auburn (1895-99), Clemson (1900-03), Georgia Tech (1904-19), Pennsylvania (1920-22), Washington & Jefferson (1923) and Rice (1924-27). During his tenure at Penn, Franklin & Marshall went 0-2 against the famed coach falling 20-0 in 1921 and 14-0 in 1922 in Philadelphia. Heisman left Penn after 1923 to take over a Washington & Jefferson program which had tied the University of California 0-0 in the 1921 Rose Bowl. After seven years as Director of Athletics at the Downtown Athletic Club, John W. Heisman on October 3, 1936 succumbed to bronchial pneumonia. As a tribute to his memory, the DAC Trophy was renamed the Heisman Memorial Trophy and awarded in 1936, and each subsequent year, to the outstanding gridiron star. In 1968, the Heisman Trophy Committee voted to award two trophies each year - to the winner and to the college or university he represents. It was decided that coaches would not vote on the Heisman trophy because they might be prejudiced toward their own teams and might reflect, in the evaluations and voting, traditional or regional bias. Thus, sportswriters on radio and television seemed the most logical choice to make up a nationwide panel of informed and competent judges. Today, Franklin & Marshall continues its connection to John Heisman as the Diplomats have faced Oberlin College of Ohio the last four years, an institution with which Heisman started his coaching career and experienced some success. In 1892, he led the Yeomen football team to a perfect 7-0 record. In those days of high-powered football, the '92 Oberlin grid squad defeated both Ohio State and Michigan and was ranked with Minnesota and Purdue as one of the three best teams west of the Allegheny Mountains. As testament to Oberlin's strength and dominance within the state of Ohio, the Yeomen defeated Ohio State twice in 1892, by the lopsided scores of 40-0 and 50-0. The second defeat was so humiliating that to this day the Buckeye Department of Athletics refuses to recognize this game in their records as an official contest. Fast forward 112 years and in three meetings versus Oberlin, the Diplomats are a perfect 4-0 as Franklin & Marshall has knocked off the Yeomen by scores of 26-14 (2001), 13-6 (2002), 30-6 (2003) and 41-21 (2004). The current Diplomats have another Heisman connection in their head coach, Shawn Halloran. Halloran first came to national prominence as a member of the Boston College football team from 1982-1987 where he served two years as the back-up quarterback to 1984 Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie, before earning the starting job in 1985. Among a litany of superb passers in B.C. history, he ranks third behind Flutie and Glenn Foley in Boston College's all-time passing yardage statistics, with 5,252 yards. Both Flutie and Foley exceeded the 10,000-yard mark, but each had almost a full four years of play to accomplish the feat. Three times Halloran threw for more than 400 yards in a game, and three times he tossed four touchdown passes in a single contest. He ranks fifth all-time in touchdown passes with 30, second to Mike Kruczek in completion percentage (57.5%) and third in career completions with 416, his individual season and game marks include most attempts (423), and completions (234) in a season; and a tie with Red Harris for most attempts in a game (57). The Diplomat with the most connections and near misses to the trophy is Hall of Fame coach Tom Gilburg. The head coach of the Diplomats from 1975-2002, Gilburg was a member of the 1959 AP and UPI National Champion Syracuse Orangemen. A three-year letterwinner at Syracuse, he was a blocking tightend and linebacker his sophomore and junior seasons before moving to tackle and noseguard as a senior while serving as the team's punter. While at tackle, he blocked for classmate and 1961 Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis who shattered 1956 Heisman fifth runner-up Jim Brown's career records in rushing (2,386 yards), yards gained all ways (3,414), scoring (220 points) and touchdowns (35) at Syracuse. However, Gilburg's near miss of being connected second-hand to the trophy as a professional is also notable as 1954 Heisman winner Alan Ameche of Wisconsin retired from the Baltimore Colts following the 1960 season, only months before Gilburg was selected by the Colts in the second round of the 1961 National Football League draft.
WHY IS F&M CALLED THE DIPLOMATS?: Franklin & Marshall College's nickname of Diplomats comes from New York Times sportswriter Arthur Daley who coined the name after watching Fordham come back in the fourth quarter behind NFL Hall-of-Famers Vince Lombardi and Alex Wojciechowicz to defeat F&M 14-7 at the Polo Grounds in the season-opening game of the 1935 season. Prior to the game, F&M teams were known as either "Nevonians" or "Big Blue". The name "Diplomats" was derived from the fact that F&M was five minutes late coming out of the locker-room to begin the second half, tardiness, according to Daley, "customary in the diplomatic services of both hemispheres."
FRANKLIN & MARSHALL COACH SHAWN HALLORAN: Former Yale University linebackers and special teams coach Shawn Halloran was named the 38th head football coach in Franklin & Marshall College history in the winter of 2003. Halloran first came to national prominence as a member of the Boston College football team from 1982-1986 where he served two years as the back-up quarterback to Doug Flutie, before earning the starting job in 1985. Among a litany of superb passers in B.C. history, he ranks third behind Flutie and Glenn Foley in Boston College's all-time passing yardage statistics, with 5,252 yards. Both Flutie and Foley exceeded the 10,000-yard mark, but each had almost a full four years of play to accomplish the feat. Three times Halloran threw for more than 400 yards in a game, and three times he tossed four touchdown passes in a single contest. He ranks fifth all-time in touchdown passes with 30, second to Mike Kruczek in completion percentage (57.5%) and third in career completions with 416, his individual season and game marks include most attempts (423), and completions (234) in a season; and a tie with Red Harris for most attempts in a game (57). Prior to coming to Franklin & Marshall, Halloran completed his sixth season at Yale where he coordinated all special teams preparation, film break down, blocking and rushing schemes, and coached the linebackers. During his tenure, he instructed several players to All-Ivy League honors, one Division I-AA All-America selection and had a player drafted by the National Football League. He joined the Yale staff after serving as offensive coordinator at Georgetown University from 1993-1997. Halloran, a native of Westminster, Massachusetts, also handled the offensive linemen and coached seven of them to all-league status while managing all film breakdown of opponents and referring to each positional coach to determine personnel decisions and game plan. A Division III institution before rising to Division I-AA, Halloran was a member of a Hoyas' coaching staff which went 1-2 against the Diplomats from 1993-95. Following a 17-3 win in Washington in 1993, the Diplomats handled the Hoyas' 14-7 in Lancaster before suffering a 31-7 loss to Halloran's offense at Georgetown in 1995. An assistant coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1992, where two of his players earned All-New England honors, he assisted in leading WPI to a record of 9-1, a two game improvement from the squad's 1991 record. Responsible for coaching the tight ends, preparing weekly offensive pass schemes and the kicking game, he also managed WPI's $390,000 Athletic Fitness Center with a staff of 45 work study students. He received his coaching start in 1991 as a graduate assistant coach under Tom Coughlin at Boston College. Responsible for breaking down opponents' game films and computing and analyzing all defensive plays for effective staff preparation, he coached the defensive scout squad through simulated play in preparation for games. Further, he assisted the offensive backfield coach with position meetings. A 1986 graduate of Boston College with a bachelor of arts in speech communications, he graduated from Oakmont (MA) High School where, intrigued by a brochure he picked up, he enrolled at BC's summer camp and caught the eye of Coach Barry Gallup, who offered him a scholarship. Halloran accepted, turning down bids from New Hampshire and Boston University. In his redshirt year he watched Flutie emerge as the struggling team's savior. He bided his time and earned the understudy's role in 1983. He entered his first collegiate game against Rutgers when Flutie sustained a shoulder injury in the second quarter. A traditional drop-back passer, with a rifle arm, Halloran finished the Rutgers game, a 42-22 win, and went back to second-string when Flutie returned the following week. In his entire first two seasons, he threw just 42 of his 723 career passes. Following a disappointing record as the starting quarterback in 1985, Halloran still wore the starter's mantle in 1986. Following an 11-9 loss at Rutgers, he was moved to third string behind agile scrambler Mike Power and prized BC recruit Mark Kamphaus. In the next game at California, Power broke an ankle on a long scramble and Kamphaus replaced him. Then in game three against Penn State, BC quickly fell behind and Kamphaus broke a finger to return Halloran to the lineup. He rallied the team and gave the Nittany Lions a battle, losing 26-14. Following the Penn State game, he led the Eagles to eight consecutive wins, including a Hall of Fame Bowl victory over Georgia to earn the game's Most Valuable Player award, and claimed the O'Melia Award as the outstanding player in the BC-Holy Cross game. The ABC Television Network Comeback Player of the Year in 1986 and a three-time winner of the New England Sportswriters' Gold Helmet Award, he also won the Jerry Nason Award for senior achievement in 1986 and was inducted into the B.C. Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002. The recipient of the Boston College Coach's Award in 1986, he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. He stayed until the final cut, then came back and played three games during the National Football League players' strike. The next season he signed with the Miami Dolphins as a free agent in preseason camp. Halloran and his wife, the former Nancy Pfannensteil, have three daughters: Cassidy, Riley and Dylan, and a son, Jack.
MUHLENBERG COACH MIKE DONNELLY : Mike Donnelly has engineered a remarkable turnaround as head coach at Muhlenberg College, going from nine losses in 1997, his first season, to 10 wins and the program's first NCAA Tournament berth in 2002. Donnelly's career record is 48-29. In the eight years prior to his arrival, the Mules won a total of 18 games. The Mules are 46-15 in their last 61 games and have earned four consecutive postseason invitations. They have tied for the Centennial Conference championship each of the last three years and advanced to the second round of the NCAA playoffs in 2002. Donnelly came to Muhlenberg from Columbia where he served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. The Lions ranked in the top 20 nationally in Division I in seven defensive categories in 1996 and compiled an 8-2 record, their best in 51 years. One of his charges, defensive end Marcellus Wiley, was a second-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills. Originally from Albany, N.Y., Donnelly is a 1975 graduate of Ithaca College, where he was an all-conference linebacker. He has more than 20 years of coaching experience at the Division I, II and III levels, including stints at Albany, East Stroudsburg, Rensselaer, Ithaca, Lafayette and Buffalo. He coached the linebackers at Ithaca, helping his alma mater to the 1980 NCAA Division III championship game while also leading the Bombers to four consecutive conference track titles.
F&M PROJECTED STARTERS:
WR Derek Boyce (Jr., 6-0, 190, Lancaster, PA)
WR Rob Donofrio (So., 5-10, 170, Sea Girt, NJ)
TE Matt Mondonedo (So., 6-0, 220, Silver Spring, MD)
LT Jeff Pawlikowski (Jr., 6-2, 237, Bernville, PA)
LG Brian Rice (So., 6-2, 310, Rockville, MD)
C Jeff Gunn (Jr., 6-1, 235, Tunkhannock. PA)
RG Nick Maturi (So, 6-1, 255, Oakland, NJ)
RT Rory Regan (Jr., 6-3, 300, Waretown, NJ)
QB Jeff Harner (So., 6-2, 210, Mohrsville, PA)
TB Scott Stephen (Sr., 5-7, 180, Glen Rock, NJ)/Curtis Varner (So., State College, PA/State College)
FB Rick Dunlap (So., 5-9, 185, Boothwyn, PA)
CB Matt Pastore (So., 5-10, 175, Ridgewood, NJ)
CB JC Capote (So., 5-10, 180, Ridgefield Park, NJ)
SS Ryan Carrozza (So., 5-10, 175, Cherry Hill, NJ)
FS Ryan Sychterz (Jr., 5-10, 176, Sinking Spring, PA)
DL Matt Capone (Sr., 6-1, 245, Scarsdale, NY)
DL Jack Duncan (Fr., 6-0, 255, Nottingham, PA)
DL Chris White (Sr., 6-0, 200, Vestal, NY)
LB Justin Koch (Sr., 6-0, 200, Schuylkill Haven, PA)
LB George Farrell (Fr., 6-1, 220, Hatfield, PA)
LB Chris Stepien (Jr., 5-9, 175, Fairfield, NJ)
LB John Warnick (So., 6-2, 215, Rockville, MD)
PK Dan Eggertsson (Sr., 6-1, 180, Royal Palm, FL)
P Dan Eggertsson (Sr., 6-1, 180, Royal Palm, FL)